About Boa Vista
Boa Vista (“good view” in Portuguese) is the easternmost island of Cape Verde. It is located in the Barlavento group of the archipelago. With an area of 620 km², it is the third largest island. It is known for marine turtles and traditional music, as well as its ultra-marathon and its sand dunes. It has 55 kilometers of beaches that rival those you’d find in Jamaica or Barbados. Its main town is Sal Rei that has a ferry port and is home to Boa Vista’s international airport.
While mass tourism has already reached the smaller neighbouring island of Sal, life on Boa Vista is a bit more authentic. However, the airport was opened in 2007, and Italian and Spanish investors are building large hotels at quite a rate. With direct flights from many cities in Europe you can be on one of Boa Vista’s beaches the same day. People familiar with Cape Verde assume that Boa Vista will be serious rivalry for the island of Sal with regard to tourism in a few years.
If you would like to loose yourself on one of Cape Verde’s longest beaches and have the option of a dabble in some water sports, Boa Vista is definitely worth a visit…
Cape Verde has four international airports with over 40 flights a week to the islands of Sal, Boa Vista, São Vicente and Santiago. You can fly to any of them and still use the local flights (operated by Binter CV) to connect; however it’s better to go direct to the island of Boa Vista (unless you want to go island hopping). All the airlines on this page fly to Aristides Pereira airport on the island of Boa Vista. If you need help with flights please contact us with your preferred city of departure and we will try to find the best route. A visa is required, this can be bought on arrival for €25.
Airlines that fly to Boa Vista
- Water SportsWater sports – including surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing
In common with most of the Cape Verde islands, water sports feature in the list of activities to do in Boa Vista. Being a fairly windy island windsurfing and kite surfing are popular activities. For those not experienced in these sports there are opportunities to learn. Conditions vary around the island and this means that there are places suitable for experienced surfers and beginners alike. The windy season is between October and May and the prevailing wind is from the north-east. Some beaches are not easily reached because of the limited road network; quad bikes are therefore useful.
- Quad BikingBoa Vista is a sandy island and has limited road infrastructure, so hiring quad bikes is a great way to visit some of the more remote parts of the island and its beaches; and it is also great fun. Companies offer guided quad bike tours, or you can do you own thing. Driving licences are required because some of the trip will be on roads.
- Turtle WatchingTours to see the turtles are operated in the evenings between June and October. The main areas for this activity are in the east and south-east coast of Boa Vista. The visitors are met by an expert who will give information about the turtles and their habits and also about the conservation/protection projects that are underway in Cape Verde. There are some rules involved in visiting because turtles are easily frightened. During the hatching season it may be possible to see the nests and release some of the baby turtles into the sea.
- Visit Sal ReiSal Rei is the capital of the island and almost half of the island’s population live there. Traders from Africa display their wares on the main square – Praça de Santa Isabel – which also has attractive flowers and pavilions. The church of Santa Isabel is next to the square and is typical of a low-key, or simple, baroque style. The old harbour quay and a boat yard can be seen from the Avenida dos Pescadores. The best quality salt was once produced in Sal Rei (literally ‘royal salt’) and the salinas is in the north east part of the town.
- Visit RabilRabil is south of Sal Rei and home to the island’s airport. There is a pottery that can be visited and also the church of São Roque. The small village does not offer a great deal more, but further to the south is Pavoação Velha, the oldest habitation on the island, dating from the 16th Century. This is a pleasant little village situated at the bottom of Rocha Estância (348m high). One of the landmarks is the little chapel of Santo António.
- Visit the Deserto de VianaThis desert is located in the northwestern part of Boa Vista, east of the towns of Sal Rei and Rabil. The desert is approximately 20km in length and 4km wide and rises to some 50m. Some of the northern part of the desert forms a protected area called the Boa Esperança Nature Reserve. The north east winds carry sand over from the Sahara and have shaped the topography and character of the area. The sparse vegetation and the mixture of sand and dark volcanic rocks creates a fascinating landscape, which is characterised by the silence that is experienced there.
Boa Vista Kite offers tuition in kite surfing for all levels and standards from beginners through to advanced. They are registered with the International Kiteboarding Organisation (IKO) and lessons are designed to provide excellent tuition with maximum enjoyment. Instructors speak a number of languages including English, Portuguese, Spanish and German. All equipment is provided, including helmets, lifejackets and harness. Boats are used for tuition in order to give on-the-spot feedback. It is also possible to teach children over the age of 10. In addition to kite surfing, they offer windsurfing, surfing, whale watching, big game fishing and quad biking. They can also assist with accommodation in Boa Vista.
Eco-hotel in Espingueira (hotel rooms, apartments and villa)
Spinguera Ecolodge is located Espingueira in the Norte Natural Park, in the north of the island of Boa Vista. This hotel is inspired by the desire to provide eco-tourism; the hotel has a low carbon footprint and is integrated into its surroundings. Solar panels provide the hot water and electricity. The aim of the owners is for their visitors to discover the pleasure of the simple things in life in buildings once abandoned, but now carefully restored. There are standard and superior rooms, they enjoy both sea and desert views. The superior rooms are slightly larger than the standard rooms. In addition there are apartments for two adults and a child; one villa sleeping two adults and two children; and one villa sleeping four adults and two children. There is also free WiFi in the reception area. The hotel can arrange various activities including walks, quad biking, fishing, boating and variety of water sports including surfing, kite-surfing and diving. Spinguera Ecolodge provides a great holiday destination, where visitors can discover the simplicity, style and comfort, with only the sound of the sea or the wind.