The relatively unspoilt islands of Cape Verde, which are positioned around 350 miles off the coast of Western Africa, have become an admired destination among sun-seeking holidaymakers due to their white beaches, blue seas and constantly warm climate.
However, this archipelago also attracts more intrepid tourists, thanks to the adventurous activities and experiences on offer. Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies are well and truly spoilt for choice with the following things to do.
Trekking The rocky and rugged terrain of Cape Verde provides great scope for a spot of trekking. The islands of Santa Antão and Sao Vicente are ideal for daylong excursions, while easier walks can be found on Santiago. However, Cape Verde’s ultimate trek takes the form of Mount Fogo. Join a tour and scale the island’s highest peak (2829 metres) to enjoy panoramic views of awe-inspiring landscapes featuring lush vegetation, extensive white beaches and sparkling ocean waters. Snorkeling and scuba diving On the island of Sal, extensive underwater opportunities are waiting for you to capitalize on them. Even if you’ve never plunged the depths of the ocean before, you can still bear witness to Cape Verde’s incredible loggerhead turtles and colorful triggerfish with just a mask and snorkel. But for an even more immersive experience, give scuba diving a try. The island’s marine ecosystem is home to various species of tropical fish and manta rays that glide over and between everything from canyons and caves to lava rock ridges and volcanic boulders.
Back on dry land, mountain biking is another popular pursuit that gets the adrenaline pumping. Again, all abilities are well catered for with itineraries ranging from flat and smooth roads that run along the coast to steep and rough tracks down the side of a mountain.
On the island of Maio you can pedal along the level-riding field of its salt flats, whereas the slopes on Santo Antão, Sao Nicolau and Santiago continue downhill until reaching sugarcane and banana plantations.
As a result of its Atlantic location, Cape Verde attracts the kind of winds that watersport enthusiasts will love. In particular, Ponta Preta on Sal Island provides superb surfing opportunities for intermediate to advanced surfers.
However, more accessible activities such as windsurfing and kitesurfing enable anyone to take advantage of Cape Verde’s alluring waters. You may even want to chill out one day by chartering a sailboat around the various islands.
So, with trekking, snorkeling, scuba diving, mountain biking, and a variety of watersports to choose from, travelers with a sense of adventure should definitely find the time to visit Cape Verde.
*Article by James Staney (a photographer and blogger who works out of a Bahay Kubo interactive base in the Philippines. She loves travel and especially beaches!)