Cape Verde, which is made up of 10 islands sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is an ideal travel destination for anyone who wants to be able to spend plenty of time enjoying all of the water activities the beautiful beaches have to offer, while also taking time out to explore, shop, and eat the many fresh seafood dishes available on the islands.
In Cape Verde, you can easily spend days relaxing on the various beaches or taking part in an array of water sports, including fishing, windsurfing, surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Of course, you will also want to make the time to learn about the islands’ history and culture before exploring the volcanos, forests leading to gorgeous waterfalls, coffee, fruit, and sugarcane plantations, and old cathedrals and buildings located throughout the islands. Deep water fishing and whale watching excursions, catamaran sailing trips, and even trips through the Viana Desert give you even more options for exciting and unique things to do.
Although Cape Verde is a fun and affordable vacation destination, anyone who is traveling with no budget will definitely appreciate all the activities they have at their disposal. If you are heading to Cape Verde with an unlimited budget, here are 5 things you should take the time to do.
Take a day to enjoy so much of what the water off of Boa Vista has to offer.
Start your day by boarding the Neptunus for a 90-minute glass bottom boat tour of the water that will not only give you the chance to see puffer fish, morays, turtles, bream, and wrasses, but also two different shipwrecks and the “Christ of the Seas,” an underwater statue of Christ. This trip costs $42 per person and should be followed up with a Catamaran Sea Turtle Cruise ($68 per person), where you will have the opportunity to see sea turtles, pilot whales, and dolphins before taking time out to go snorkeling.
When you get back on land, spend a couple of hours checking out the island’s deserted beaches on a quad bike ($85 for 2 hours) before heading back in the water for private kite and windsurfing lessons through Surf Zone (call for prices). Then, finish out your day at the beach with private scuba diving lessons that allow you to get up close and personal with aquatic life ($400 and up per person).
Take the time out for a luxury spa day.
No trip is complete until you take time out to pamper yourself and relax, which is exactly what you can do at the Renova Spa at the Riu Karamboa Club Hotel. Begin the day with a full body wax ($145) followed by an Aromatic Body Exfoliation ($43) and Aloe Vera Body Wrap ($43). Then, opt for a Purifying Facial ($65) before enjoying an 80-minute Renova Combination Massage that includes both Swedish and deep tissue massage techniques ($100), as well as a Feet, Hands, & Head Massage ($55) and a Back, Neck & Shoulders Massage ($40). End your spa day with a paraffin manicure and pedicure treatment ($105). By the end of the day, you will look and feel amazing.
Go on a tour of Santo Antão with a professional, local guide.
Frequently referred to as the most beautiful of the Cape Verde islands, Santo Antão is known for its lush and diverse vegetation, jaw-dropping ravines, spectacular views, and the unique village of Fontainhas, which sits perched on the edge of a mountain range. No Limits Excursions offers full day tours to the island, starting at $300 per person. These tours are only available by request, giving you the opportunity to customize it depending on what you are most interested in seeing and visiting.
You may want to consider taking a trek to the various plantations that have been cultivated in the crater of an extinct volcano, visiting the Caldeira Velha thermal springs, heading to the top of Miradouro de Santa Iria for exquisite views of the sea below, and stopping in some of the local villages for a great meal and the chance to buy plenty of handmade souvenirs.
Hike Pico Do Fogo with a local and explore the rest of the unique island.
No Limits Excursions also offers full day tours to Fogo Island, if requested. Priced at $255 and up per person, the trip begins with a visit to Fogo Natural Park and an ascent of Fogo, which last erupted from November 23, 2014 until February 8, 2015, leaving a wave of incredible destruction and still smoldering lava in its path. After leaving the volcano, you’ll continue through several of the communities relocated by the last eruption, including Cha de Caldieras and Cabeça Fundão.
During your tour, you will sit down for a homemade breakfast made locally produced cheese, jams, and coffee, as well as lunch. You also have the opportunity to enjoy the carefully crafted Fogo wine, which has the intense aroma and flavor of moka, vanilla, and red berries.
Visit the Viveiro Botanical Garden and Zoo before heading on a VIP tour of the Salt Mines.
Viveiro is not only a gorgeous botanical garden that includes almost any ornamental plant you could possibly find on the Cape Verde islands, but it is also home to a wide array of rescued animals, such as donkeys, monkeys, birds, goats, sheep, horses, tortoises, guinea pigs, and more. With an admission charge of less than $5, this is the perfect opportunity to donate some of your unlimited budget to a great cause.
After leaving the lush foliage of the gardens, it is the perfect time to see how different the landscape can be from one part of the island to another. To do this, take a VIP quad tour of the Salt Mines of Santa Maria and the Turtle Cemetery. The 2-hour tour is $92 per person. At the Salt Mines, you’ll get to see pools of salty, white water dry into the crystallized salt we use everyday. On the way back, you’ll pass over Kite Beach, where you should take a few minutes to stop and appreciate the pristine scenery.