And yes, taxis are cheap here in Ecuador. How cheap?
Yesterday, Dena snapped these pictures of the posted rates from taxis leaving from El Paseo Mall in La Libertad. La Libertad is the commercial center for the region. Salinas has the beach – and hotels and restaurants. Santa Elena (the city) has the people, and is the capital. And La Libertad is where the people and tourists buy everything. There are two commercial centers, with El Paseo Mall being the largest.
We’ve paid from $2.5o to $3.00 for trips to and from the mall. We are staying at the lower end of the Malecon. The price charge says we should be paying $2.50, so I guess its good. The ride is about 15 minutes.
Why have posted rates? Well, for some reason, taxi meters aren’t liked too much by Ecuador taxi drivers. In Cuenca, every taxi must have one by law, but they never use them. So you can either get a rate when you are getting in, or negotiate when you arrive.
The second rate sheet is for areas out of town. The 2 hour drive to Guayaquil is just $60. This is a direct drive – and a very good rate. A few months ago, we hired a van company in Guayaquil to pick us up here, and the rate was over $100. We just didn’t know that the taxis here would drive to Guayaquil.