Waiting to be Discovered - The Cape Verde Islands
Journalist, Salome Munuo, explores all that Boa Vista has to offer from stunning beaches and all-inclusive hotels to snorkelling over dramatic shipwrecks and dancing the Funana with the locals at the annual Harvest festival.
Mum of one, Salome
Munuo is a fashion
journalist and stylist for a
national paper and runs a
personal styling company
She spent a romantic
week in Boa Vista with
her partner Lance
discovering all aspects of
There are not many holiday companies that give the customer a sense of discovery. Travelling to the island of Boa Vista with The Cape Verde Experience my partner and I certainly felt like true explorers.
We stayed at the all-inclusive resort of Iberostar Club Boa Vista, a four-star luxury hotel in Praia des Chaves on the west coast of the island. Set along white sandy beaches with crystal blue seas, the location is postcard picture perfect.
The hotel boasts three pools including a breathtaking infinity pool. Also on site is ‘Renova’, the tranquil spa and a high-tech gym. During our stay we both enjoyed an invigorating massage in the spa, and I also found a little time to fit in a luxury pedicure!
The hotel houses two main restaurants: a buffet-style restaurant with open grill cooking and one with a seafood menu. The hotel also has three bars, which provide a delicious selection of cocktails, a fantastic way in which to while away the evening whilst enjoying the most breathtaking sunsets.
During our stay we also enjoyed the daily shows, put on by the in-house entertainment team. For those more active holidaymakers there is a wide choice of exercise classes, from pool volleyball to poolside dancing, as well as live music. The entertainment continues well into the evening with a variety of live cabarets.
The day after we arrived we were guided through the catalogue of activities. Snorkelling among the coral reefs, quad bike safaris, full or half-day tours by 4x4, discovering ship wrecks, visiting local towns, or trailing across the Viana desert - Boa Vista's answer to the Sahara.
We took part in a wide range of the trips, by far the favourites being the snorkelling for its amazing sea life and dramatic shipwrecks, and the cross-country trail for its volcanic landscapes, vintage villages, and breathtaking beaches.
For an island that is only 620 kilometres squared and with a population of only 5,000, you certainly get the full ‘Tardis’ experience with such a wide choice of adventure.
During our stay we enjoyed day shopping trips to the capital village of Sal Rei. At night we visited a festival in the smaller village of Estancia de Baixo, which was the annual end of Harvest celebration. Traditionally held on the last Saturday of May, it's a carnival mix of local food, dance, drums and live music. The evening was a magical mix and we easily embraced the spirit, dancing the Funana (the traditional salsa style dance) in the street with the rest. The Cape Verdeans are a naturally friendly population and guests are given a warm welcome in all the local towns.
The Cape Verde islands are such a melting pot of cultures and races due to its rich history of influence from the French, Dutch and Portuguese colonies. The international influence is clear in the beautiful architecture of the local towns and villages of Boa Vista. The colonial style buildings, though weathered, are painted in candy colours making for a beautiful backdrop against the arid landscapes.
Cape Verde is famed for its mouthwatering seafood cuisine. The locals are gifted in mixing spices with traditional cooking techniques, producing some amazing dishes. On our last night we enjoyed an enchanting lobster dinner, with live music from the locals, arranged as another excursion booked through our tour guide. The evening was filled with aromas from the food fused with the heady atmosphere of the music. We dined on the most succulent dishes and danced the night away.
The whole trip was a truly colourful carnival experience.
The Cape Verde Experience really provides you with the true essence of Cape Verde, changing us from ordinary tourists into adventurous travellers. We were left satisfied but wanting more...
Extract of article by Salome Munuo, as featured in The Daily Express.
Ten things you must do in Cape Verde.
- Book a fishing trip.
- Head to Ervatao beach on Boa Vista to catch a glimpse of the famous loggerhead turtles.
- Visit the old ceramic factory in Praia da Chaves.
- Go for a sunset walk along the unspoilt coastline for the most breathtaking views.
- Visit the villages’ bustling markets for a true taste of traditional Cape Verde.
- Enjoy diving among the colourful coral reefs and wrecks along the shoreline of Boa Vista.
- Hire a quad bike or 4x4 to discover the island at your own leisure.
- Visit the old fishing village in Spinguera and enjoy a seafood lunch.
- Book a round island boat trip and enjoy views of the island from the sea.
- Animal lovers can enjoy a rustic horse riding tour across the picturesque coastline.