Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (2023)

Cape Verde comprises ten islands, but Sal Island is perhaps the best-known destination in this African country.

I traveled around this tiny island for a week, from north to south, east to west, to discover its main attractions.

If you are looking for a beach destination where you can practice several water sports, explore jeep tracks, eat delicious dishes, and socialize with one of the friendliest African people in the world, then read on!

SAL ISLAND ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE

  1. 1. Getting to know Sal Island
  2. 2. What to do in Sal
    • → Visit the salt pans of Pedra de Lume
    • → Horseback riding through the salt pans near Santa Maria
    • → Surfing in Ponta Preta
    • → Beach walking at Ponta do Sinó
    • → Learn to kitesurf
    • → Watch the fish selling at Santa Maria Pier
    • → Buy handicrafts on 1 de Junho
  3. Santa Maria must-try activities
    • → Walk among sharks at Shark Bay
    • → Visit the port of Palmeira
    • → Diving at Buracona
    • → Climb to the Espargos Viewpoint
    • → Go jeep touring to Monte Leão
    • → Bathing in Calheta Funda
  4. 3. Taste the flavors of Cape Verde
  5. 4. Where to stay on the island
  6. 5. How to get there and around
  7. 6. Last note

1. Getting to know Sal Island

As I said at the beginning of this travel guide, Sal Island is one of the ten islands that are part of Cape Verde.

Being one of the smallest, with a total surface area of 216 km², it doesn’t take many days to get to know the island’s main attractions.

The landscape is dry and even somewhat desolate, caused by its proximity to the African continent and its exposure to the strong winds that bring the sands of the Sahara desert.

The island of Sal remained uninhabited until the 19th century when salt extraction operations began in Pedra de Lume.

Despite its volcanic origin — you will get this perception further down when I tell you about Pedra do Lume — Sal is a relatively flat island. The highest elevation is Monte Grande, which reaches 405.3 m of altitude.

Other facts to keep in mind:

  • Sal has 39,000 inhabitants (according to a forecast by Cape Verde’s National Institute of Statistics);
  • Official language is Portuguese, although the local dialect, criollo, is also spoken;
  • Currency is the Cape Verdean escudo, but most prices also appear in euros;
  • The four most populated localities on Sal Island are Espargos, Santa Maria and Palmeira.

2. What to do in Sal

On such a small island, you’d think there wouldn’t be many things to do. But Sal offers many activities, even more, if you are a water sports lover.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (2)

Visit the salt pans of Pedra de Lume

It can be said that Pedra de Lume was at the base of the settlement of Sal. The island was discovered in 1460 and remained uninhabited until 1796, when Manuel António Martins, a wealthy merchant, began exploring salt in that place, and the island started to be inhabited.

The beginning of the history of Pedra de Lume and the salt exploitation in that territory is the same as that of so many other African regions (and not only), built based on slave and exploited labor, of which nobody is proud today.

Infrastructures later created there resulted in an industrialized society with its most significant expression at the beginning of the 20th century. The construction of a long cable car, mechanical mills, and a power plant, among others, were some of those structures.

Pedra de Lume has a sus generis scenario. Located inside the crater of an extinct volcano, the white and pink color of the saline waters contrasts with the brown and dry landscape surrounding it.

The old cable car structures still stand imposing on the site and indicate the way to go when leaving the main road towards the entrance to the mine.

Today the place is oriented towards tourism, as this is one of the island’s main attractions. For this reason, entrance is paid. Inside, a small complex consists of a bar/shop and a spa area, with a shower and chairs for resting and enjoying the view.

(Video) Travel Guide to Sal, Cape Verde | TUI

The salt pans can be visited along the path that crosses them or around them by the shore, but bathing in that water is the most significant appeal. The sensation of floating in the saltwater is extraordinary, very similar to the experience you can have in the Dead Sea in the Middle East.

| Tip

🐟 Experience the natural beauty of Sal Island on a private half-day trip with a local guide: swim in Salt lake and admire lemon sharks in their natural habitat

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (3)

Horseback riding through the salt pans near Santa Maria

On an island with its name “Sal” — the Portuguese word for “salt” —, it’s natural that the salt pans of Pedra de Lume are not the only ones in this Cape Verdean territory. A few kilometers north of Santa Maria is the Costa da Fragata Natural Reserve, which also has a salt mine complex that is now inactive. This protected landscape can be visited by car via a dirt track (stick to the marked route and don’t go off-roading since it’s in a protected area), but I suggest you go horseback riding here.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (4)

→ Surfing in Ponta Preta

When it comes to surfing in Cape Verde, Ponta Preta, on Sal Island, is one of the country’s ex-libris.

It’s a wave that runs long and perfect to the right, on rock bottom and crystal clear water.

Eventually, you can follow the shore from Santa Maria on a long walk that goes beyond 30 minutes. But if you want to get there faster, the way is through the resorts by jeep along a dirt track.

The wave can go from 150 to 300 m in length, but unfortunately, when I was there, there was no swell, even though this place is indicated as a frequently working wave.

🏄Time to catch a wave

Sal is probably the best place to learn surfing. You can do it in a group or one-on-one with the trainer – it’s up to you!

Book the lesson here

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (5)

Beach walking at Ponta do Sinó

And since we are talking about the way to Ponta Preta, if you go by the seaside, part of it is done by Ponta do Sinó.

This is an extensive stretch of sand that serves as the beachfront for numerous resorts on Sal and is also the southernmost point on the island.

Passing even a little unnoticed, since it doesn’t present the format we are used to, is the Ponta do Sinó Lighthouse. This structure was built in 1892 and reaches a height of 9 meters.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (6)

Learn to kitesurf

Besides being a surfing destination, Sal Island is, without a doubt, a paradise for wind sports lovers, especially windsurfing or kitesurfing.

I confirmed this on my trip, with the wind being a constant throughout my stay.

The potential of this place for these activities is undeniable and, for this reason, there are plenty of learning centers and equipment rental along the beaches. So, if you want to try a new water and wind sport, this is the place to get your first lesson.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (7)
Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (8)

Watch the fish selling at Santa Maria Pier

It’s funny that before I read anything about Santa Maria Pier, I was drawn to that place while walking through the town center. The constant coming and going calls to us, and we have to go and see up close what is going on.

From young men carving stone and turning it into little white turtles, to the girl building bracelets made of shells, to the boy playing Cape Verdean sounds on his guitar, and, in the end, the fish vendors taking the scales off the fish that has just been brought in by the boats that pull up to the jetty. The atmosphere is frenetic and makes you feel the local culture.

(Video) SAL, CAPE VERDE - Travel Guide in 4K + Drone - English

Travel Tip

Underneath Santa Maria Pier, near its pillars, thousands of fish gather. Grab a snorkeling mask and go take a look!

🤿 Take the guided snorkeling tour and enjoy the underwater world under the professional’s control

Book the activity

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (9)

Buy handicrafts on 1 de Junho

It’s the commercial street in Santa Maria, and it’s even closed to car traffic, so it’s an excellent place to stroll and see “how the fashions go” on Sal Island.

Look for stores selling local handicrafts such as bags, fabrics, dresses, t-shirts and scarves with the colors and patterns that so characterize Cape Verde. But also look at the art workshops with pieces by local artists or the woodwork stores. In the latter, which range from sculptures to masks, you’ll probably not find anything from Cape Verde but from other African countries.

As you are in the commercial street, it’s natural that you will be approached by vendors trying to attract customers into their stores.

Santa Maria must-try activities

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (10)

Walk among sharks at Shark Bay

Yes, you read that right, walk. Shark Bay is about 10 minutes by jeep from Pedra de Lume, and here you can get very close to the tiny reef sharks.

This bay is another of the island’s tourist attractions, and a local business has developed there.

Upon arrival, we are approached by “guides” who offer to take us to see the sharks in exchange for whatever we want to give them. In reality, they are a group of young people who make a living from this activity and, in my experience, they are super friendly. A friendliness that, by the way, characterizes Cape Verdeans.

If we don’t have any, they provide proper shoes and then lead to the middle of the lagoon with water that reaches your knees. For those who have more difficulty or are not used to walking on the reef, the guides help make the path and prevent greater instability.

Once we arrive at the spot, the guide then throws bait into the water, and soon the lemon sharks come to us, and we can observe and feel them around us.

The lemon shark can reach up to 3 meters, but here we can observe the young that remain in shallower depths for several years before venturing into deeper waters. Of course, it goes without saying that they are harmless animals, but we must respect them because we are their guests.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (11)

Visit the port of Palmeira

It can be said that Palmeira is the third most crucial town in Sal, but some consider it the first since it has a large port where the most important boats arrive on the island.

This port bustles with activity, not only with the arrival of ships bringing essential goods for the population but also with local fishing boats or the sailboats of those discovering the various islands of Cape Verde or who arrive there as a gateway to the African continent. Some also take a boat to tour the nearest island, Boa Vista.

Next to this port, you’ll find Esplanada Roterdão, a typical restaurant, perfect for eating fresh fish or the lobster of your life. But to learn more, take a look at my article about the best restaurants on Sal Island. (note: it’s still to be written, but stay tuned!)

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (12)
Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (13)

Diving at Buracona

Another of Sal’s great attractions and one I enjoyed visiting the most.

(Video) SAL ISLAND Travel Guide: Things To Do - Cape Verde (4K)

Buracona is in the north of the island, 5 km from Palmeira. On the road leading there, you will find several arrows indicating the way, but be prepared because it’s the most irregular route I took by jeep during my trip to Sal Island.

So much so that halfway through, I started to question if it was worth the effort… it was totally worth it!

Buracona is a bay that is part of a protected landscape area and is distinguished by two attractions: a large natural pool and the so-called “Blue Eye”. The latter is a natural pool that creates a strong blue colour effect in the water below as the sunlight passes through the hole in the rock.

This effect is generated around noon and lasts until two in the afternoon. Unfortunately, given the time of year and the sun’s direction, I could only see half of the effect on the water, but it gave me a sense of it.

For me, the best part of this visit was enjoying the large natural pool. Here, the luck factor was in my favor, since, when the sea is big, the waves invade it, and it is impossible to bathe. However, this was not the case the day I was there when the sea was smaller, and the sun was shining.

The Buracona area has yet another curiosity: reconstitution of the ten islands that make up Cape Verde. Again, Sal has a particular highlight, with a platform to see the prominent landforms and towns from above.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (14)

Climb to the Espargos Viewpoint

Espargos is not exactly the most attractive place to visit since it’s the most densely populated village on the island. However, follow the arrows that indicate the viewpoint and lead to the highest point of that location. There you’ll have a clear view, not only of Espargos but also of its surroundings.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (15)

Travel Tip

Go to the Espargos Municipal Market to see the paintings outside the building. They are representations of the local vendors, and they are amazing!

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (16)

Go jeep touring to Monte Leão

On the west coast of Sal Island, we find Monte Leão, a hill that follows us on the horizon whenever we take the road from Santa Maria to Espargos.

But the exciting thing about this area is to get to know it close to the sea, and for that, you have to choose dirt tracks only made by jeep.

The idea is to enter through the town of Murdeira and go north along the coast up to Monte Leão. This is also a great surfing area, so stay alert for good waves. 😉

When you get to Monte Leão, you can either turn back or continue on your way, first to Fontona and then to Palmeira.

Travel Tip

I used the Maps.me app to guide me through the dirt trails I traveled with the jeep during the trip. Download the map of Sal and keep an eye on all the traced paths it shows.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (17)

Bathing in Calheta Funda

Calheta Funda is a small bay 5 km from Santa Maria, and you may well find it deserted most of the time. It is not easily accessible, and it is definitely advisable to make your way there by jeep. But once you arrive, and if there are no waves, you will find a paradise for swimming.

I didn’t have time to go snorkeling, but I think this may well be an ideal place to do it. However, take the proper precautions if you go swimming. As I said, this is an unguarded and fairly deserted spot, far from the nearest town, so be careful.

(Video) TOP 5 Things you MUST DO in Cape Verde | Sal 🇨🇻 Travel Guide 2019

3. Taste the flavors of Cape Verde

Going to Sal and not trying the typical local dish is unthinkable! I’m talking about the famous cachupa, of course. This Cape Verdean bean stew has gained fame abroad, and for a good reason. Ask for a “Cachupa Rica”, and a very complete dish arrives on the table that combines local vegetables such as beans, corn, or sweet potatoes, as well as sausages, chicken, and even fish.

The best cachupa I ate were at Café Criolo in Santa Maria and Nortenhah in Espargos.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (19)

4. Where to stay on the island

There’s no shortage of lodging options on Sal Island. Being one of the most sought after destinations in Cape Verde, resorts and hotels multiply in Santa Maria, the most touristic place on the island and the one to stay.

Depending on how much you want to spend, you can opt for a large hotel, on the beachfront, or for a more modest accommodation, in the town’s interior.

Let Santa Maria serve as a starting point to get to know all the other places of interest on Sal.

5. How to get there and around

Arrival on Sal is by plane, landing at the Amilcar Cabral International Airport. Ideally, you should rent a car before your arrival so that when you land, you have it waiting for you.

Be sure to rent a jeep if you intend to discover the island independently. Except for the main road that connects Espargos to Santa Maria, the rest of the routes are mostly dirt roads, and many of them require four-wheel drive.

If you don’t want to go around the island yourself, you can take a cab from the airport to your hotel. Then, you can always visit the sights through tours with local operators.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (20)

6. Last note

My last note in this travel guide for Sal Island goes to its inhabitants. These Cape Verdeans conquered me by their friendliness and good mood. Always ready to help, they proved to be the perfect hosts.

Our car got stuck in the sand, and soon someone showed up to help us; The hotel where we stayed gave us a room to rest while we waited for the time to go to the airport (the flight from Sal to Portugal left at 1 am);

Dear Sofia, a born saleswoman, made the souvenirs I brought have even more meaning.

The Cape Verdeans from Sal are used to a very high level of tourism, and that’s not why they stop being friendly, even without receiving anything in return.

Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (21)
Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (22)

Now it’s your turn! Share in the comments box below what you think of this guide.

If you have been to Sal, share your experience, and if you have never gone there, tell me if it’s a destination you would like to visit one day.

As always, my work is even more valuable if it reaches more travelers, so please share this post on your social media. Spread the word!

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Sal Island — A complete guide of one of the best destinations in Cape Verde (23)
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(Video) A Water Wellness Guide to the Island of Sal, Cape Verde

FAQs

Which is the better island to visit in Cape Verde? ›

Sal. Sunny, salty and sandy Sal is Cape Verde's most popular island for visitors, who come for the gorgeous beaches and watersports (surfing and diving in particular). The distinctive landscape also features the Pedra de Lume salt pans and Buracona with its natural swimming pools and underwater caves.

What is Sal Island known for? ›

Sal is a tourist destination with white sandy beaches and over 350 days of sunshine a year. It is one of the three sandy eastern islands of the Cape Verde archipelago in the central Atlantic Ocean, 350 mi (560 km) off the west coast of Africa.

Can you walk around in Sal? ›

SAFETY - Sal is generally a safe place, but growing tourism often leads to a rise in petty crime. Take the usual precautions of not leaving valuables lying around while you go in the sea or carrying large amounts of cash. Santa Maria is safe to walk around during the day and night.

What is the most beautiful island in Cabo Verde? ›

10 Best Cape Verde Islands
  • Maio[SEE MAP]
  • Santa Luzia[SEE MAP]
  • Brava[SEE MAP]
  • Sao Nicolau[SEE MAP]
  • Fogo[SEE MAP]
  • Santo Antao[SEE MAP]
  • Sao Vicente[SEE MAP]
  • Santiago[SEE MAP]
Dec 17, 2022

Which is the safest island in Cape Verde? ›

Santo Antao is extremely safe. It is said that Santiago and Fogo less so, you must be somewhat careful in Praia (but no need for paranoia).

What time of year is best to visit Cape Verde? ›

The best time to visit Cape Verde is between November and June – at this time of year, you can make the most of the white-sand beaches the islands are known for. The temperatures sit around the mid-to-high twenties, and there's hardly any rain.

Which is the best area to stay in Cape Verde? ›

Best Places to stay in Cape Verde
  • Santa Maria (Island of Sal) (Main tourist destination) Luxury hotels, beaches, best base to explore the Island of Sal. ...
  • Sal Rei (Island of Boa Vista) ...
  • Mindelo (Island of Sao Vicente) ...
  • Tarrafal (Island of Santiago) ...
  • Praia (Island of Santiago)

Can you swim at Sal Cape Verde? ›

Starting with the most popular beach across the archipelago, Santa Maria Beach is found right at the southernmost tip of Sal and is a long, crescent-shaped bay of soft golden sand with calm, azure waters, ideal for swimming.

Is Sal nice in Cape Verde? ›

A beautiful place to relax and have fun

Sal Island is one of the main tourist destinations in Cape Verde. Its long beaches, mild climate and warm waters delight anyone who loves sun and sea tourism. However, for those wanting to explore, there is much more to do on Sal Island.

Why can't you swim in the sea in Cape Verde? ›

Natural hazards in Cape Verde

Tremors from eruptions can be felt on the islands of Brava and Santo Antão as well. The volcanoes on the remaining islands appear to be inactive. Most natural hazards are in the sea. Rip currents are one of the chief dangers of swimming in the waters surrounding Cape Verde.

Do you need malaria tablets for Cape Verde? ›

Malaria precautions are essential. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. Low to no risk areas: antimalarial tablets are not normally advised.

What is the etiquette in Cape Verde? ›

Etiquette. Cape Verdeans are an extremely generous and hospitable people. Even the poorest take pride in presenting guests with a meal. It is considered rude to eat in front of others without sharing, and for this reason one does not eat in a public setting such as on the street or on a bus.

What is the difference between Cape Verde and Cabo Verde? ›

It's Cabo Verde across the West African archipelago where Portuguese and Creole are the languages. It's known as Cape Verde in the English-speaking world. It's Kap Verde in Finland, Sweden, and Germany.

Can you island hop in Cape Verde? ›

Island Hopping in Cape Verde. Island hopping is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and diversity of Cape Verde's breathtaking archipelago.

Which island in Cape Verde has the best beaches? ›

Sal. Sal* is the undisputed main island when it comes to Cape Verde's visitor-friendly beaches. Sal means the town of Santa Maria, the booming resort that's nearly dropping off the island's southern tip and is rimmed with gorgeous white sands.

Can you drink tap water in Cape Verde? ›

Avoid freshwater lakes and rivers to prevent risk of these illnesses. It's also possible you'll get diarrhea from drinking water or from just not being used to the microbes in Cape Verde. In case you cannot find bottled water, bring iodine tablets and portable water filters so you can purify tap water.

Is Cape Verde safe for American tourists? ›

Praia – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Violent crime, such as burglary, armed robbery, and assault, occurs in Praia.

What is the hottest month in Cape Verde? ›

Those visiting Cape Verde through the Autumn will experience a more tropical climate and September and October are the two warmest months on the islands, providing temperatures between 26 and 28°C, with average daily maximum temperatures as high as 29°C or 30°C over the period.

How many days are enough for Cape Verde? ›

Two weeks allows you to visit four islands, or even five for the fastest. It is possible to spend 5 days on the islands of São Vicente and Santo Antão, then 5 to 6 days on those of Santiago and Fogo.

What is the cheapest month to go to Cape Verde? ›

Prices for those can vary enormously. Fares dip slightly from June to August and in December, the optimum times for cheap trips to Cape Verde. Last-minute summer deals are also common.

What is the rainiest month in Cape Verde? ›

September is the rainiest month of the year in Cape Verde, so perhaps not the best month to travel if you're looking for uninterrupted sunshine. It is, however the hottest, with average highs of 30°C.

What is the most popular food in Cape Verde? ›

Cachupa, a stew, is considered the national dish of Cape Verde which includes mashed maize, onions, green bananas, manioc, sweet potatoes, squash and yams. Manioc balls are one of the most common in Cape Verde.

What airlines fly to Cape Verde? ›

Popular airlines flying to Cape Verde
  • TAP Portugal.
  • TUI Airways.
  • Royal Air Maroc.
  • SATA Air Acores.
  • TUI fly Deutschland.
  • Air Senegal.
  • TUI fly Belgium.
  • Neos Air.

Can you brush your teeth with the water in Cape Verde? ›

We had a filter on our American fridge freezer in Spain for drinking water and was just fine. In Cape Verde they have a de sal equipment so you should be OK to at least brush your teath. As I said get your bottled water to drink from your hotel bar or cooler.

Will my phone work in Cape Verde? ›

When you're abroad your phone will receive calls and texts as normal, but to make calls when abroad, you'll need to check you've got an international dialling code as part of the number.

Do you get mosquitoes in Cape Verde? ›

Vaccination. It's recommended to take a vaccine against hepatitis There are no mosquitoes in Cape Verde islands so you don't need to take Malaria medicine / vaccine as in other African countries.

What currency should I take to Sal Cape Verde? ›

The Cape Verde Escudo is tied to the euro at CV Esc 110.265 = 1 Euro. Banks will exchange hard currencies. Large hotels and restaurants accept some credit cards and payment in euros.

Is the sea warm in Sal Cape Verde? ›

The warmest water temperature is in October with an average around 80.2°F / 26.8°C. The coldest month is April with an average water temperature of 72.5°F / 22.5°C.

What is the best currency for Sal Cape Verde? ›

The escudo is fixed at a rate of 110 escudos to 1 euro and euros are widely accepted across the island, so it may be worth converting your travel money to euros before you leave to guarantee good rates once you get there.

What should I pack for Cape Verde? ›

Pack a fleece and long trousers for the evenings. Take shorts for the daytime. The islands are very casual so we suggest that you pack as little as possible, but do include a pair of trainers and a day pack if you want to explore.

Do you need mosquito repellent in Cape Verde? ›

Insect repellent – while there is no malaria present in Cape Verde (with the exception of Santiago from September to November), we recommend taking insect repellent to help avoid annoying insect bites.

Are there sea snakes in Cape Verde? ›

The island has five mammals out of which three are threatened, 75 species of birds including 2 threatened species, 19 reptiles, 132 varieties of fish species including one threatened species. However, the islands do not have snakes and large mammals.

What to avoid in Cape Verde? ›

SAFETY TIPS TO REMEMBER IN CABO VERDE

Don't walk in public places with valuable jewellery and keep your important documents in a safe place. Keep away from children wandering the streets as they are often the criminals in these crimes. If possible, avoid crowded places and markets.

Do they speak English in Cape Verde? ›

Language in Cape Verde

The official language is Portuguese. Creole is spoken by most of the inhabitants. Some English, French, German and Spanish are widely spoken.

Do you need cash in Cape Verde? ›

Card payments are not very common in Cape Verde and can only be found in large restaurants, most hotels and a few shops. Cash is very important when you travel to Cape Verde. Where cards are accepted it is only Visa and Mastercard.

Is it safe to go out at night in Cape Verde? ›

Avoid unlit areas after dark. Petty crimes e.g. pick-pocketing or handbag snatching can occur, including on beaches. Make sure your holiday accommodation is secure. Lock all doors and windows at night and when you go out.

Can you go out at night in Cape Verde? ›

Cape Verde is famous for its love of music and relaxed lifestyle. Nightlife in Cape Verde is low key but there is more than enough to keep you entertained. The main nightlife centre for tourists is the town of Santa Maria on the Island of Sal.

What should I wear in Boa Vista Cape Verde? ›

Our advice would be to travel light, and we mean really light – all you need during the day is beachwear, and for the evenings again keep it light and simple. All year round wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat. Take insect/mosquito repellent too.

Is Cape Verde like the Caribbean? ›

A stunning volcanic island chain, Cape Verde comprises 10 islands and five islets 310 miles off the coast of West Africa. It could be likened to parts of the Caribbean thanks to the year-round sunshine and gorgeous golden sands.

Is Cape Verde part of Africa or Portugal? ›

In 1951, Cape Verde was incorporated as an overseas department of Portugal, but its inhabitants continued to campaign for independence, which they achieved in 1975. Since the early 1990s, Cape Verde has been a stable representative democracy and has remained one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa.

Is Cape Verde in Africa or Caribbean? ›

Cape Verde or CV (Portuguese: Cabo Verde, Kriolu: Kabu Verdi) is a country in West Africa. It is located in a cluster of islands of the Atlantic Ocean, 570 km (350 mi) off the western coast of Senegal.

Do American citizens need visa for Cape Verde? ›

Do I Need a Visa for Cape Verde? Yes. Cape Verde requires that all US citizens have a visa to enter the country. A single entry visa that is valid for up to 90 days is available as is a multiple entry visa that is valid for five years.

Can you visit other islands from Sal Cape Verde? ›

There is a ferry service between all the Islands; https://www.cvinterilhas.cv/home Some islands you can reach on daily basis other ones only a few times or once a week. Or you can take a plane; https://caboverdeairlines.com/ or https://www.bintercanarias.com/eng. The ferry from/to Sal is not frequent at all.

Is Cape Verde a party island? ›

Cape Verde is definitely the destination for you. Especially in the islands of Sal, São Vicente and Santiago, and partly also in Boavista, you will find many places for enjoy of Cape Verde nightlife, dance and listen to live music.

Can you swim in Cape Verde beaches? ›

Praia da Laginha is a small beach on the north coast of Sāo Vicente island in Cape Verde. This picturesque little beach is home to some of the best beach swimming in Cape Verde; the calm, tranquil nature of the sea makes it easy to swim in for even the most precautious of swimmers.

What is the beach like at Sal Cape Verde? ›

With white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, beaches in Sal, Cape Verde are a haven for water and sand lovers looking for a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Can you swim in sea at Boa Vista? ›

Safest Swimming Beach in Boavista

The island protects swimmers from the big waves usually found on the beaches of the hotel resorts on the rest of the island so you are able to swim at leisure and enjoy the tropical sea.

What is the main island in Cape Verde? ›

The largest island in the archipelago and home to Praia, Cape Verde's capital, Santiago is an island rich in culture and eclectic history.

Can you travel between islands in Cape Verde? ›

Between islands

There are plenty of ferry services between the islands of Cape Verde, especially between São Vicente and Santo Antão, and between Fogo and Brava. Flights are often the quickest way to get between the islands, but can be much more expensive than travelling by ferry.

Can I swim in the sea at Sal Cape Verde? ›

Starting with the most popular beach across the archipelago, Santa Maria Beach is found right at the southernmost tip of Sal and is a long, crescent-shaped bay of soft golden sand with calm, azure waters, ideal for swimming.

Is it expensive in Cape Verde? ›

A vacation to Cape Verde for one week usually costs around CVE100,751 for one person. So, a trip to Cape Verde for two people costs around CVE201,502 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs CVE403,003 in Cape Verde.

Can you walk around in Cape Verde? ›

You can book yourself a private guide to show you around, or if you're a confident walker, you can just head on out and start exploring! Make sure you take a camera, there's so many picture-perfect moments on this island. Find out more about Santo Antão.

What is the difference between Boa Vista and Sal? ›

While Sal is known for its bustling resort town, Boa Vista takes a more laid-back approach to holidays in Cape Verde.

How do you get around the island in Cape Verde? ›

Getting around in Cape Verde

The easiest way to get around is to fly with local airline TACV. However, flights get overbooked, and travelling without an advance reservation is unreliable. The (far cheaper) alternative is ferries. While safe and reliable, crossings can be rough.

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