Boa Vista, the paradise of beaches and nature in Cape Verde

Long white beaches, a small desert and splendid animals: Boa Verde is the perfect island for a relaxing holiday
Boa Vista, the paradise of beaches and nature in Cape Verde
Source: 123rf

Off the coast of West Africa, Boa Vista it is a Cape Verde island famous for its extraordinary natural beauty: the sand dunes, the Viana desert with its lunar landscapes. And, obviously, very white beaches where turtles nest, before immersing themselves in a sea with crystal clear waters. Here is everything there is to do, and see, in this corner of paradise.

The beaches of Boa Vista

A Boa Vista, obviously, you come for the sea. And for them beaches. In the Curralinho area, south of the island, the Santa Monica beach it is often compared to the beaches of California and Australia due to its width and its white sand: it extends for 18 km, facing a turquoise sea, and is the home for caretta-caretta turtles which it is not unusual to see here, intent on laying their eggs. But Santa Monica is also the perfect place for diving and for those who want to try their hand at water sports, which are very popular in Boa Vista.

Another very popular beach is SDe Chaves beach, located 10 km south of Sal Rei and famous for its white sand dunes. Here you can relax sunbathing, or you can have fun windsurfing and kitesurfing, surrounded by a fabulous panorama. Then there is Praia de Varadinha, with its alternation between sandy bays and inlets with hidden rocks, and there is Joao Barrosa, a coastline much appreciated by albatrosses and sea turtles due to its seabed.

Boa Vista, the paradise of beaches and nature in Cape Verde

Sal Rei and the villages of the island

In addition to the beaches, in Boa Vista there are also small towns to explore. The capital is salt king, little more than a village dotted with souvenir shops and typical restaurants. In its square you can relax while sipping a cocktail, while in the distance the local kids play football on the beach, under the light of the sunset and in front of a islet which – not far from the shore – houses the remains of a ancient fort.

This is where the village goes: Bofareira, Cabeça de Tarafes, Curral Velho (a semi-district and disabitated country), Estância de Baixo, Fundo das Figueiras, João Galego, Povoação Velha, Rabil (the old capital). Non ci sono grandi attrazioni, qui, mas si respira un’authenticity that mass tourism has not yet violated.

The sand dunes of the Viana desert

Part of the territory of Boa Vista is occupied by Viana desert, which is very small (one kilometer wide by five kilometers long) but very suggestive. Here the light sand mixes with grains of black earth, and ocean winds transport large quantities of sand from Africa, depositing them on the island. The result? The creation of magnificent dunes, which alternate with flashes of vegetation and dark volcanic rocks.

The landscape is lunar, and unique in the world. So here is the best way to experience the Viana desert travel it on foot, with the knowledge of being completely safe (after all, the area is protected by the Government and prohibited to motor vehicles): the inhabited centers are close by, and there is no danger of encountering poisonous animals.

Boa Vista, the paradise of beaches and nature in Cape Verde

What to do in Boa Vista

In Boa Vista, first of all, you relax between the sea and the beach. However, it is also possible to experience the island in a more dynamic way, dedicating yourself to sport. On the sand, perhaps at dawn or sunset, you can do yoga, meditation or take part in martial arts lessons in a fairytale setting; but it is above all water sports that triumph on the island.

Fans kite surfing can test their skills thanks to waves reaching 6 meters, alternating with areas of flat sea perfect for acrobatics, while the surfers they can practice in complete tranquility thanks to the powerful sea and the sandy seabed, free of dangerous rocks.

Or, in Boa Vista, you can dedicate yourself to exploring the hinterland with routes of trekking, excursions in mountain bike or participating in races or marathons. You can enter the heart of the island alone, or with the help of expert guides. Without forgetting it snorkeling, between sea turtles and an incredible quantity of fish.

Animal paradise

It is not only a small natural paradise, Boa Vista, but it is also the undisputed kingdom of many animals. Starting with the birds (so much so that you can participate in bird-watching trips). They live on the island 150 species of birds, starting with the grey-headed kingfisher, a sort of emblem of Cape Verde. And then the magnificent frigatebird, which has a wingspan of two meters and which breeds only in Curral Velho and Baluarte.

And then, of course, there are fish and corals, including swimming and snorkeling. You can see flying fish intent on jumping out of the water, you can see (from afar) humpback whales and dolphins. And then crustaceans, and migratory species, which make Boa Vista an island with enormous catches.

Excursions in Boa Vista

What if you wanted to organize excursions? Depending on the season, there are many places in the surrounding area that are suitable for a trip. In spring, eg, half-day catamaran trips can be organized to see whales; in summer, however, you can take part in night outings to see the caretta-caretta turtles intent on laying their eggs.

Finally, by renting a jeep it is possible to explore the island of Boa Vista far and wide, discovering its hinterland, its nature, its picturesque villages and its culture, stopping for tasty breaks based on typical food and to buy some artisanal product.

Weather and weather in Boa Vista

Like all islands north of Cape Verde, Boa Vista sees the occurrence of little rain, mainly concentrated between August and October, which is also ithe hottest time of the year. However, this is an irregular phenomenon: some years it may rain very little, in others there may be periods of intense rain that can last several days in a row, with the consequent risk of floods.

In terms of temperatures, from July to November the climate is hot and muggy (with maximum temperatures of 35/37 degrees), from December to June dry and temperate: in this period, the average daytime temperature is 25°, the night-time temperature is 18°.

What are the best months to visit Boa Vista? Although you can go on holiday all year round, the recommended months are May, June, the first half of July and November.

How to Get There:

Boa Vista can be reached in airplane. The only airline to offer direct flights is NEOS, which leaves every Wednesday from Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, Verona and Bologna. Otherwise, you can fly with other airlines via Sal.

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