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Things to do in

Cape Verde

Our most recommended things to do in Cape Verde

Sal island: Salt Lake, Blue Eye and Shark Bay Tour

1. Sal island: Salt Lake, Blue Eye and Shark Bay Tour

Get out for an adventurous sightseeing tour that is perfect for discovering the desert and, the hidden treasures of this popular and most deserted destination. This trip will take you to Salt Lake Salinas of Pedra de Lume, the second saltiest water in the world after the Dead Sea, an incredible lake where you can lie down and float, even if you can't swim, and you will be left with smooth skin as if you had a natural scrub. Next, you will travel to Buracona, where you will see the "Blue Eye", one of the 7 wonders of the island and its natural pool, where you will have time to swim in its crystal clear waters if the conditions are ideal for bathing. Then you will move on to Miragem, where you will see the fata morgana effect of water illusions in the desert. Admire the natural reserve of Murdeira Bay and enjoy the beautiful view of Lion mountain. At the end, you will visit Shark Bay, where you will experience lemon sharks in their natural habitat up close. Enjoy a half-day island tour and visit places like Blue Eye, Miragem, Salinas Salt lake and Shark Bay. Swim in the salt lake and Buracona natural pool with your group, before heading out to sea to see some lemon sharks.

Sal: All-Inclusive Half-Day Lounge Catamaran Cruise

2. Sal: All-Inclusive Half-Day Lounge Catamaran Cruise

Hop aboard the luxurious Lounge Catamaran Sodade and be whisked away for half a day to unwind. Cruise down the western coast of Sal on the spacious boat, and enjoy a different view of the island's rocky shores. Take the children with you for a fun day out at sea, or select the adults-only tour option to enjoy a kid-free experience. Sip on unlimited beer and soft drinks throughout your trip. After pickup at your hotel, board the catamaran for your half-day trip. The catamaran has a capacity for 90 people but numbers are limited to 60 people per trip to ensure plenty of space for everyone. On the sunlit deck, relax on the comfortable lounge beds while bobbing along with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and relish a refreshing cocktail, a nice glass of (sparkling) wine, or a cold beer. Halfway through the trip, freshen up with a cool dive into the ocean to swim and snorkel, try some local fishing with the crew, or simply relax on board while a delicious snack is prepared. A private inflatable pool provides a safe opportunity for the smallest guests to enjoy time in the water too. On the way back to the harbor, the ambiance is awakened with African vibes of local music, drums, and dance. Long story short: With a fresh breeze, a combination of soothing and uplifting music, and all-inclusive food and drinks, this catamaran trip makes the perfect getaway.

Santa Maria: Guided Snorkeling Tour

3. Santa Maria: Guided Snorkeling Tour

Snorkelling around Sal is a wonderful way to explore the underwater world, here we are lucky enough to have shallow reefs with an abundance of marine life, including tropical and Mediterranean fish, rays, turtles, moray eels and many more. It is possible to go from the beach in some areas, but it is much better to access the reef from a boat that will drop you of at the reef rather than swimming a few hundred meters of the coast and risk getting caught in strong currents. We use a zodiac rib to get us to the best sites and ensure maximum safety for all our clients. The Snorkel Tour takes approximately two hours. We meet all participants at our dive centre so we can fit you out with proper snorkeling equipment and fill in the paperwork. There you will also receive a brief overview explaining whats going to happen during your tour, the equipment you will be using, some basic knowledge about snorkeling and the rules that need to be followed for your safety during the tour. What's included Professional snorkelling guide Use of snorkelling equipment and wetsuits Snorkelling vests Please bring: Towel Water Minimum age: 8 years old No experience is required! • Explore the Atlantic ocean in safe and comfortable surroundings. • Supervision by our experienced and friendly guides. • All snorkelling equipment is supplied. We have three different sites where we can do snorkelling depending on the sea conditions we will choose the best considering safety, visibility and currents. Let me explain a little about the sites. In the bay of Santa Maria a couple hundred meters of shore there is a multilevel reef 3m to 8m deep giving a range of depth ideal for marine life to move around and suitable for all visibility conditions, at the end of the reef there is a shallow shipwreck, Bolama or more commonly known as Calderinhia due to the big boiler still left behind. Schools of soldier fish and snappers like to swim around it and are regularly found here in addition to parrot fish, trumpet fish and many others. Dunas is a series of shallow reefs interlaces with sand dunes ideal as refuge for many fish species and turtles, depth is around 7m. Bikini is further to the north, it is a shallow reef 2m to 6m where you can see corals in close proximity, lots of invertebrates such as morays and lobsters and since its closer to shore and shallow, it works as a fish nursery area. On occasions we visit the Christ statue in the Bay of Santa Maria close to the pier, this statue is only 3m deep and can be easily seen from the surface, placed here to protect the bay it is an attraction for both tourists and fish. Please take into account that it is a zodiac rib and thus the inside does get wet, keep your belongings safe and only bring what is necessary to the trip.

Sal Island: Guided Full-Day Highlights Tour with Lunch

4. Sal Island: Guided Full-Day Highlights Tour with Lunch

Get picked up from your accommodation and depart toward Santa Maria salt pans. There, find out about the local history and see how the locals extract salt, the activity that determined the island's name. Continue to the village of Murdeira, where you will have a short visit to its nature reserve and enjoy the views of Lion Mountain. Then, meet the locals in the fishing village of Palmeira before traveling to Buracona to see "Blue Eye" and, weather permitting, swim in its beautiful natural pool. Move on towards Miragem, grab some pictures of the effects of water illusions in the desert and take a well-deserved lunch break. Enjoy the local cuisine and discover the Cape Verdean gastronomy. Next, drive to Espargos and get to know its street arts that portray the Cape Verdean woman, her Morabeza, and history. After that, head to Shark Bay, a must-see when visiting Sal. Put on your water shoes, enter the ocean, and get close to the docile lemon sharks in their natural environment. Finally, visit Pedra de Lume, a salt farm located below sea level. Cross its cave, get into its extinct volcano crater and reach the lagoons from which the salt is extracted. Enjoy floating in the world's second saltiest thermal water, an unforgettable experience. The tour concludes with a drop-off at your accommodation.

From Santa Maria: Two-Hour 4WD Buggy Desert Adventure

5. From Santa Maria: Two-Hour 4WD Buggy Desert Adventure

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.

Boa Vista Island: Half-Day Viana Desert Quad Bike Adventure

6. Boa Vista Island: Half-Day 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. From there, drive to Sal Rei city, for a short break followed by a ride along the old cobble stone 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.

Sal: Private Airport Transfer to Santa Maria or Espargos

7. Sal: Private Airport Transfer to Santa Maria or Espargos

Avoid the hassle of navigating a foreign public transportation system or the expense of a taxi and enjoy a clean, safe, and reliable transfer between your hotel in Santa Maria and Amilcar Cabral International Airport. All transfers are available 24/7. Save time by booking your pickup service according to your flight times. Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall with a sign with Sal Experience written on it. Relax and kick off your holiday in style, knowing that you are traveling in the company of a fully licensed and insured driver who will be happy to help you with your luggage or any other issues. So sit back, relax and let your driver take care of you.

Sal: Full-Day Guided Sightseeing Trip Around the Island

8. Sal: Full-Day Guided Sightseeing Trip Around the Island

Meeting at the front desk of your hotel at 9:15 AM, then make your way to the first destination, Ponta Preta (Black Edge). Witness a contrast between white natural sand dunes and dark-colored volcanic rocks entering the sea. This amazing combination creates huge and beautiful waves, making this location the stage for world-famous water sports competitions like surfing and windsurfing. While in Ponta Preta, you'll be introduced to the itinerary and provided with a brief history of Cape Verde. Next, head to Murdeira, located at the center of the island. Snorkel in the bay's crystal clear, coral-filled waters, and catch a glimpse of Monte Leão, one of the island's most prominent landmarks. From Murdeira, go north to the capital of the island, Espargos. Enjoy a local tour of the city ending in a panoramic view through the belvedere. Make your next stop at the fishing village of Palmeira, the only port on the island and an industrialized zone extremely important to the local economy. To the east of Palmeira, spot Buracona, a place with natural pools and an incredible rocky landscape of volcanic origin. This combination creates a wonderful phenomenon called "Blue Eye". From 10:30 AM–1 PM, the sun shines inside a 25-meter (82-foot) deep cave, allowing you to glimpse the image of a shiny blue eye staring at the majestic sky. More to the west of the island is Terra Boa, the only land for growing crops where you can enjoy another spectacle of nature, a mirage in the middle of the desert. On the way back to Espargos, pass the peripheral area of the island and visit some social institutions, such as kindergartens and schools. In Espargos, take a break for lunch in a local restaurant and taste a typical dish or savor one of the best pizzas in town. After lunch, continue to Pedra de Lume, where the famous Salinas (salt pans) are found inside of an extinct volcano crater. Bathe in the therapeutic waters before heading to the Baia de Parda around 4 PM to catch sight of lemon sharks. You'll return to your hotel around 5 PM.

Boa Vista: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

9. 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: Full-Day ATV Bike Adventure with Lunch

10. Boa Vista Island: Full-Day ATV Bike Adventure with Lunch

Marvel at this thrilling coast-to-coast ATV bike off-road adventure around Boa Vista Island traversing secret places during a thrilling ATV tour. First, be picked up at your hotel and depart to Rabil village where our team will give the relevant instructions of the tour and your ATV vehicle. Then, drive south until you reach a dry river. Arrive at the beautiful Oasis de Fonte Vicente and observe the leafy fruit trees including giant fig trees, robust almond trees, tamarinds, and an exotic baobab tree. Next, explore the old village of Coral Velho before you arrive at Fundo das Figueiras where you will stop for a delicious lunch.After that, cross Cabeça de Tarrafas, Santinha, and reach the stunning sand dunes of the Viana desert. Learn how the dunes were formed as you admire the incredible landscape. Drive along the edge of the desert on the way back to Rabil. Conclude your adventure with drop-off at your accommodation.

Other Sightseeing Options in Cape Verde

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What people are saying about Cape Verde

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 612 reviews

Para mi pareja y para mi era mucho más cómodo hacer la ruta a Salinas directamente ya que así repartimos las diferentes actividades durante la semana, la verdad que super bien, nos vinieron a buscar al hotel y nos llevaron con el guía que estaba haciendo la ruta de 6 horas. Es muy interesante la explicación del guía de las Salinas y después de verdad que te queda la piel super suave! Muy recomendable! ☺️

Had an amazing time. Stunning scenery with time to explore all the different areas. The staff were very accommodating and ensured we had a good time. One of the highlight of this trip was the ride across the sand dunes at the end. One little tip take your own scarf to keep the dust out. Otherwise you can buy them, they cost us €5 for 2. Would definitely recommend to anyone visiting boa vista.

Very good quality buggy. Everything is well arranged. You will be picked up, in advance you will have contact via whatsapp. You have a clear explanation on the spot about how or what. Take a scarf with you, if you don't have one, you can buy 1 on the spot for a few euros. They speak good English.

We had our private tour guide, so just our Quads and one Guide. It was one of the Best tours you can make on the Island! Thank you for this beautiful and fun adventure!

Fantastic experience watching a turtle laying eggs. Definitely one of my travel highlights!