Today’s guest post is written by Freddie from Mindelo Cabo Verde. if you would like to know more about Freddie, please scroll down to the bottom of this post where you can find his details.
10 years ago Cape Verde was an unknown country. I remember a time when seeing tourists around was very rare. Today Cape Verde is one of the most popular upcoming travel destinations around the world. The archipelago in the middle of the Antlantic recently came out as number 1 in a research conducted about Google searches. Cape Verde was the country that saw the biggest rise in Google searches since 2004. The diversity of the country is unique, and it’s the reason why it should definitely be on every travelers list of places to visit.
Here are 3 statements that will help you plan your trip to Cape Verde:
So much more than beaches
The beautiful beaches of Sal, Boa Vista and also Maio are probably among the most shared pictures of the country. By far the biggest part of tourists traveling to Cape Verde at the moment visit eather Sal or Boa Vista.
These islands have been the focus of most enterprises, building big resorts and hotels along the beaches where thousands of people head out to every year to enjoy a relaxed vacation.
Cape Verde has at least 300 days of sunshine and a few beaches that are among the most beautiful in the world. But it also has a lot more to offer. The 9 habited islands of the country are very different from each other, and it’s this aspect that make the country a very interesting travel destination. Cape Verde is a fantastic place to visit for hikers, culture seekers and backpackers.
Now is the perfect time
More and more people are visiting the country each year. This brings changes which are not always positive. It’s not that mass tourism has taken over the country, but in some parts it might not be long before that starts to happen. Depending on where you decide to go in Cape Verde, you can still find places on the islands where you’ll feel as if you’re among the first people to travel there.
This feeling is what many travelers seek, and at the same time it’s part of the charm of the destination. Islands like São Nicolau and Brava have a strong ‘back in time’ vibe, where you totally get to recover from the stressful, modern city lifestyle. In a time where Social Media seem to contol our lives it can be very refreshing to be in a place where the people don’t care about the internet that much at all.
Island hopping is the way to go
The 9 habited islands of Cape Verde all deserve a visit, and for different reasons. The distance between the islands can be quite big, so traveling between the islands in a short time can be a difficult task and also a bit expensive.
For example, a flight from Mindelo to capital Praia takes up to 40 minutes. If you are planning on visiting different islands it’s better if you take your time. This will also give you the opportunity to get to know the islands, and what it is that makes them so unique.
• Sal and Boa Vista; Cape Verde’s most popular islands where people come to enjoy the resorts and hotels along the beautiful beaches
• Maio; has the incredible beaches Sal and Boa Vista have, but is smaller and has much less touristic development wich gives it a different vibe.
• Brava; Cape Verde’s smallest island and smallest population. Visiting this island is like traveling back in time.
• Fogo; Has an active vulcano which erupted in 2014. Hiking the ‘Pico de Fogo’ is one of the most special things to do in the country.
• Santo Antão; Many believe this is the most beautiful island of Cape Verde. A paradise for hikers, thanks to the spectacular mountains and fantastic hiking trails.
• São Nicolau; Resembles the island of Santo Antão, but is even less touristic because of a lack of infrastucture. Perfect for hikers who want to feel as if they are completely alone.
• São Vicente; Its capital Mindelo is the cultural capital of the country, mainly because the city hosts the biggest and best festival and celebrations, including carnival.
• Santiago; Is the island of capital Praia. Known as Cape Verde’s most diverse island, and because of Cidade Velha, the country’s oldest city and once one of the most influencial in the Atlantic slave trade.
If you plan on visiting the country try to see at least two islands, with different characteristics. This way you’ll get a much better understanding of what the country has to offer. Cape Verde is a unique destination, so spending all your time on one of it’s beautiful beaches would be a missed opportunity.
Freddy Gomes is the creator of Mindelocaboverde.com, a website that focusses on promoting sustainable and respectful tourism initiatives in Cape Verde. He’s the first and only in the country registeredwithPack for A Purpose.
He also runs a small Non-Profit Foundataion called Sonvela.
also check out his Facebook page