Backpack on the back: Discovering Cape Verde beyond the obvious
Year after year, Cape Verde has been gaining prominence on the global tourism stage.
In addition to its mild temperature throughout the 12 months of the year, the archipelago offers a wide array of tourist opportunities, from beaches to culture, encompassing water sports and magnificent landscapes.
From the young to the elderly, tourists from all corners of the world find a welcoming home in Cape Verde.
With a cuisine rich in color and flavor, a vibrant culture, and golden sandy beaches that blend into a vivid blue sea, each of Cape Verde's islands becomes a destination for unique experiences.
Carried by the winds towards Cabo Verde
Arriving on the archipelago with just a backpack, tourists seek an authentic experience and discover hidden treasures beyond the most popular destinations.
On these islands, one can find genuine people, impressive hiking trails showcasing diverse landscapes of verdant cliffs or flowery valleys interspersed with imposing mountains.
Deserted beaches with crystal-clear waters abound, as does captivating Creole culture and delightful local cuisine that is both comforting and delicious.
The history of a talented people who have worked to transform the island over time also awaits exploration.
Cabo Verde is a gracious host to those arriving with backpacks in tow, offering excellent options for affordable and authentic vacations in cozy, quality local lodgings and guesthouses.
Island of Santo Antão
In Santo Antão, there are several accommodation options, with the most common located in the Paul Valley, offering mountain views, and in Cruzinha, near Porto Novo.
There is so much to do in Santo Antão: walking along wonderful hiking trails, exploring charming beaches such as Tarrafal Beach and Ponta do Sol Beach, visiting the Natural Park of Cova located inside an extinct volcano crater or local villages where you can experience Cabo Verdean daily life.
Island of São Vicente
São Vicente offers interesting options for backpackers traveling through Cabo Verde – from family homes to small hostels.
If planning a long stay on the island it's best to make reservations well in advance. Some enriching activities include exploring Mindelo city and its surrounding atmosphere while visiting Casa da Morna – a museum dedicated to one of the most famous musical genres on the archipelago; discovering Monte Verde; and being enchanted by Laginha Beach.
Island of São Nicolau
On São Nicolau Island, houses and residential accommodations offer comfortable simplicity with charming sea or city views.
Visiting Ribeira Brava allows visitors to enjoy all that this island has to offer including true essence experiences within Praia de Areia Branca or Praia de Baixo Rocha where rhythmic wave sounds invite moments of relaxation with good reads.
Island of Sal
The adventurous nature-seeking backpacker will find unique lodging accommodations on Sal Island ranging from Santa Maria beach to Cruz beach - catering for all preferences.
The island is ideal for sunbathing enthusiasts looking for aquatic sports such as diving snorkeling fishing windsurfing etc... It’s also an excellent destination for relaxing baths inside Pedra de Lume salt pans within an extinct volcanic crater-where high salt concentration enables effortless floating.
Island of Boa Vista
In Boa Vista, accommodation is tailored to the preferences of every visitor - whether they're seeking something more modest or luxurious.
No matter what kind of experience you're looking for, Boa Vista offers stunning landscapes and the warm hospitality that's characteristic of Cape Verdeans.
The waters around Boa Vista are perfect for water sports like snorkeling and windsurfing, as well as boat tours.
It's worth setting aside some time for a walk through the Desert of Viana, a vast expanse of sand dunes, or up Monte Estância - the highest point on the island - to observe the sea turtles that choose Boa Vista's beaches as nesting sites between June and October.
Island of Maio
In the center of the village, there are houses and guesthouses with simple yet comfortable rooms.
For those seeking something even more traditional, they can find it at Morrinho Beach and its private or shared rooms with ocean views.
Maio is a privileged location for bird watching and during a walk through the Morro de Areia Natural Reserve, various species can be spotted.
If relaxation is on your mind, Maio is the perfect destination to enjoy natural beauty while taking leisurely bike rides.
Island of Santiago
Albergues, guesthouses, private houses or hotels; On Santiago Island it's possible to find accommodations catering to all preferences accompanied by impressive city or Serra da Malagueta mountain range views.
Praia city and Cidade Velha enchant visitors with their cultural heritage richness including Sucupira market selling everything good about the island; Forte Real de São Filipe in Cidade Velha representing an iconic historical landmark enabling visitors to travel back in Cabo Verde history.
For more adventurous types Parque Natural da Serra do Pico de Antónia offers hiking trails amidst exuberant scenery.
Island of Fogo
Fogo Island offers serene lodgings overlooking both volcanic villages and seascape vistas in peaceful hostels/pensions scattered throughout the island.
Hiking up Pico do Fogo volcano crater rim is one of the most popular activities on this island after all not every day you get to walk inside an active volcano!
Arriving at Chã das Caldeiras determination & creativity typical among Cabo Verdeans becomes evident when viewing agricultural productions that thrive despite arid volcanic landscape surroundings.
Small but characteristic cozy hotels are found throughout Brava – from Furna to Nova Sintra village.
Known for its stunning landscapes, hiking is one of the most sought-after activities on this island.
It’s also possible to relax on deserted and isolated beaches such as Fajã d’Água Beach with its natural pool or enjoy one of many viewpoints scattered around the island where your gaze overlooks beaches valleys and hills.
With a backpack on your back, yes, but with a full stomach
The cuisine of Cape Verde is painted with African and Portuguese influences, and when two countries with such rich gastronomic perspectives come together, the result can only be an explosion of flavors.
Cape Verde is known for its fish, mollusks, and seafood. With waters rich in life and diversity, it is possible to discover authentic delicacies of various fish in every corner of the archipelago - highlighting tuna, grouper, and salmon - as well as fresh seafood and succulent octopus.
It is also here that one can discover cachupa, a typical dish of Cape Verdean cuisine that mixes meat or fish with corn kernels and vegetables. It is a highly nutritious meal and, moreover, filled with strong and rich flavors.
In the streets of Cape Verde, as a snack, one can also find moray, the fish that often scares fishermen. Served sliced, the moray is breaded and served in large pieces. It is usually accompanied by a cold beer or grogue, a typical drink of the archipelago.
In the backpack, unforgettable moments are carried
The entire archipelago has unique experiences to offer adventurers, with its culture, art, lush and mountainous landscapes, white sandy beaches with warm waters, and friendly people filling the backpacks of visitors with dreams, memories and many stories that remain forever in the hearts of those who pass through here.
Visiting Cape Verde with a backpack is:
- Discovering an active volcano on Fogo Island
- Delighting in the floral and aromatic landscapes on Brava Island
- Dazzling at the impressive mountain that offers unique hiking trails in Santo Antão
- Hiking through the Serra da Malagueta Natural Park on Santiago
- Getting lost in the white sands of Santa Monica Beach on Boa Vista
- Diving amongst colorful corals and varied fish in Sal
- Venturing into the lush valleys of São Nicolau
- Experiencing pure Cape Verdean culture on Santa Luzia Island
- Letting oneself be carried away by morna melodies in São Vicente
- Exploring untouched beaches and landscapes on Maio Island.
Overall, Cape Verde offers endless adventures for those looking for cultural immersion and natural beauty.
Explore Cabo Verde
Sun and beach, mountain trails, landscapes of a nature that so easily springs up everywhere and a wealth of customs and traditions that does not translate into any price: Cabo Verde is a paradise that rests by the sea.
With the morabeza of the people and the magic that is only found in Islands of sun and sea, this archipelago is a universe of experiences to discover.
Flavors, smells and colors permeate memories and here you can feel the warm breeze on the skin and the sweetness of life.
Getting to know a new country is synonymous with new adventures. Each country is a country. It is a different culture, with its own laws, customs, tastes and peculiarities distinct from any other part of the world.
Preparing your trip in advance can save you some challenges.
Here you can find the most frequent questions of travelers and some tips so that you can get to know the country smoothly.
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