A guide to the best beaches in Boa Vista

The beaches you’ll see on your Boa Vista holidays come with exciting surprises, and you might even see the sea turtles laying their eggs on the beaches. But the beaches’ everyday charms are also very apparent. Golden and sugar-white sands, inviting sand dunes and clear blue water that illuminates the island give it a Caribbean flavour. Sheltered coves are the ideal spots for snorkelling or diving and the shores are home to a number shipwrecks in the water. During the winter the island offers great surfing conditions – with surfing centres open for beginners and temperatures that are still hot.

Sal Rei

The sandy beach of Praia do Estoril is the closest to the island’s capital Sal Rei. Thankfully the Ilheu de Sal Rei island, which sits in the open sea, protects this beach area – surrounded by large sand dunes – from strong winds.

With its crystal clear sea and great hotels close by this is a top spot. Other beaches close to Sal Rei include Praia de Cabral – north of Sal Rei – where an annual music festival is held. Praia de Carlota, south of Sal Rei, is located near Ribeira do Rabil, an important wetland area and lagoon that attracts a great variety of birds.

Santa Maria beach

In the north sits this stunning beach, which was named after the Spanish ship that came aground here in 1968. The wreckage has become a symbol of the island, painted and photographed and in many guidebooks.

Its rusted frame still remains in the seas and must be seen to be believed. With a selection of All Inclusive hotels to choose from, this is a great location, and although the seven-kilometre stretch of golden sand can get busy, you’ll always find a quiet spot to relax in.

Praia de Chaves

In the south of the island sits a broad sweeping beach called Praia de Chaves. At five kilometres long, this glorious place offers a desert landscape of sand dunes and exotic palms swaying in the wind. Considered one of the island’s best beaches, a number of All Inclusive resorts are located directly on the sand, providing you with easy access to the sea and local bars during your Cape Verde holidays.

Santa Monica

Hidden away in the south-western corner of Boa Vista is Santa Monica, and it’s a sight to behold. Named after the famous Californian beach, this 18-kilometre stretch of blonde coloured sand, with emerald-green water is one of the more solitary beaches in Boa Vista and may prove impossible to tear yourself away from.

The beach was voted one of the best in the world by The Telegraph in 2008 and some even consider this to be epic on the scale of some Australian beaches. If you’re not staying in the area, you might have to tackle some sand-swept tracks in a 4×4 to reach it. Nearby Praia Varandinha features a natural cave overlooking the sea and is one of the more isolated and windswept beaches on the island.