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The best Cape Verde secrets to visit now

Into the unknown: From Brava to São Nicolau

· Travel

In our blogpost about 7 must see places in Cape Verde we took you on a trip along beautiful places of the country on different islands. All of these 7 were places that already receive a good amount of visitors, some even being considered the main tourist hotspots in Cape Verde. This time it's all about 'the secrets' of the incredible archipelago. Places that are undiscovered by the masses and are little pieces of paradise.

"Cape Verde: 10 islands, 1 amazing travel destination"

Tarrafal de Monte Trigo, Santo Antão

This beautiful small village on the island of Santo Antão is a true gem. Unlike the 'other side' of the island, which is much more habited and discovered by tourists, visiting Tarrafal de Monte Trigo offers an even more unique experience. Many people describe a visit to Santo Antão as traveling 'back in time'. This could not be more true for this part of the island.

For example, people who wants to reach the village of Monte Trigo from Tarrafal de Monte Trigo (these two are the main populated places in this part of the island) can do so by a hike of about 3 hours, or a ferry. There is no other option (!). A very special time of the year in Tarrafal de Monte Trigo is around september, when turtles lay there eggs on the beach.

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The island Brava

The island of Brava is the smallest (inhabited) island of Cabo Verde, with around 6.000 habitants. Brava is part of the 'Sotavento islands', the southern part of the country. Its located to the east of Fogo, and can be reached by ferry from Fogo within an hour. The fast ferry connects Fogo's capital São Felipe to Furna.

Unlike the island of Maio, which also is a very small island, Brava does not have an airport.

The island is known for the link with the United States, because of the number of Cape Verdean immigrants that settled in the country. Brava is known as one of the greenest of the islands, and is another great hiking adventure spot for those who love am active holiday. Because of the size of the island it's an option to get to know Brava by hiking across the entire island. Take your time to enjoy all the amazing little villages on your route.

Heading to Mindelo? Read more here: The ultimate Mindelo info tourist guide

Ponte Preta, Maio

The island of Maio also has the amazing 'bounty island' beaches that Boavista and Sal are famous for. Many locals consider the beach of Ponte Preta as the most beautiful one on the island. Maio is located to the west of Santiago and is only a 15 minute (!) flight away from Cape Verde's capital Praia.

Unfortunately a lack of better infrastructure has kept Maio from reaching its potential as a tourist destination (among other things) which also means that people who do get a chance to visit get a very different experience than those who visit Boavista and Sal.

But don't just hit the beach if you visit Maio. Hike to the top of Monte Penoso, with 437 meters the highest point of the island, or visit the sand dunes of Morrinho. A great time to visit would be september. The music festival of Beach Rotcha is a yearly event that totally takes over the island.

Binter will start flying to the island of Maio in june.

Ribeira Brava, São Nicolau

The beach of Tarrafal, São Nicolau

The island of São Nicolau is often compared to Santo Antão. Both islands have spectacular mountains, which makes them excellent hiking spots for adventurous travellers. Like the island of Maio, a

lack of infrastructure has kept São Nicolau from developing its tourism as done on the island of Santo Antão.

The fast ferry from Mindelo gets to Tarrafal (São Nicolau's main port) in under 2,5 hours, and usually makes this trip twice a week. TACV also connects São Nicolau to the rest of the country, twice a week from the airport of Ribeira Brava. Binter will start flying to the island of São Nicolau in june.

Next to its spectacular nature, São Nicolau is known for having an amazing carnival celebration. Many consider the carnival of the islands capital Ribeira Brava to be the best in Cape Verde after the Mindelo carnival. In 2018 the big carnival parade will be on Tuesday the 13th of February.

Thinking about Carnival in Cape Verde?

Read here: Carnival in Cape Verde