Boa Vista holidays 2019 / 2020
As one of Cape Verde’s glorious islands, located off the coast of West Africa, Boa Vista boasts stunning sandy beaches and sand dunes scattered with tropical palm trees. When you touch down in this tropical paradise, you’ll immediately see why its name translates as ‘Beautiful View’. The island is known for its dunes, white sandy beaches and volcanic formations in the Viana Desert, making the perfect getaway for a cheap holiday to Boa Vista in 2019 / 2020.
Boa Vista is part of a ten island archipelago which float in the Atlantic Ocean, below the radar. With year-round temperatures of around 26 degrees, a Sahara breeze and lack of rainfall, this island is the ultimate escape.
Whilst you are on holiday in Boa Vista, make sure you catch a glimpse of the nesting sea turtles on the shores and the migrating humpback whales that pass the island. On an islet across from the island’s capital town of Sal Rei, you will also be struck by the remains of a 19th century fort that sits there.
Boa Vista offers a wide selection of activities to suit all holidaymakers, whether you prefer to spend your time relaxing on the sandy beaches or getting the adrenaline pumping with sporty activities.
Thrill-seekers will love the Deserto de Viana, an expanse of sand just a kilometre wide and five kilometres long that features white sand scattered with black grains of soil. With an almost lunar-style landscape, this desert is great for exciting activities including trekking, quad biking and desert safaris.
For a truly unique experience, head to Praia de Atalanta on the north coast of Boa Vista. Here on the edge of the beach lies the wreckage of the cargo ship Cabo Santa Maria, which ran aground in September 1968. Local tour guides often give talks about the politics and history surrounding the wreck, as well as some nature and ecology facts. The coastline provides the perfect setting for a lot of other activities here in Boa Vista, from dolphin and whale watching on boats, to surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing.
The typical Cape Verde cuisine is influenced by Creole and Portuguese cooking. Fish and seafood feature heavily in Boa Vista dishes due to the island’s prominent location in the Atlantic Ocean. Using the catch-of-the-day, Caldo de Peixe is a traditional soup that is packed with octopus and cod, as well as local vegetables. During island celebrations Catchupa, the slow-cooked stew, made of beans, chorizo and marinated chunks of tuna or meat is brought out for the locals to enjoy.
On Boa Vista eating out is a small affair, with many family-run restaurants offering an intimate dining experience. Specialising in fresh lobster, the Sodade di nha Terra restaurant in Rabil sits next to Chaves Bay and boasts wonderful seafood dishes.
The neighbouring island of Sal, to the north of Boa Vista has the best choice of restaurants in Cape Verde. For authentic Cape Verdian food, try Restaurante Compad in Santa Maria which serves up local dishes of seafood and meat.
Family holidays in Boa Vista begin and end at the beach. With 55 kilometres of beaches and year round sunshine, you and the little ones will want to make a base on the sandy shores of Boa Vista.
If you want safe swimming waters for the children and a good range of water activities for yourself (and maybe a cheeky drink!) head to Estoril Beach in Sal Rei. From water sports huts, beach bars and a diving centre, there’s fun for all ages. Plus, because the island of Ilheu de Sal Rei shelters the waters, it’s a great spot for young swimmers and windsurfers.
For something different, pay a visit to the saltpans in Pedra De Lume on the neighbouring island of Sal. The former salt mines have left a beautiful mosaic of blue, green and pink lakes that are set into a deep volcanic crater. You can also take a look at the 18th century mining village, and then walk through a tunnel to enter the crater.
Action & Adventure
Boa Vista is blessed with a vast coastline, which provides the starting point for lots of exciting water sports, including surfing, sailing, scuba diving and canoeing. Head to the golden sands of Verandinha Beach to catch the wind for the best wind surfing and kite surfing conditions. Or if you prefer to go without a sail, hire a surf board on Estoril Beach.
If you want to be part of the action, but want a slower pace, you could have a go at fishing out on the ocean. Pop over to the island of Sal and wrestle with big game fish on a trip from Santa Maria. The best time to catch fish, and even sharks, is between July and October, so get your rod ready!
As the island is mainly flat, the best was to take in its natural beauty is by bike. What better way to enjoy the scenery and wonderful weather than cycling along the gentle paths on your Boa Vista holiday.
Boa Vista has plenty of white sands and blue water, with Blue Flag prestige as standard. One of Boa Vista’s most famous stretches of sand is on the south of the island, in the Curralinho district. Behind Santa Monica Beach, a ribbon of golden sand stretches for 18 kilometres and is named after its Californian counterpart. This sheltered beach is ideal for sunbathing and swimming.
As Cape Verde is relatively unknown, you won’t have to fight for towel space with other holidaymakers, as beaches are often pleasantly secluded. For a show-stopping beach, head to Chave Boa Vista to the south of Sal Rei on the west coast of the island.
If you love the water, you can try kite and windsurfing, providing the green flag is flying, as the currents are strong here. Don’t forget your snorkel and mask as below the glassy surface of the ocean is come colourful marine life, waiting to be discovered on your Boa Vista holiday.
While you won’t find much nightlife in Boa Vista, this is part of its charm. Instead, you’ll find plenty of candle-lit restaurants and beach bars looking out over the sea, offering laid-back evenings.
The lively night spot on the island is along the Sal Rei waterfront. Here, you’ll find a selection of pretty beach bars that serve the local Fogo wine or you could opt for a refreshing Caipirinha cocktail to enjoy whilst listening to the soundtrack of the rolling waves.
Elsewhere in Cape Verde, you can take a ferry or small plane to one of the other islands for more night time excitement. Although the nightlife is usually based around hotels and resorts, you can experience live traditional ‘morna’ music and dance. The best night spots are in Santa Maria on Sal and Mindelo on São Vicente, with their vibrant club scene with local dancers.
The idyllic island of Boa Vista has many hidden spots that provide the perfect setting for romantic holiday. From strolls on secluded beaches to candle-lit dinners looking out to the sun set, you and your loved one will have plenty of time to reconnect on your holiday in Boa Vista.
On the north coast, the quiet Santa Maria Beach provides the ideal location for a private picnic, as well as brilliant snorkelling conditions for exploring the nearby underwater shipwreck.
If you fancy some more time at sea, why not book onto an adults-only afternoon cruise. Showing Boa Vista from a new perspective, you will meet your catamaran off the coast of Sal Rei harbour, cruising past Sal Rei Island. With plenty of time for relaxing on board, you will be spoiled with some bubbly and tan time on deck. Passing Praia de Chaves beach, you’ll have chance to swim in the warm waters when the boat drops anchor.
Boa Vista has many hidden gems that hark back to the island’s past. Boa Vista’s capital, Sal Rei gives a good representation of local life from its main plaza, the Praça de Santa Isabel. Here you will find the colonial Igreja da Santa Isabel, a monastery with a Baroque facade in shades of sand and blue. You’ll also find wonderful stalls with goods sold by the African traders, including carved wooden figures and colourful batiks.
If want to see the best of Boa Vista and to understand its culture, Santa Isabel festival provides a good insight. The celebration in July involves everything from processions, swimming, horse racing and a public ball.
Hop over to the island of São Vicente in August and head to the beach for the Festival de Musica da Baia das Gatas. Here you will enjoy all kinds of live music, from Jazz to Latin.