Things to do in
Boa Vista Island

Our most recommended things to do in Boa Vista Island

Santa Maria: Desert Adventure on a 500cc or 1000cc Buggy

1. Santa Maria: Desert Adventure on a 500cc or 1000cc Buggy

Begin the tour with pickup from your hotel in Santa Maria. Transfer to the local partner's main office where you will be required to show your driver's license. Get kitted out and board your 4x4 to begin your adventure.  On the two-hour tour, discover the salt flats of Santa Maria, surrounded by beautiful sand dunes. Zip past Kite Beach, the favorite beach of kite surfers, before cruising along to Serra Negra, Sal's natural reserve. Stop at the viewpoint here, where you'll be rewarded with an amazing panorama of the entire south part of the island and out to Boavista Island (weather permitting) Buzz across the desert and then stop at the Palha Verde Oasis. Finally, end the tour with a stop at Ponta Preta, the most beautiful beach on the island. Return to the main office and then to your hotel in Santa Maria.

Boavista: Green Turtle & Shark Bay Sandboard Tour & Tasting

2. Boavista: Green Turtle & Shark Bay Sandboard Tour & Tasting

Welcome to the west coast of Boavista, where nature did an amazing job! We’ll start our journey by collecting you from your hotel in a 4x4 pickup truck and then head off to Morro de Areia “mountain of sand”, for the first stop. You’ll be amazed with the beauty of this “mini” Sahara! To be more involved, you’ll experience the new activity of the island: Sandboarding to feel free like a child! After this enjoyment, we then drive between the Dunes and along the coast to reach the Turtle’s bay “baía de tartaruga”. There is nothing better than watching animals in their natural habitat having normal behavior, that means they re happy! The specie is Green Turtle and oppositely to Loggerhead Turtle, they only feed themselves here and spawn somewhere else. We keep going and just a few minutes later we reach de Shark’s bay “baía de tubarão” where depending the sea level we can be lucky to sea this amazing Lemon Shark specie! After this amazing experience we go to the Old Village “Povoação Velha”, the first village of Boavista, inhabited by agricultures, fishermen and goat harders. There you’ll have chance to taste the local specialities in a comfy place. The Rum (Grogue) and Licor (Pontche) are a must to try as people say after 3 shots you start speaking crioulo!! This tour was designed to be nice and cool combining Nature, Adrenaline and Local taste. See you soon!!

Boa Vista: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

3. Boa Vista: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

Boa Vista is a hotspot for whale activity. The impressive humpback whales (adult size approx. 15 m) stay around Boa Vista from March till May to mate or give birth to their babies. Your chance for unforgettable experiences! This half-day cruise takes you into the waters around the island to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Start with pickup from your hotel and travel to the port of Sal Rei. From there, transfer to the yacht by dinghy. Board the yacht and meet your crew, which can draw on over 12 years of experience with whale watching tours at Boa Vista. Receive a detailed briefing with many interesting facts about the humpback whales. All tours are accompanied by local biologists, so you can learn as much as possible about the amazing wildlife. After the briefing, start your quest to find the humpback whales. From March until May, the whales are abundant in the waters of Boa Vista as they migrate to the region to mate and give birth to their offspring. With patience and some luck try to spot some whales in their natural habitat as they swim, play, and put on dazzling, natural acrobatic shows. After about 3 hours on the ocean, return to the port of Sal Rei and you will be driven back to your hotel.

Boa Vista Island: Half-Day Quad Tour to Santa Monica Beach

4. Boa Vista Island: Half-Day Quad Tour to Santa Monica Beach

Depart to Rabil village where the team will provide instructions for the tour and ATV vehicle. Then, pass by Povoação Velha and discover some still intact houses built with handmade clay bricks and thatched roofs, which testify to the beginning of the history of Boa Vista, having been the first village to be populated. Continue to Santa Monica beach, considered the most beautiful beach of the archipelago and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Swim in the crystal clear waters and relax on the white sand. After that, travel along the coast to admire the entire southeastern side of the island with long and beautiful beaches that end in breathtaking dunes. Discover the wonders and secrets carved behind the Varandinha limestone caves, formed naturally by the erosion of the sea in the dunes. Finally, head towards Morro de Areia Nature Reserve before being dropped off at your hotel.

Boa Vista: Santa Monica, Dunes, Caves and Village 4x4 Tour

5. Boa Vista: Santa Monica, Dunes, Caves and Village 4x4 Tour

Designed to be impressive, this trip won’t be forgotten at all… Boavista has 55 kilometers of white Sandy beach along its coast providing a wild environment where Nature still surprising us with its beauty. To enjoy this beauty we scheduled an itinerary that we call “South - The Big Surprise” which you will understand and agree once you do the trip. Firstly we visit the biggest desert of Cape Verde, known as Deserto de Viana by the locals. There’s a massive blanket of Sand Dunes that will catch your attention by its perfect harmony totally untouched and virgin. You can have fun jumping on the Dunes to feel free like a child. Next stop will be for local taste by visiting the Old Village Povoação Velha, known as “Stanxa” between the locals. Stanxa is inhabited by fishermen, farmers and cattle breeders which nowadays there are facing a migration of its population to Sal Rei city for better life conditions. You have chance to get some souvenirs, see how local life is here and use toilet if needed. Then we keep our journey to Varandinha’s beach or “Bracona” as locals call it. The big Caves formed by nature effects through thousands years are just magical and a Must to see. Depending the season we can find endemics birds and we can not forget it’s a sea turtle spot from June till October well visited for spawning. After Bracona’s enjoyment, we head-off, along the west coast, to Santa Monica beach for our last stop. Santa Monica is the most beautiful beach of Cape Verde, holding 12 kilometers of white sand and crystal clear water, which you’ll have chance to enjoy a swim having our included cocktail from the local beach club “Boca Beach” Finishing our journey, you’ll be dropped off at your hotel with an impressive smile of satisfaction. That’s what we offer!!!

Boa Vista Island: Northwest & Deserto de Viana 4x4 Adventure

6. Boa Vista Island: Northwest & Deserto de Viana 4x4 Adventure

Discover the Northwestern region of Boa Vista Island on a 4x4 adventure. Head to Rabil to visit a local handicraft center and appreciate the work of artisans. Continue into Deserto de Viana and learn how the dunes were formed as you admire the incredible landscape. Visit a wreckage of Cabo Santa Maria, and pause to enjoy the beautiful Praia da Atalanta beach where it is stranded. Head towards Sal Rei, stopping at the Chapel of Our Lady of Fatima for breathtaking views over the sea. The tour ends with drop-off back at your hotel.

Boa Vista Island: Quad Adventure to Cabo Santa Maria Beach

7. Boa Vista Island: Quad Adventure to Cabo Santa Maria Beach

After pickup from your hotel, you adventure starts out from Rabil, the second largest town on the island. The first part of your quad tour follows sand and rock tracks towards Praia de Atalanta beach. At the beach you'll discover the wreck of the Cabo Santa Maria that has been stranded on the sand for 50 years. The wreck is so famous, that it has become a symbol of Boa Vista and Cape Verde and a source of inspiration for painters and photographers. You'll have some time here to enjoy the beach and take a few of your own photos. From the beach, head out on your quad through a surreal lunar landscape characterized by volcanic rock. You'll also ride through the middle of an acacia tree forest known as Floresta Clotilde before heading back to Rabil on the Via Pitoresca (the ancient cobble stone road). After a couple hours quadding in the African winds and tropical sun, you'll arrive back at your hotel ready to relax.

Snorkeling at the bay

8. Snorkeling at the bay

Discover the beauty of snorkeling in Boa Vista, Cape Verde! Our snorkeling trip takes you to Djeu Island or to the Zans wreck in the bay. It is only a 2-5 mins boat ride from the Diving Center to these amazing snorkeling spots. These gorgeous, 1-6 meters shallow places let everyone join the waterworld without diving. Friendly fish, inquisitive turtles, naughty yellowtail snappers and maybe even baby sharks will greet those who want to peek into the busy life of a coral community. For more fun, after snorkeling, we stop at Djeu Island for a short stroll or relax on the sandy beach. You can see the lovely lighthouse and the cannons that are left there from the Portuguese times. We have daily snorkeling trips for an hour. During snorkeling activities we only observe but do not touch marine life to preserve habitats and species.

Boa Vista: Viana Desert Quad Bike Adventure

9. Boa Vista: Viana Desert Quad Bike Adventure

The day begins with pickup from your hotel. Head to the first stop of the tour, Rabil, the second most populated village on Boa Vista Island. Visit a ceramic factory to learn about the ancient art of pottery as well as Olaria, one of the few forms of local craftsmanship. Depart from Rabil and cross the palm-lined oasis towards the Viana Desert. Learn about how the desert started forming in the 1980s and has continued to grow due to trade winds that bring sand from the Sahara and Mauritania. Feel the wind in your hair and the adrenaline pump through your body on a thrilling ride across the sand dunes on your quad bike. Continue the tour to Bofareira, a small and sleepy village on the north side of the island, before enjoying a break at Cape Santa Maria to see the shipwreck. Next, drive to Sal Rei city, for a short break followed by a ride along the old cobblestone road to Fatima Church. Admire this recently renovated church while taking in the breathtaking view of the stunning sandy coves that surround you. At the end of an unforgettable day, enjoy drop-off back to your accommodation.

From Boa Vista: Turtle Watching and Nesting Evening Tour

10. From Boa Vista: Turtle Watching and Nesting Evening Tour

Cape Verde Islands hold the third largest community of Loggerhead sea turtle in the world and Boavista receives over 90% of them along its 55 kilometers of white Sandy beach. From June until October we find this spectacle down the beach in the evening where big females come to lay their eggs inside the special nests all made by themselves. This beauty is protected by the government with massive support of the locals who engages the conservancy project every year. Nowadays, there are many associations and ONGs with international support who help the conservancy and protection program. There is a limit of tours and people per night per beach to not disturb the turtle processes, (each operator needs to inform how many guests each time). Immerse yourself in this adventure and get an experience that will last a life time. During our tour you’ll experience the turtle: - preparing very accurately the nest, - laying very carefully the eggs - covering the eggs thoroughly with sand - returning to the sea very quietly Enjoy our Turtle expeditions led by trained staff who love these amazing endangered creatures. 3€ from each booking goes to Protected Areas Conservancy Program!!!

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What people are saying about Boa Vista Island

Overall rating

(66 reviews)

We did the North and the South Tour with BU Country Tours. Both tours are amazing and I can't say which one is better. We did both as private tours and had a great guide (Erineu). He provided us with a lot of information. In most cases, we were some time alone at the locations because we were earlier then the other tourist cars or we went to a similar spot. The vehicle was also great and they even considered our special requests. We can fully recommend and had two fantastic half-day tours.

We did a private tour and really enjoyed it. Our guide was punctual and he provided us a lot of information. At every location, we had enough time for photos and shopping. The car is very good and comfortable! It was a rather new SUV with air conditioning inside. Due to this, the off-road experience (a lot of shaking) was also not too intense. By the way: this tour is also possible for pregnant woman :)

Great experience. Everything went really well - from the pick-up to the return trip. The boat wasn't packed too full, so there was enough space. Humpback whales were also spotted, although there is no guarantee. But you get goosebumps when you see one swimming past the boat. The trip is definitely recommended!

Dunes, caves and Santa Monica beach… Very appreciated driving and very pleasant and friendly guide.. Everything perfect..

I had an amazing day! Our tourguide Tchips was also amazing! I will definitely book another trip with Tchips - Cherrelle