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Exciting Things to do in Cape Verde
A destination that promises diversity and has something to appeal to every kind of traveler – Cape Verde or Cabo Verde located in the North Atlantic about 600 km off the extreme western tip of Africa is a cluster of 10 islands.
Cape Verde’s culture is equally eclectic, offering a vibrant mix of African, Portuguese, and Caribbean influences with a touch of Brazil and even maritime New England.
Each Cape Verde Island boasts a distinct landscape offering an individual experience. Santo Antao has rugged peaks hiding green valleys of flowers and sugar cane, ideal for epic hikes.
Sao Vicente is home to the cultural capital of the islands, Mindelo throbbing with bars and music clubs for a great nightlife. Sal and Maio have undulating windswept dunes merging with indigo-blue seas.
You will fall in love with this almost unknown archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
Important Facts when Traveling to Cape Verde
Languages: Portuguese, Cape Verde Creole is the mother tongue. English is semi-widely spoken.
Religion(s): Christianity (Catholic-Protestant)
Currency: Cape Verdean escudo
Climate: Subtropical makes year-round travel pleasant.
Power voltage + socket type(s): 230V, plug types F and C
Safety rating: International SOS has ranked Cape Verde as one of the safest tourist countries in the world.
Female solo travel: Cape Verde is famed for and the renowned morabeza (Creole for hospitality) of its people making it a carefree place for solo women travelers. It is one of the safest countries in West Africa.
Travel Insurance: Highly recommend as only spare medical services available. Read more about Cape Verde Travel Insurance.
Exclusive Download: Free Cape Verde Destination Guide + Packing List
Do I need a Visa to Travel to Cape Verde?
Fast Track: Get Cape Verde visa in advance
Every individual visiting Cape Verde needs to obtain a visa, unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries.
People visiting from the USA, Canada, and Australia need a visa to Cape Verde, while people traveling from the UK and other EU countries do not need a visa.
However, since January 2019, holders of a British passport can enter Cape Verde for a maximum of 30 days without a visa.
The visitors, before departure, need to register with the Cape Verde authorities on the EASE website and, if traveling by air, pay Airport Security Tax of 3.400 CVE (30 €). This does not apply to those under two years of age and those who are usually resident in Cape Verde.
Visitors can also apply for the visa on arrival, depending on the country of departure. Visitors traveling from the UK are eligible and it is advised to apply in advance as it takes up to 2 hours to process at the airport.
Types and Cost – Visitor visa cost is 45 €lus delivery charges, multiple entry visa is for 86,30 €. Tourist visas can also be purchased at one of Cape Verde’s international airports at 25 € which is valid for up to 30 days.
Accommodation in Cape Verde
Prices for accommodation in Cape Verde are considerably higher than in other areas of West Africa. There are no official campsites but it is possible to camp on remote beaches.
Sal and Boa Vista - Most resort hotels are included in the holiday package. Elsewhere, there are simple mid-range hotels as well as a few hostels. - Check resorts in Sal and Boa Vista
Santiago - has some of the best value accommodations. The simple, attractive bungalows cluster around palm groves set back from the main beach in Tarrafal. The bungalows here start from 35 €. - Check Hotels in Santiago
Fogo - On the island of Fogo, one can find a few good hotels and one of them is Hotel Residencial Savana ***. It has modest rooms with high ceilings and Juliet balconies, and the black volcanic rock decorations contrast sharply with the bright color scheme. The price starts from 40 €. - Check Hotels in Fogo
Mindelo has the best accommodation, the Casa Cafe Mindelo which is a French-run guesthouse with four rooms offering a mix of African art with contemporary décor. There’s also a café specializing in seafood. The price of this accommodation starts at 60 €. - Check Hotels in Mindelo
Read more: Where to stay in Cape Verde
Best Time to Visit Cape Verde
Cape Verde Islands is a year-round destination because it has a subtropical climate. The average annual temperatures range between 26°C and 30°C.
January is the perfect month to experience the mountainous islands of Fogo, Santo Antao, and Sao Nicolau. Thus, making Cape Verde a perfect winter holiday destination.
Visit Mindelo on Sao Vicente in February as it hosts one of the most important carnivals. There are daily events during the carnival season. Percussion and dance groups start rehearsing in early December.
Autumn and spring months are dry with very little rainfall, making them the best time to go to Cape Verde for sunny and dry weather.
Exclusive Download: Free Cape Verde Destination Guide + Packing List
Transportation in Cape Verde
Getting There – The main international airports are Amilcar Cabral (SID) on Sal and Praia-Francisco Mendes (RAI) 2 km from Praia. Direct flights come in from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and most parts of New Zealand. - Check flights to Cape Verde
Getting Around – Traveling between the islands is fairly easy and convenient. Several options exist for tourists with various budgets. Binter Airlines is the main domestic airline to travel from one island to another. - Check rates for inter-island flights with Binter
To travel by sea, you may use the daily ferry service (far cheaper) that runs between Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.
Car hire is also available on all main islands as well as African minibusses are also there which will pick you up and drop you off where you like.
Food in Cape Verde
Locally caught fresh fish and seafood are available throughout the Cape Verde Islands. If you want to taste the traditional dish then cachupa is the one to relish.
It is a vegetable stew but is also served with meat or fish. Bacalau, dried salted cod is another traditional food you can try.
Port city of Mindelo has great cafes, meet here for coffee in the daytime and in the evening it is excellent for caipirinhas priced at 3 €. These cafes also offer hearty French-accented meals at very reasonable prices.
Sao Vicente has open-air bar-restaurants very popular with evening drinkers with its frequent live music performances and is a prime spot for fish-eating starting for 7 €.
Portuguese wine and beer, Sagres and Super Bock are available all over Cape Verde.
Best Things to Do in Cape Verde
Holidays to Cape Verde offer rewarding and exciting experiences, allowing holidaymakers to enjoy a range of different holiday types. There are innumerable things to do in Cape Verde.
Chill on the Beach – Relaxing on the beach is the best thing to do in Cape Verde. There are several great coastal spots to choose from, but among the finest are Santa Maria Beach on Sal, Praia de Chaves and Santa Monica on Boa Vista.
Go Snorkeling – Cape Verde Island offers many diving and snorkeling options. The best places to experience snorkeling are on the island of Sal and there are many opportunities for this activity on Santa Maria Beach. - Book snorkeling tours in Cape Verde
Walk Around Santa Maria – Santa Maria located on the island of Sal is a colorful and atmospheric place to wander around. It is a great way to soak up the authentic flavors of Cape Verde that would otherwise be lost if you choose to spend the entire trip on the beaches.
Kitesurf – Archipelago Island offers a fantastic range of water sports, but among the most exciting are wind sports. The winds are quite strong on the coastline of Sal and Boa Vista between November and March, offering the best kitesurfing conditions. Whether you are a seasoned pro of a newbie, there are ample facilities and training available to holidaymakers looking to engage in the sport. - Book watersport activities in Cape Verde
Hike a Volcano – Wear your hiking boots and grab your walking poles, the island of Fogo offers ample opportunities for hiking. There are various great trails to hike on the island, but one of the best is trekking Pico do Fogo. If you love outdoor adventure, then trekking and hiking are for you. - Book a guided tour to Mount Fogo
Spot Turtles – Turtles can be seen on Ervatão Beach on Boa Vista between July and September. This is the third most important loggerhead turtle nesting site in the world, where the turtles come to lay their eggs in the sand. The best time to see this incredible natural phenomenon is at night with guided tours. - Book a turtle nesting tour
Quad Biking – This is a great activity to do if you are an adventure enthusiast. Quad biking tours are available across Sal and Boa Vista. The best quad biking experience is in the sand dunes while many will follow a strict itinerary guiding you from site to site or beach to beach.
Find all hidden gems in the Ultimate Cape Verde Travel Guide Book
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