10 Best Cape Verde Islands

Martina Rosado
Written by
Last update:


Santa Luzia

Santa Luzia is a tiny, uninhabited island about an hour and a half by boat from Cape Verde’s main island of Santiago. Santa Luzia is a limestone rock formation that has almost no vegetation, other than stones. There are a few small beaches along the island, and it is a popular spot for fishing. Crowds are sparse, but there may be people around during the summer months. There is a lighthouse on the island, which is possible to reach by foot. The lighthouse can be seen from the boat that will take you to the island. The water here is shallow and calm, perfect for snorkeling. The 500 meter long coral reef has many sea creatures, and a few special frogfish can also be found here. The beach is a great spot for sunbathing and relaxing, and you can swim gently into a pristine lagoon. Fishermen can cast their lines off the shoreline as well as the boat. In the near shore waters, you can look for kelp.

This island is wild and nearly untouched. It is a good place to kayak or make a nature discovery. There is a small, sleepy village on the island, but it is only populated by a few fishermen and some goats.


Robert Southey, the first-century Romantic poet, wrote “Cry of the Hawk” and expressed his love for these islands in the 18th century. He wrote that he could never leave and was unable to return to Britain.

Picasso painted “Temptation of St. Anthony,” and Sting spent a long time on this island when he lived in the Greater Antilles.

You can see waterfalls, mountains, and amazing views of forty-five nautical miles.

Brava is on the west side of the island and is known for its caves. Sometimes it is called “Brazil” because of the “sausages” that are also found on the island.

They are formed by erosion and contain many stalactites hanging from the ceiling.

Other caves contain man-made colonies of bats. Inside the caves is a network of tunnels and caverns created by geothermal activity.

This beautiful Cape Verde Island is a historic tourist destination and one of the natural wonders of the world. Travelers will enjoy their proximity to the ocean.

The Brava and Sao Vicente islands in some of the most beautiful on the archipelago. The volcanic origin is evident in the islands’ form.

Sao Nicolau

Cape Verde.

Coasts of Brancas, Vau, and Covo.

Sao Nicolau, also known as West Island, has 2 national parks (Bandeira Natural and Ribeira Seca) and a small forest of cashew trees. Other protected areas on the island are the north-eastern region of Bullera, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the municipality of Pinhao.

Many turquoise waters are found throughout the island, so much so that it is possible to see aquamarine and green colored bottom on the ocean floor.

Cabo Corvo, a coastal cliff missing a few bits and bobs, could be explored along the Angra do Cão lighthouse, while at the end of the road there is an abandoned quarry that is now overgrown with vegetation.

Fishing is quite good in this spot, with the main targets being varieties of discus, sunfish, angelfish (Ameiurus nebulosus), yellowtail snapper (Lutjanus farranus), and Atlantic peckish (Echeneis naucrates).

Diving fans will want to keep an eye on the marine life in the area, including rays, sharks, and sea turtles. One point on the island gives access to one of the world’s most interesting spots for photographing sharks.


Fogo is a small island in the Cape Verde Islands. The population is about 350 people and is settled around a central volcanic area.

Fogo is the most popular and the most visited island of the major islands. The volcano has a central crater, so the entire island is essentially a haven for people who like to climb mountains and observe nature.

It is a tiny island, only 12 square miles, but the landscape is unique since you’re rewarded by hiking through a short green forest and a volcanic crater that is free from trees.

When you want to know more about the land and the people, you can experience the special atmosphere at Irene’s Bakery. Every day at Irene’s you can buy freshly baked bread, custardy coconut dumplings or sweet scones.

But what you really want to do is get in the car and explore the island. The roads aren’t paved like on the other islands. Some go through hills of lava and others pass through valleys.

Fogo is considered one of the most important islands when it comes to returning to a more natural way of life. The island is about a half mile in circumference, with lush forest covering the mountain. One third of the island is pasture.

Santo Antao

The breathtaking Santo Antao is one of the smaller islands found in Cape Verde. Sightings of whales and dolphins are common here and there are many opportunities to dive into deep blue waters.

The beaches are prioritized among the best of travel sites for the island, and they do not disappoint. You can find some of the most breathtaking white sands imaginable with lots of palm trees and a lot of seclusion from other tourists.

The island has a lot of delicious food to offer, including fish, poultry, and more. The waters around the island are not only great for beach vacations and snorkeling but excellent for diving as well. You don’t have to worry about overcrowding, and the beaches are quiet and serene.

Santo Antao offers a nice balance of culture and recreation with a laid back island kind of feel.

Santo Antao is a popular destination for surfers, divers, eco-tourists, and more. Santo Antao is also home to the largest of the four of the Cape Verde islands, Sao Vicente.

The island is small and the visits short, so it’s a perfect choice if you want to combine your vacations to the best beaches of Cape Verde with you diving opportunities, but still enjoy the feeling of a big city as well.

Sao Vicente

You can touch the sea

Visiting Sao Vicente is the very reason some people come to Cape Verde. This small island is perfect for those who want to relax on the beach, snorkel, dive, or even surf.

If you crave some peace and quiet, you can enjoy seclusion on the beaches of Sao Vicente. This may be one of only two islands without a village, and it’s okay if you miss the boisterous aspect that comes with a real village.

Head to the island’s southwestern-most portion, where amazing seaside views are forever fascinating.

The Water

Several dive spots abound near the island’s southernmost tip. Just north of the town of Ribeira Grande, you’ll discover a fantastic reef area with snorkeling opportunities. Although you may spot some small fish here, it’s the big fish that you’ll want to see.

Other dive places near Ribeira Grande include Dipaso, Tabua de Faial, and St. Julian’s Table.

If you’re not a diver, you can also snorkel around this area of Sao Vicente. Or ask your guide if they have night snorkel trips.


This island has 10,000 acres, which is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island. It was uninhabited until the Portuguese settled there in the 17th century. In the early years, it grew to become a hub of the slave trade until missionaries arrived to convert the slaves and the natives to Catholicism. Santiago Island is a popular tourist destination. The island is known for its picturesque beaches and clear waters. It offers camping, boating, water sports, scuba diving, and hiking.

Boa Vista

Boa Vista National Park is protected by the Brasil’s National Institute of Conservation and Recherch and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was created with a thought to protect a natural area that is rich in biodiversity, including an important mangrove system.

Among the notable waterfowl are the greater flamingo, osprey, black vulture, and roseate spoonbill. We are told that dolphins and whales can also be seen. Of most interest to snorkelers are the many small bays and coves.

There are four species of “barracudaauría” in the waters teeming with life. It can sometimes be very muddy, so be careful.

The park also houses some red-tailed tropic birds, nesting on Boa Vista Island, as well as red-billed tropic birds, black-winged stilts, and American coots and red-necked cormorants. A fifth shorebird, the African black crowned night heron, resides on small islets where they forage for food.

You can observe all this and much more on a nature walk along the river that runs through the island. It also has an extensive network of walking paths that are suitable for both hiking and picnicking.


Sal is the Capital of Cape Verde and the largest city in Cape Verde. Sal also represents the center of the economy of Cape Verde. Sal is considered the cultural capital of the country and has been known as such for many years. The city is located on the northeastern coast of the island of Sal.

Sal is home to approximately 61,200 people and is considered the economic capital of the nation of Cape Verde. The town is unique as it is a center of commerce for both the governmental sector and the commercial sector of the nation. You will find a number of companies that have offices and operations centred in Sal. These companies deal with overall business, intellectual and artistic ventures and many related endeavors.

Two of the most famous plazas in Sal are the Slave Market Plaza, the Palmar Plaza and the Kulturplaza. The Palmar Plaza is a plaza that is home to an area where you can find many of the most important government buildings. Some of the more important buildings that are located in Palmar Plaza are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Labor Central, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and the National Secretariat of Culture.