Destinations Western Africa

5 Tourist Attractions in Cape Verde With Unforgettable Experiences

Tourist attractions in Cape Verde
Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

Looking for something unspoilt and less crowded for the holidays? Check out the top tourist attractions in Cape Verde. Nestled in the azure embrace of the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa, Cape Verde is one of the hidden gems in Africa waiting to be discovered. The enchanting archipelago has plenty to offer tourists and is an ideal destination for fans of lazy days and long sandy beaches.

From deserted beaches to outstanding mountain landscapes to amazing fish and seafood, there are plenty of reasons to start planning your next trip to this West African country. With that in mind, let’s take you through the leading tourist attraction in Cape Verde to explore during your visit.

1. Blue Eye 

Starting our list of the top tourist attractions in Cape Verde is the popular Blue Eye. Also known as Buracona, the Blue Eye is an enchanting underwater cavity nestled amidst volcanic rocks and crystal-clear waters on the island of Sal.


Blue Eye. Photo/ Cabo Verde.

Being an open hole in the ground, the waters at the bottom of the cave change colors depending on the orientation of the sun during the day. At around 11 pm, the rays of the sun draw the most serene blue color, making the cave to be exactly like a blue eye. Even though there are walking paths to this great natural phenomenon, be sure to bring comfortable shoes.

2. Sao Vicente 

Next on the list of top tourist attractions in Cape Verde is Sao Vicente. Discovered by Portuguese explorers in 1462, Sao Vicente is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in Cape Verde. Whether it’s swimming, kiteboarding, trying out windsurfing, sunbathing, or simply relaxing with a book, the beaches in Sao Vicente have you covered.

Sao Vicente is also renowned for its hiking trails and the charm of its typical villages. The capital, Mindelo, is a vibrant and colourful place known for its lively music scene which constantly vibrates to the rhythm of Portuguese, African and Brazilian rhythms.

Sao Vicente

Sao Vicente. Photo/ Cape Verde Islands (Cabo Verde).

3. Praia de Santa Maria

Located on the south coast of Sal Island, Praia de Santa Maria is a stunning beach destination in you shouldn’t miss during your trip to Cape Verde. From golden sands, blue skies and turquoise sea to warm air and sea temperatures, Santa Maria has everything you need.

You can also enjoy surfing and diving in the clear waters as well as walking along the soft sand spotting fishermen busy with their daily routine. Exploring the charming town of Santa Maria should also be on your bucket list considering its beauty.

4. Cidade Velha

Cidade Velha

Cidade Velha. Photo/ Capo Verde Travel Guide.

Santiago, the first island to be discovered by the Portuguese, has numerous places worth exploring. But one that stands out is Cidade Velha, the archipelago’s ancient capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town features some of the original street layout impressive remains such as a royal fortress, two churches and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th-century marble pillar.

Don’t worry about your stomach during the exploration as there are plenty of restaurants in the area selling freshly caught fish and seafood.

5. Boa Vista 

No list of the top tourist attractions in Cape Verde would be complete without Boa Vista. Dubbed “dune island”, Boa Vista is home to many treasures that have been attracting more and more tourists over the years. With some of the most beautiful beaches, this is the place to go if you just want to relax on a beach.

Boa Vista

Boa Vista. Photo/ Cape Verde Experience.

To the north of the Boa Vista is one of the seven wonders of Cape Verde: the Viana desert, also known as “the crumb of the Sahara”. The Viana is a mini dune desert of dazzling clarity and a playground prized for its fantastic quad rides. Remember to explore Sal Rei, the island’s capital, and the other small charming towns to learn the culture of the locals.

What Is Cape Verde Best Known For?

Cape Verde is famous for its volcanic islands, warm tropical climate, delicious cuisine and talented musicians. While many Americans may not have heard much about Cape Verde, Europeans are much more familiar with the islands as it is usually considered a winter escape.

What Is the Most Famous Landmark in Cape Verde?

Pico do Fogo is the highest peak of Cape Verde, and the most famous landmark in the archipelago. It’s an active stratovolcano lying on the island of Fogo and stands 2829 m above sea level. The mountain’s slopes are used to grow coffee, while its lava is used as building materials.

Is Cape Verde Good For Tourists?

With generally low crime rates, Cape Verde is a safe destination for tourists. Remember to follow local advice before swimming in the sea.

Is There a Lot to Do in Cape Verde?

An ideal tourist attraction in West Africa, there’s plenty to do in Cape Verde, from learning to surfing, swimming to spotting sea creatures such as dolphins leaping through the waves.

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About the author

Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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