Cabo Verde is a hidden paradise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, unknown by even the most savvy travelers. An archipelago of 10-islands, born of volcanic fury, these islands are as beautiful as they are mysterious. Head about 350-miles off the western coast of Africa, about half way down the continent, and you’ll find this set of islands. Today, we’re rounding up 6 reasons to visit Cabo Verde.
1. It's more accessible than you think from the US
Despite the distance involved - the capital of Praia is about 3,380 miles from the northeast, and the journey takes you most of the way to the Equator - Cabo Verde can be reached with ease from the US. In fact, there are even direct flights! Cabo Verde Airlines launched direct flights at the end of 2019 from both Boston and Dulles airports.
2. It’s sunny year-round
The destination is known for having 9 hours of sunshine per day and an average temperature of 75 - 85 degrees year-round. The beaches on Sal island have long stretches of golden sand that melt into the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also take advantage of the sun while floating in the salt mines or riding around the dunes on an ATV.
3. Its intriguing colonial heritage
The history of Cabo Verde is an unusual one. Unlike most parts of the planet, the islands were empty until colonialism gave it a population. Portuguese and Genoese sailors stumbled upon Cabo Verde in 1456 and started settling. Portugal put down the first roots, founding what is now the town of Cidade Velha, on the south coast of Santiago island, and Praia followed about 50-years later, becoming the archipelago’s capital in 1770. Originally owned by Portugal, the country gained independence in 1975. Praia, the capitol, is a small city of 130,000 people, that looks back into the past via the Monumento de Diogo Gomes, a statue of the Portuguese explorer who discovered Santiago in 1460, and also the Presidential Palace which was built in the 19th century for the Portuguese governor.
4. Its fun and unique music
Cabo Verde's brings a cultural gift to the world: morna - a rhythmic music and dance genre which slipped into life on the archipelago at some undefined point in the 18th century. Lyrics are usually in Cabo Verdean Creole and instruments range from guitar to violin to accordion to piano. It is considered the national music of Cabo Verde. The most famous morna musician was Cesaria Evora, a singer nicknamed the "Barefoot Diva'' who hailed from Sao Vicente island. She was so loved that, since her death in 2011, the local airport on Sao Vicente island has been named after her. Her powerful voice and grasp of melody lingers in her birthplace, the island’s capital of Mindelo, a picturesque small town where morna music drifts out of the doorways of bars and cafes.
5. You are visiting Africa's most westerly point
São Vicente's neighbor Santo Antão island is an outpost. It is the most westerly segment of the archipelago and - depending on how specific you want to be about geography - the most westerly point in Africa. It certainly feels like the end of a continent. Home to a small population of 44,000 people, most of them clustered in the town of Porto Novo, it is a place of desolate grandeur, with a rocky interior rearing up from the water and coffee plantations strewn throughout. You can only travel to it by water, via ferry from Mindelo, and once you make the crossing you have definitely left the beaten track.
6. Its incredible volcanic landscape
Santo Antão island holds the unofficial title of "Most Visible Volcanic Island in the Cabo Verde Archipelago." The island lives up to its name, rising from the ocean to the summit of Pico do Fogo, at 9,281 feet. The name of the volcanic mountain "fogo" is Portuguese for "fire". It has erupted as recently as 2014, but the locals aren’t really worried. You can drive up to Chã das Caldeiras, a village with a population of about 1,000, which is located inside the massive crater.
At Quest Travel Adventures, we’re excited about all Cabo Verde has to offer and can help provide exciting and unique trips to these fantastic destinations. Call us today for a customized quote (1-800-693-1815) or soak up the sun for 10 days in Cabo Verde on our Cabo Verde Three Island Tour and experience it all.