7 Places to Visit in Cape Verde

Sandy beaches, beautiful landscape, hospitable people, the bluest of water, and you have Cape Verde. Ranked and delivering as one of the most beautiful places on earth, Cape Verde has a rich history and beautiful scenery which attracts people from all walk of life to enjoy what it offers. Do you feel like Cape Verde is the next destination for you? below is what you need to know about it and seven places you can visit


History of Cape Verde

Cape Verde is an island country located on the west side of Cap-Vert in the central Atlantic Ocean. It consists of ten islands, nine of which are inhabited by people. The capital city Praia is on Santiago, the largest and most populous island.

Cape Verde islands were discovered and colonized by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, and the country gained its independence from Portugal in 1975.

The country got its name from the Cap-Vert peninsula, which is on the coast of Senegal. The Portuguese explorers named the Cap-Vert peninsula Cabo Verde (meaning green cape) before discovering the islands. Interestingly, in 2013, its official name became the Republic of Cabo Verde.

The location of the country made it ideal for the Atlantic slave trade, and it was prosperous. After the slave trade was abolished, the country went into an economic crisis, from which it recovered by focusing on tourism. It remained an important commercial center because of its location, straddling shipping lines in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.


Cape Verde Currency

The currency of the country is the Cape Verdean Escudo. The exchange rate of the Escudo to the Euro is 109.99 CVE to 1 Euro. The Euro is also an acceptable currency in the island country.


Cape Verde is an archipelago (i.e., a cluster of islands) in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are divided into two main groups namely: the Bartavento islands (Santo Antao, Sao Vincente, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau and Boa Vista)and the Sotavento islands(Maio, Santiago, Fogo ,and Brava). Barlavento means windward, while sotavento means leeward.

The islands have two seasons: the wind season (October to the middle of July) and the rainy season (August to September). The Bartavento islands are cooler than the Sotavento islands that can be quite hot.

People and Languages

The Women of Cape Verde

The people of this tropical paradise are a mixture of various ethnic groups and races due to migration. However, it is noteworthy that in this island country, racial discrimination does not exist. The people are friendly and hospitable.

Cape Verdeans love to celebrate, and they have lots of festivals characterized by lots of music, singing, dancing, foods, and beautiful clothing. Their celebrations are usually exuberant.

The official language of Cape Verde is Portuguese. However, each of the islands has its dialect. The main native language spoken by virtually all the people in Cape Verdean is creole or kriolu, and it was derived mainly from Portuguese, European, and African languages.


Cachupa: A Delicacy of the Cape Verde People

The main foods of Cape Verdean cuisine are corn, beans, rice, and cassava. Many of these delicacies are seafood-related. For example, they have the Baga da buzio Cabra.

A common beverage in Cape Verde is grogue. This intoxicating drink is made from distilled sugarcane. It can be sweetened with milk or molasses.

Surprisingly, they have a national food called Cachupa. This is prepared from mashed corn, unripe bananas, sweet potatoes, squash, cassava, and yams.

Travel Requirement and Cost

Travel Requirement and Cost to Cape Verde

A visa and a valid international passport (6 months validity after the travel date) are required to visit Cape Verde. Visa can be obtained from the Cape Verde embassy or consulate in your country before traveling. The cost of the visa is around 40 Euros. Cheap flights are usually available from the UK to Cape Verde.

Hotel Accommodation

The RIU Hotels Cape Verde

There are hotels and guesthouses on all nine islands. The cost of lodging depends on your budget and the quality of hospitality you want.

The cost of lodging in small guest houses can be in the range of 20-40 euros. You can also get hotel rooms from between 40 to 200 Euros. It is recommended that visitors try to stay in hotels that have easy access to the beach.


Places to Visit in Cape Verde

  • Sal Islands

The Sal Islands

This is the sunniest of the nine islands of Cabo Verde. The island got its name from salt mining, a major activity on Sal’s island in the past. You can enjoy a curative salt bath for a fee, and showers are available thereafter.

The island is ideal for tourists because of its international airport and various impressive tourist projects. In the island interior, in the town of Espargos, there are facilities that can cater to the needs of tourists. There are deluxe hotel complexes with standard European hospitality, guest houses, bars, restaurants, banks, a health center, and various stores.

The island is also ideal for those who enjoy surfing and diving. It is blessed with sprawling sandy beaches, making it an ideal location for a standard beach holiday. The best time to engage in this activity is from November to June, when strong trade wind blows on the ocean.

There are also fantastic caves and reefs underwater that divers can explore and enjoy. You can also engage in waterskiing or take riding programs.

  • Boa Vista

Boa Vista

Boa Vista means beautiful view when translated to English, and this island lives up to its name. Boa Vista has a beautiful landscape that is characterized by pure sandy beaches and awesome dunes. The island is one of the largest of the Cape Verde islands, and the people are friendly and pleasant.

The Praca de Santa Isabel is the main plaza on the island capital Sal Rei. There you can admire and purchase souvenirs like colorful batiks, carved wood figures, etc.

There are also some beautiful structures to see and places to tour on the island of Boa Vista. For example, you have the old harbor quay, the small island of Illheu de sal Rei, the ruins of the Nossa Senhora de Fatima Chapel, Povoacao Velha (the oldest settlement in Boa Vista about 500 years old), etc.

They are lots of activities you can enjoy on this beautiful island. These include swimming, windsurfing, and snorkeling. You can also walk around the beach and experience the breathtaking task of newly hatched sea turtles make their way to the ocean.

  • Santiago Island

Santiago Island

Santiago is the biggest of the nine islands of Cape Verde, and it hosts more than 50 percent of the Cape Verde population. This island is gifted with diversity. There are sandy beaches, mountains, valleys, and plateau. This fertile island is also the home of the oldest and hugest tree of Cape Verde, which is about 500 years old!

Being the center of the slave trade in the past, Santiago is influenced by African culture. This is evident in music styles like funaná and batuco.

If you enjoy sightseeing, you can visit the food market, the Palace of Justice, the Presidential Palace, the Parliament building, and the old town fortress of Bateria. You can also get souvenirs like African fabric, traditional handcrafts, and national dishes from the Mercado de Sucupira, among must-see places.

The island has mountain ranges that are good for climbing or hiking. Beaches are also available for lovers of swimming. You can enjoy a pleasant weekend swimming at the bay in Tarrafai and watch boats disembark at the fishing harbor.

A visit to Santiago is not complete without visiting the Cidade da Ribeira Grande de Santiago, which is on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list. Here you will see structures that attest to Cape Verde being the center of the slave trade before it was abolished.


  • Sao Vincente

Sao Vincente

This island is the cultural center of Cape Verde. More than 80 percent of the island residents live in Mindelo, which is considered the birthplace of many music styles. You can visit clubs and some restaurants to watch traditional music performances such as Morna and Coladeira.

Sao Vincente has a breathtaking view, and you can experience it on the Monte Verde. Therefore, you will have a good view of the city and even see nearby islands.

The wind conditions on the beach in the southwest of the island are excellent for windsurfing. Other interesting activities one can enjoy in this part of the island include diving, sailing, deep-sea fishing. There is also a beautiful beach located in the northeast of the island. A bonus for tourists is the yearly music festival that takes place in this part of Sao Vincente.

  • Santo Antao

Santo Antao

This is the second-largest island of Cape Verde and it has rich vegetation, which includes tropical plants like mangoes, citrus, papaya, coconut, etc.

One of the few exciting things you can experience on San Antao is the ride from Porto Novo (the second largest city of Santo Antao Island) to Ribeira Grande (the island capital city) via the old road. This exciting route offers a beautiful view of the island from plateaus and mountain ranges.

Santo Antao is the home of the musical and dance style of Cola. In its capital city, you can enjoy a walk along with the food and clothing markets or browse through the small shops and restaurants.

There are accommodations ideal for hikers who wish to go on many different hiking routes in other parts of this island.

  • Sao Nicolau

Sao Nicolau

This island is pure work of nature with a mountain slope that is ideal for mountain climbing, hiking, and mountain biking. Here you can admire extraordinary rock formations while navigating through valleys and plateaus and steep mountain ridges.

A visit to the island of Sao Nicolau is indeed a lovely experience of nature. In its capital, there are picturesque and flamboyant ancient structures. Also, not from the capital is the Blue Hole, a hole in the cliffs with the ocean gushing beneath it. Another important place that should be on your visit short-list is the black sandy beach of Praia da Luz. The titanium and iodine content of the black sand is believed to cure joint diseases.

A visit to the largest harbor of the island in Tarrafal guarantees you access to the beach for swimming. There are shops and restaurants where you can enjoy the local cuisine. Again, a visit to the island of Sao Nicolau is indeed a lovely experience of nature.

  • Fogo


One of the iconic things on the volcanic island of Fogo is the highest point of elevation in Cape Verde: Pico de Fogo. However, that is not all. The island is enriched with beautiful landscapes, breathtaking views, and unusual things. For example, houses built with lava rocks are a common sight in some parts of Fogo island.

In the capital city of Sao Filipe, the lower city and upper city are separated by a long plaza.  From here, you can take a taxi ride to the volcano crater. There are also stairs through which you can gain access to the beach from the city.

If possible, another thing you wouldn’t want to miss is the Festas do Sao Filipe ( the celebration of the discovery of the island of Fogo). The celebration is exuberant with its horse races. However, to enjoy this, you should visit this island in May. You can also visit the little antiquated workshops located in the village to the north of the island that offer lessons in the island’s traditional lifestyle.



Cape Verde is a tourist paradise for lovers of nature, art, history, culture, and seafood. It has a particular feel to it, and you can get to experience this by visiting it. Enjoy the thrill of climbing or hiking on breathtaking mountain ranges, the company of the Cape Verdeans, and dance to beautiful music on the seven beautiful islands highlighted above.


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