Access to the Azores’ “Lagoa do Fogo” lake of fire is now provided by a shuttle service

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Access to the Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire) on the island of São Miguel will, from Thursday, be via a shuttle service, the Regional Secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructure announced today.

According to Berta Cabral, the shuttle service will be free for residents and cost five euros for non-residents.

Today in Ponta Delgada, the governor signed the contract awarding the shuttle service to Atlanticoenergy.

The shuttle service to Lagoa do Fogo will depart from Caldeira Velha, in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, and arrive at Casa da Água, in Lagoa, before heading in the opposite direction.

On the way, the shuttle will pass by six tourist attractions, added Berta Cabral.

According to the regional secretary, this transport will operate on a “hop on hop off” system, covering around 14 kilometers, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., every day of the week, including national, regional and municipal holidays, until September 30.

Berta Cabral also announced that tickets will be purchased via a digital platform and that rental cars will no longer be used on the road between Caldeira Velha (Ribeira Grande) and Casa da Água (Lagoa).

The aim is for these rental vehicles to park in the region’s existing parking lots and for passengers to use the shuttle bus to get to Lagoa do Fogo.

She added that the Caldeira Velha parking lot (101 spaces) and the parking lot next to Casa da Água (60 spaces) have been increased by 30 spaces each.

Use of the parking lot at the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint (48 spaces) will remain free for the first 20 minutes and chargeable for subsequent periods.

Berta Cabral indicated that the concession was for three years and that the base price was around 453,000 euros, but the operating company presented a figure of 409,999,000 euros, plus VAT.

Asked whether the “shuttle” scheme was not reducing tourist pressure on the Lagoa do Fogo crater, to which there are several access trails, the Regional Secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructures felt that this access “must be disciplined” and that “it will have another way of being controlled by the Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change”, who will “find the best way of doing it”.

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