5 Reasons to Visit Cape Verde

With sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters, you hardly need any more of a reason to travel to Cape Verde. Relaxation is a given in this gorgeous archipelago. But, just in case you do need a little more persuasion, here are five great reasons that you should make this island a destination on your bucket list.

The island of Sal

The island of Sal is one of the gems of Cape Verde, you’d be crazy to travel all the way and not go there. In Santa Maria, you’ll find an unspoiled beach that is well respected by holidaymakers looking to relax on the white sand that stretches for miles around. Between November and May, Sal is also a good destination to pick up a surf board or kite board and ride the waves. There are plenty of schools around to help you learn how, and if you visit Kite Beach you’ll see expert kite surfers getting the better of the waves.

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The wreck of the Cabo Santa Maria

This transport ship ran aground near Boa Vista in the 1960s, and has become something of a landmark in Cape Verde now. Locals were able to collect up all the goods while the crew escaped from the ship unhurt. Now the ship lies virtually in the middle of nowhere, there for viewers to gaze at from afar. You can reach the site of the ship by 4 x 4 (although it is a bit of a bumpy ride!) or even by walking.

The fresh seafood

The process of getting the seafood to market is as captivating as the food is delicious. You can see the fishermen come and go as they catch the fish and then deposit it while the women carry it off to market in big bowls on their heads. Lobster and tuna are two of Cape Verde’s main specialties, and the traditional dish is cachupa, a bean stew with corn, fish and vegetables. It’s definitely worth a try.

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The music and dancing

Music is a big part of life on Cape Verde. Many people in Cape Verde play a musical instrument, so you’re more than likely to someone or other out on the street with a guitar in their hand and a Creole song in their heart. Singing is a popular past-time, as is dancing. Locals love to teach visitors dances like funanás, coladeiras and mornas, and you’ll see how they move themselves effortlessly to the music. If you are interested in Cape Verdean music why not try listening to Tito Paris or Tcheka.

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The hiking opportunities

Santo Antão is another popular island in the Cape Verde archipelago, largely because it offers such splendid hiking opportunities. This mountainous island appears barren when you first approach it from the west, but stick with it because you’re in for a treat. As you move towards the north east of the island, you’ll see there is enough moisture for forests of pine to take over the hilltops and tropical plants to grow in plentiful supply in the valleys. It’s thanks to this island that Cape Verde really leaves up to the green in its name.

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Here you have five fantastic reasons to visit Cape Verde. Take a trip to the archipelago and in no time at all you’ll discover an infinite number more.

Images by vinyloursonIDS PhotosAfricolor_2012 and Mickäel T, used under Creative Commons license

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