Carro de Cesto: The traditional transport in FunchalMadeira Island News 

Carro de Cesto: The traditional transport in Funchal


Every year there are thousands of people who are left fascinated by the experience of sliding at high speed on traditional and unique ” Cars Cart ” , mainly tourists visiting the region.

Carro de Cesto

This type of car emerged around 1850 in Funchal . These cars are made by hand , with wicker and wood , and have two seats . Are driven and controlled by two paths (the name given to people who maneuver this car ), dressed in white and wearing straw hat on head skillfully use own boots with thick rubber soles , like brakes, as well as control the speed of the car with the help of ropes .

Madeira, an island known for its stunning landscapes and rich traditions, offers a unique and thrilling experience known as the Carro de Cesto, or wicker toboggan ride. This centuries-old tradition has become one of Madeira’s most iconic attractions, drawing visitors from around the world. This post will take you on a journey through the history, experience, and cultural significance of the Carro de Cesto, showcasing why it’s a must-try adventure for anyone visiting Madeira.

The journey between Funchal and Monte ( up to Deliverance ) , develops a distance of about 2 km and takes place in about 10 minutes, providing its users moments of pure emotion and adrenaline , reaching a maximum of 80 km / h.

The History of Carro de Cesto

The Carro de Cesto dates back to the 19th century when it was introduced as a means of transportation for locals and visitors to travel from the hilltop town of Monte down to Funchal. These wicker sleds, guided by skilled “Carreiros,” quickly became a popular and efficient way to navigate the steep slopes.

The Experience of Riding a Carro de Cesto

  1. The Setting: The ride begins in Monte, a picturesque town overlooking Funchal. The lush gardens and historic church add to the charm of the starting point.
  2. The Sleds: The Carro de Cesto is a wicker toboggan mounted on wooden runners. It’s designed to glide smoothly over the asphalt road, providing a comfortable yet thrilling ride.
  3. The Carreiros: Dressed in traditional white uniforms and straw hats, the Carreiros are skilled drivers who guide the sleds using ropes and their rubber-soled boots. Their expertise and friendly demeanor add to the experience.
  4. The Ride: The ride covers a distance of 2 kilometers, descending 400 meters in elevation. It’s a thrilling journey that offers breathtaking views and a unique perspective of Madeira’s landscapes.
  5. Safety: Safety is a priority, and the Carreiros are trained to ensure a secure and enjoyable ride. Helmets and other safety measures are in place for riders’ protection.

Cultural Significance

The Carro de Cesto is more than just a tourist attraction; it’s a symbol of Madeira’s heritage and a living tradition. It represents the island’s creativity, adaptability, and commitment to preserving its cultural identity.

Impact on Tourism and Local Economy

  1. Tourism: The Carro de Cesto ride is a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors to Monte and contributing to Madeira’s appeal as a unique travel destination.
  2. Local Economy: The ride supports the local economy by providing employment opportunities for Carreiros and promoting other local businesses and attractions.

The Carro de Cesto ride in Madeira is a one-of-a-kind experience that combines thrill, tradition, and cultural richness. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a lover of history and culture, the wicker toboggan ride offers a unique way to explore Madeira’s beauty and connect with its heritage. From the skilled Carreiros to the breathtaking views, every aspect of the ride promises a memorable adventure. Don’t miss the chance to glide down Madeira’s hills in a Carro de Cesto, embracing the island’s spirit and legacy.


  1. What is the Carro de Cesto in Madeira?

    The Carro de Cesto is a traditional wicker toboggan ride in Madeira, where riders glide down steep slopes from Monte to Funchal, guided by skilled drivers known as Carreiros.

  2. Where can I experience the Carro de Cesto ride?

    The ride starts in the town of Monte, located above Funchal, the capital of Madeira. You can reach Monte by cable car or other transportation means.

  3. Is the Carro de Cesto ride safe?

    Yes, safety is a priority, and the Carreiros are trained to ensure a secure ride. Helmets and other safety measures are in place for riders' protection.

  4. How long does the Carro de Cesto ride last?

    The ride covers a distance of 2 kilometers and typically lasts about 10 minutes.

  5. How much does the Carro de Cesto ride cost?

    The cost may vary, but as of recent information, it's around €30 per person.

  6. Can children take part in the Carro de Cesto ride?

    Yes, children can participate in the ride, but it's advisable to check with the operators for any specific age or height restrictions.

  7. What should I wear for the Carro de Cesto ride?

    Comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes are recommended for the ride.

  8. When is the best time to experience the Carro de Cesto?

    The Carro de Cesto operates year-round, weather permitting. It's best to check with local operators for specific hours and any seasonal variations.

  9. Is the Carro de Cesto ride a popular tourist attraction?

    Yes, the Carro de Cesto ride is one of Madeira's most iconic and popular attractions, drawing visitors from around the world.

  10. Can I book the Carro de Cesto ride in advance?

    Generally, advance booking is not required, but it may be possible to arrange a ride through tour operators or travel agencies.

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