Cape Verde wasn’t one tiny little archipelago that’s perched around 400 km off the coast of West Africa. I have such fond memories of visiting, especially with all the amazing things to do in Cape Verde. I mean, you’re going to be spoilt for choice.

Flights from cities like London usually take around 5-6 hours (direct), with the islands of; Boa Vista, Sal, Santo Antão, Fogo and São Vicente (to name a few). Though there are actually around 10 islands that make up Cape Verde and each has its own charm and feel.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the best things to do in Cape Verde. It’s an amazing island nation that’s just beautiful to explore.

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Take a look at the best things to do in Cape Verde.

1.) Go horseback riding at Santa Maria beach

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Santa Maria is the biggest and most popular beach in Sal, but you don’t have to go there only for the water. It also has expansive salt flats just beyond the waterline where many horseriding tours start.

That being said, most of the islands offer horseriding tours across the beaches, trails or even in the hills. So make sure to keep your eyes peeled for when you arrive. It really is one of the best things to do in Cape Verde (especially at sunset).

Also, don’t forget, you can book this incredible Sal tour that’ll take around 6 hours with a qualified guide. You’ll get to swim in Salt Lake, visit Espargos and see the Blue Eye. Plus, so much more.

Plus, they will pick you up right from your hotel. Just be sure to book before arriving, tickets can fill up fast. 

2.) Hike Pico De Fogo

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If you’re looking for something adventurous, head over to Fogo island where you can trek near the summit of Pico De Fogo (the highest point in all of Cape Verde).

Now, there’s little need to worry about an imminent eruption. There’s not been one for about 400 years and it’s monitored for activity too. The hike itself has got a picturesque route to the top with a few villages and little surprises along the way.

For this hike, you will need to be fit and comfortable with the elevation increases (which can make it tough in hot weather).

3.) Jump on a dune buggy in Boa Vista

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Boa Vista is one of the more popular islands that attract visitors to Cape Verde and is a desert island paradise that’s perfect for off-road dune adventures.

Hop over to Praia de Chaves and have the best time. Now, you’ll probably find it easiest to book the dune buggy adventure at your hotel, so ask the concierge once you arrive.

4.) Explore Santo Antão Island

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Being the second largest island, you’ll find that Santo Antão has a good mix of things to do in Cape Verde. It’s one of those islands that’s quite different from the likes of Boa Vista island and is much more lush and green.

Once here, make sure to visit Xôxo, and take the scenic trails between Lin d´Corvo down towards João Afonso. Now, some of the trails can be tough and you need to be well prepared for some of the longer hikes but I guarantee it’s worth it.

Oh, and don’t forget to see the views from Delgadinho mountain ridge. If you’re not familiar with the island, make sure to book yourself on a guided trek. These are the safest way to explore.

5.) Wander the coast of Baia Das Gatas

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The coastline of Sao Vicente is so gorgeous to explore and a place that’s totally stunning to see. In my opinion, it’s the natural beauty that makes for so many amazing experiences and things to do in Cape Verde.

One thing to note is that the winds can be quite high in Cape Verde but the sun is also very strong. This means that you’ll likely not realise how much your skin is burning under the sun.

Take lots of layers, plenty of high-factor sun block and stay in the shade if possible.

6.) Learn to surf at Kite Beach

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Kite Beach is the perfect place on Sal Island to kick-start your skills in kitesurfing and regular surfing lessons.

Places like Surf Zone Cabo Verde offer beginner lessons and more intermediate lessons for those not used to surfing. One thing to note, as with any potentially rough sea currents, is always listen to local expert advice and don’t enter the water if it’s deemed too dangerous.

7.) See the turtles on Boa Vista

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Boa Vista is one of the world’s most important breeding grounds for sea turtles and a place that’s protected by locals and the country itself. Now, as with any wildlife, it’s always important to keep a safe and respectful difference from the Loggerhead sea turtles (and never touch them).

The best way to see the turtles is with an organised tour that you can book for around 70-100 Euros at most hotels on the island. Also, make sure to book through Boa Vista Tourism, you’re reservation will then be given to an authorised tour operator.

8.) Swim in the Pedra Lume Crater

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Pedra Lume Crater (in Sal) is a huge volcanic crater that’s now filled with salty sea water (for which the island of Sal is named).

Now, these very warm pools actually have a higher mineral content than even the Dead Sea, so it’s great for your skin, and you won’t sink!

9.) Explore Santa Maria (Sal)

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Santa Maria is a relatively large town on the island of Sal and offers quite an array of things to do in Cape Verde. Once here, make sure to listen out for the live music, stop off in the craft shops and explore the tiny streets.

10.) chillout on Praia de Verandinha

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Praia de Verandinha is one of those beaches that’ll make you feel like you’re on Boa Vista island alone. It’s totally unspoilt and a stunning area to visit on a chillout day on the island.

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Take a dip in the sea, wander the dunes and explore the natural beauty of Cape Verde.

Read more: Our trip to Cape Verde

A Quick Guide To Visiting The Islands Of Cape Verde In Africa

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