I wouldn’t say that Cape Verde can offer amazing culinary experiences. That said, there are a few dishes and things you have to eat & do when you’re enjoying one of our incredible islands.
If you eat the right food in Cape Verde, it will help you better understand our history and culture. Take our ‘cachupa’ for example. This dish (a stew), our most traditional one, made out of different beans, corn, pork and sweet potato is a representation from when times in the country were really hard.
Cachupa is a dish of several ingredients thrown in one pot. It’s seen as ‘the food of the people’. You can just taste the history when you eat it.
Another thing I would highly recommend is eating fresh fish. And not just ordering it at a (hotel) restaurant. For instance, you can head out to the pier in Santa Maria, or the fish market in Mindelo, and by your own fish.
If possible, prepare your own meal, or have someone cook it for you. If you do decide to eat at a restaurant, ask the fishermen or people selling the fish to show you the best small local restaurant in the neighborhood.
Other food you should really try in Cape Verde:
I would definitely recommend it! :)
I know most people right now visit Cape Verde for the beaches of Sal and Boa Vista. And for a good reason, these places are very beautiful. Here’s how I would suggest you to spend 5 days in Cape Verde:
Fly out to the island of São Vicente. The city of Mindelo is the cultural capital of the country, and has a ‘vibe’ like no other city in the country.
Enjoy the food, live music and other cultural activities. Want some beach time? Hit Laginha Beach, the city beach of Mindelo, located just outside the city center.
For your 3rd and 4th day head out to the spectacular island of Santo Antão, what many people say is the most beautiful island of Cape Verde. Do the hike Ponta do Sol to Fontainhas. The small village of Fontainhas was named by National Geographic as one of the 3 villages in the world with the most beautiful view.
The trip Mindelo (São Vicente) - Porto Novo (Santo Antão) is only one hour by ferry. If you take the 08:00 ferry in Mindelo, you can reach the valley of Paúl by 10:00. This means you won’t be ‘wasting’ any of your valuable time.
In my opinion, the combination of these two islands is a perfect one. São Vicente has some fantastic beaches (although it’s much more known for the culture) and year round events and nightlife. Santo Antão is one of the most authentic places of the country.
In my opinion, the biggest mistake people make is only visiting islands like Sal and/or Boa Vista. Although these two are beautiful islands, the way the travel industry has shaped them, you won’t get to know the ‘real Cape Verde’ when only visiting these islands. Try to make it a little island hopping experience because what’s most intersting to Cape Verde as a tourist destination is the fact that the islands are all so different.
This is not an easy one to answer. The archipelago of Cape Verde consists of 10 different islands, 9 of which are habited. Each island has something else to offer, each has some kind of diverse local culture.
In short, the islands of Sal, Boa Vista and Maio are mainly known for their beautiful beaches. São Nicolau, Santo Antão and Santiago are amazing green islands with great hiking opportunities.
The island of São Vicente is know for its cultural events, with carnival being the most important one. Fogo has a volcano that erupted in 2014, but today it’s possible to get very close to it again.
Brava is a unique place. It’s the country’s less populated island. A beautiful place,and extremely calm. A place that makes you feel like you’re in another world.
Cape Verde sure is a country :)
An amazing archipelago in the North Atlantic a few hundred miles of the coast of Senegal in West Africa.
Amazing because the 10 islands are so diverse. Sal and Boavista are known for their beautiful beaches, Santo Antâo and São Nicolau are incredible nature destinations. Small islands of Maio and Brava offer a total escape from today’s rushed life and the island of São Vicente (Mindelo) is the place for culture.
Cape Verde has been independent for 42 years now, when it freed itself from the colonization of the Portugese. More and more people are discovering this fantastic country, and for very good reasons. A top travel destination.
Cape Verde is a year round destination! :)
The perfect time to visit depends on what your purpose is when traveling to the islands. For Europeans Cape Verde is becoming one of the most popular ‘winter season’ destinations. It’s not perfect beach weather in December or January for me, but it sure is nice with tempratures of around 24/25 degrees.
The ‘winter season’ is also popular with hikers, and destinations like Santo Antão and the island of Fogo. Since it’s too hot in summer to go for long hikes many choose to do this from October to March.
The official tourist (high) season in Cape Verde is from October to March, but also in July and August many hotels on the islands of Sal anb Boavista are fully booked.
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