Boa Vista may be small in size, but its offering is big. The perfect location for the outdoorsy holidaymaker and animal lovers alike, the list of things to do on the Island is endless.
A glimpse of Boa Vista on Google Earth shows an Island surrounded by 55 kilometres of white sand beaches. From the stunning Praia de Chaves and Award Winning Santa Monica Beach to the smaller coves, many an hour can be spent relaxing on the sands and swimming in the turquoise waters. Rows of sun loungers and holidaymakers on every inch of the beaches is not what you’ll find here. Largely undiscovered as a location, Boa Vista offers tranquillity and undisturbed beauty.
With beaches come water sports. For those who enjoy an adrenaline rush, the winds of Cape Verde offer a haven for surfing, windsurfing, and kite-surfing. Opportunities to hire equipment and take lessons are in abundance. Plus, the locals are always using their skills to display how it’s done. For those who like to experience the warm waters at a slower pace, the hotels and local diving centres have everything you need to get togged up in diving and snorkelling gear, so you can explore the underwater, offshore delights that Boa Vista has to offer.
With many protective measures in place to ensure marine life can thrive, Boa Vista is known worldwide as being a home to loggerhead turtles, whales, dolphins, and a wealth of tropical fish and sea creatures. Ervatão Beach, located on the southeast coast of the Island, is the third most important loggerhead turtle nesting site in the world. Arriving in June and staying throughout the summer until September, turtles enjoy the safe surroundings of this Island. Night-time tours allow you to observe the all-important first trip that the baby turtles make from nest to sea — to start their life in the Cape Verdean waters. Prime whale watching season is between February and May, where boat tours regularly take holidaymakers out to hotpots off the coast of Sal Rei.
It’s not all about beaches though. Boa Vista is largely covered in sand – and what better way to explore it than on a quad bike? Experience the exhilaration of roaring over the sand dunes, exploring the rolling, dusty landscape. Organised excursions take you out to places that are otherwise almost inaccessible. Aside from the thrill, quad bikes are also the chosen method of transport on Boa Vista, as they are much better suited to the terrain than the average car.
Sal Rei, the capital of Boa Vista, is the only town on the Island – and it’s not your normal busy and noisy capital. With a quiet centre that boasts a blend of Portuguese and African influences, you can spend a peaceful afternoon wandering through the streets. Street markets offer a welcome stop off, where you can watch vendors at work with fresh fish just brought in from the sea. A short stroll will take you to Praia Estoril – another idyllic beach offering water sports lesson and experiences. A collection of bars offer an alternative to the ones in your Resort, and there are even one or two clubs where you can dance into the night.
The Cabo Santa Maria shipwreck
Take a breath-taking 4×4 tour to visit the iconic shipwreck of Cabo Santa Maria. Praia de Santa Monica, or Santa Monica Beach, is home to and takes its name from this ship, which ran aground in 1968 on a voyage to Brazil. Experience the history, take stunning photos, and of course – relax on the beach.
The list goes on…
Just a few of the other experiences to be had on Boa Vista are a trip to Curral Velho – a village abandoned due to drought, Morro Negro – a lighthouse standing 150 metres high at the most eastern point of Cape Verde, and the Viana Desert – white sand dunes formed by the sands of the Sahara Desert.