Experience all that Cape Verde has to offer from the vibrant colourful culture to the friendly charismatic locals on any of the many excursions available.
Call 02392 570543 or 02392 599534 to speak to a Cape Verde specialist
Almost 50 protected environmental areas and at least 16 identified species of whales and dolphins. Cape Verde may have jam-packed as much as possible into its tiny surface area, but it's the water at its edges which holds some of the most exquisite attractions to the region.
There's a tangible reason why Cape Verde was a flourishing whaling station as far back as the draconian 1500s. Humpback whales, in particular, have been recorded in record numbers around the island of Sal, mostly lolling about Murdeira Bay on its western extremity. The planet's largest creature, the blue whale, has also been sighted in these parts, along with monstrous whale sharks, sperm whales, melon-headed whales and hammerhead sharks. Thankfully these days the whaling industry is consigned to mere memory in this corner of the globe.
Knowing where to safely gain your dive accreditation, which sightseeing companies offer the greatest whale watching excursions and which operators are ecologically minded are just a few of the services you will receive when enlisting Captivating Travel. Being underwater when the great sonar blast of a pod ripples through the vibrant subterranea is an experience you can never be prepared for however, nor one that will ever be forgotten.
The only question left to ponder is why the migrating mammals bother to leave these waters at all on their annual pilgrimage to icy Antarctica?
Cloaked in mystery, solemnity and a proud aura of independence. The nature of the loggerhead turtle perfectly reflects the character of the Cape Verde islands and their inhabitants. Perhaps then, that is why the noble sea creatures are drawn by their thousands each year to this Atlantic frontier, one of the top three breeding grounds throughout the world.
At Ervatao on the southern side of Boa Vista, powerful swells break right to left in big, crunching barrels. Braving these waves, surfing past bull sharks and tiger sharks, nesting turtles rush ashore between the months of May and September to lay their eggs. Loggerheads can even be seen mating in Cape Verde's tropical waters as early as March. Let there be no mistake these are esteemed marvels of nature, weighing up to 300lbs and living to 67 years of age. They are the world's largest species of hard shelled turtle.
Presently fewer than 300 tourists a year visit Ervatao to witness the spawning of these endangered creatures, a product of the spot's remoteness and secretive profile. To access the wonder requires a knowledgeable and trustworthy guide, a reliable provision of food and water and an appropriate vehicle. Captivating Travel also promotes ecological sensitivity, with the loggerheads and their eggs protected by local law since 2002. Once consumed because their flesh was thought to treat leprosy, the turtles on Boa Vista have become subject to international studies and are championed by a combined Cape Verde conservation effort.
Explore Sal or take an Inter-Island Day Trip across to one of the other islands and start exploring some of the most amazing and diverse selections of sceneries that will take your breath away.
Captivating Travel in association with Barrcuda Tours also run a host of day tours, not only on Sal but other Cape Verde locations, extending through to Santiago and Fogo on the opposite side of the island cluster. Among the most popular tours we have chosen to highlight are:
The alien terra forma of Sal makes you feel as if you have visited multiple lands in one day. This trip sets out from the throng of Santa Maria, encompasses the Pedra de Luma salt mines and ultra buoyant lakes, the administrative hub of Espargos and a mindtrip to the Terra Boa mirages and the 'Blue Eye' of Buracona. Including stops at landmark cafes and restaurants throughout the day, the sojourn ends with a return to Santa Maria via the Cabocan Touristic Zone. For more information on Sal and what it has to offer, please see our dedicated Sal Island page.
This exciting 4 hour excursion starts with a stroll through the streets of Santa Maria,taking in all the sights and sounds of this intriguing little town, before boarding the Explorer for a fantastic ride along the coast of sand dunes. You will visit the most beautiful beaches on Sal on your journey around the Island including a stop at the beach of Ponta Preta where you can relax in a stimulating bath in the sea of dunes.
You'll be under no illusions as to which part of the world you are exploring when you hit Santiago. The island's African heart beats loudly and the capital of Praia gives you a glimpse of what 'city life' is like in one of the smallest countries in the world. Santiago is the largest and most densely populated of the Cape Verde islands. For those who arrive by aeroplane from Sal, it is a subtler and more urbane change in scenery, with the tour dotted by market places, water fountains and undulating hills between the distinctive towns. Stunning cathedral ruins, a visit to a former slavery compound and a downtown luncheon are among the highlights of this tour.
Obsidian volcanic rock sits alongside colourful vineyards in this south western isle, covered largely by national parkland. A candidate for World Heritage classification, Fogo retains not only its geographic history, but also its sociological history, with 'sobrados' dotting the scenery. Denoting the European colonial roots of Cape Verde, the 'sobrados' are traditionally styled and painted cottages. The fascinating architecture of the town of Sao Filipe then gives way to a climbing coastal road that winds its way to the mouth of Cha das Caldeiras, the island's iconic volcano. Fogo's wines and fruits are among Cape Verde's most renowned products.
Needless to say this is one unbelievably mind-boggling location, unique in a multitude of ways. The Barracuda tour takes in the haunting and photogenic ruins of the former ceramics factory, half-buried in the wisping dunes which now sweep the island. Naturally, world famous Santa Monica Beach is included on the itinerary, with a chance to swim in the waters of this silky white marvel. Deserto de Viana, a bizarre Dali-esque landscape of dunes is also on the list of stops, along with the palm-lined streets of the island's main town Sal Rei.
Festivals, music, poetry, arts and culture all bubble to the surface on Sao Vicente, which serves as the main port of the Cape Verde islands. Porte Grande is just one destination on this tour by Barracuda, which also takes in the swinging epicentre of Mindelo, awash with pulsing cafes and bars and decorated with buildings of a bygone era. The two biggest festivals for Cape Verde are held in Sao Vicente each February and August and this tour includes the Baia das Gatas neighbourhood where the Summer event reaches its climax, along with the other important Sao Vicente locales of Calhau and Praia Grande.
If what you desire is not listed please speak with the Captivating Travel team. Available packages are updated constantly and we will always endeavour to meet your requirements to make this the best holiday of your life.
Cape Verde Map