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Sal vs. Boa Vista – A Guide to the Cape Verde Islands

Most of us either know nothing or very little about Cape Verde, so as an up-and-coming tourist spot why not discover this hidden gem before the rest of the world does?

Where is Cape Verde? In a nutshell, this destination is made up of 10 islands and sits just off the west coast of Africa, so you’ll find a mixture of Portuguese, African, and Brazilian influences here.

Famous for its stunning beaches and windsurfing spots, Cape Verde offers the perfect blend of relaxation and fun. Not sure where to go in Cape Verde? Well, with two main resorts of Sal and Boa Vista you can’t go far wrong – and to help you out we have decided to compare to make sure you have the best Cape Verde experience possible.

Cape Verde

Sal

Holidays to Sal will see you visiting one of Cape Verde’s more built-up islands, meaning it boasts the most tourists. This oasis of deserts and dormant volcanoes offers everything from blissful beaches, an array of water sports, and some excellent fishing spots.

As one best windsurfing spots, watersports enthusiasts come from all over the world to take on the famous island breeze – especially in the windy months of January and February. So, when you’re not trying out as many water sports as possible or sunbathing on the beach you may wonder what else there is to do here.

Well, we recommend heading to Santa Maria. This is Sal’s busiest town and is great for those who like to wander craft stalls, sample local dishes at traditional Cape Verdean restaurants, and try out the island nightlife with a number of beach bars and discos to choose from.

Top Tip – Keep an eye out for the flag system if you’re planning on swimming in the sea. For those of you who are unsure, red means stay clear, yellow means be careful, and green means you’re good to go.

Best for – Those wanting to relax in a tranquil setting or those seeking adventure with its wide selection of watersports and hiking spots. Hiking spots can be found on the island of Fogo, which can be easily reached by boat from Sal.

Sal, Cape Verde

Boa Vista

Despite being fairly undeveloped in comparison to Sal, Boa Vista holidays are much more authentic. However, this could all change in a few years as Boa Vista is set to rival Sal’s mass tourism as it continues to develop. The landscape is extremely barren and consists of deserts and beaches with the odd few mountain ranges. But don’t let this put you off! Boa Vista is a great pick if you don’t want to share the sand with millions of holidaymakers as it is much more underpopulated compared to Sal.

We also suggest heading to Sal Rei, the capital of Boa Vista. This may not be as lively as you’d expect from the island’s capital, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you like culture with its colonial buildings and impressive church. There are also plenty of goods to be found here – particularly for those who like to go souvenir shopping on holiday.

Top Tip – Boa Vista is the third most important loggerhead nesting site in the world. So, if you’re a lover of wildlife June and September are the best time to see the baby turtles hatching.

Best for – Those looking for a relaxing holiday, with some of the best beaches in the whole of Cape Verde, or those who appreciate local culture with Sal Rei’s colonial-style buildings.

Boa Vista, Cape Verde

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