4-Day Solo Adventure: Discovering Cape Verde's Hidden Outdoors

Cape Verde

4 days

Pier and boats on turquoise water in city of Santa Maria, Sal
Street with colorful houses and red flowering tree
Monte Verde on Sao Vicente
Pico do Fogo and vines in Cha das Caldeiras
Sunset in Ponta do Sol, Santo Antao Island

About Cape Verde

Discover the enchanting islands of Cape Verde, a hidden gem off the coast of West Africa. Known for its diverse landscapes, Cape Verde offers a unique blend of stunning beaches, vibrant towns, and rugged mountains. Explore the cultural capital, Praia, with its bustling markets and colonial architecture. Enjoy water sports in Sal, hike through the lush vegetation in Santo Antao, or relax on the pristine beaches of Boa Vista. Cape Verde's rich Creole culture, influenced by African, Portuguese, and Brazilian traditions, is reflected in its music, food, and friendly locals. With year-round sunshine, Cape Verde is an ideal destination for both relaxation and adventure. Whether you're a nature lover, culture enthusiast, or beach bum, Cape Verde promises an unforgettable travel experience.

4-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Hiking and Wine Tasting in Fogo

Morning

Start your adventure in Cape Verde with a hike up the Pico do Fogo, the highest peak of Cape Verde. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at the top of Pico do Fogo. Savor local delicacies such as Cachupa, a slow-cooked stew of corn, beans, and fish or meat.

Afternoon

Descend from Pico do Fogo and head to the nearby vineyards for a wine tasting experience. Learn about the unique volcanic soil that gives the wine its distinct flavor.

Dinner

Dine at a local restaurant offering traditional Cape Verdean cuisine. Try the fresh seafood, especially the grilled lobster or the octopus stew.

Evening

Spend the evening stargazing. The clear skies of Cape Verde offer an amazing opportunity to observe the stars and planets.

Morning

Start your day with a boat trip to the uninhabited island of Santa Luzia. Explore the island's untouched beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Lunch

Have a packed lunch on the beach of Santa Luzia. Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of this deserted island.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving in the surrounding waters. The marine life around Santa Luzia is rich and diverse.

Dinner

Return to the mainland and have dinner at a beachside restaurant. Try the local specialty, Grogue, a rum made from sugarcane.

Evening

Relax by the beach, listening to the sound of the waves and enjoying the cool sea breeze.

Morning

Visit the old capital of Cape Verde, Cidade Velha. Explore the historic sites like the 15th-century cathedral and the fort.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local eatery in Cidade Velha. Try the local dish, Buzio, a type of sea snail cooked in a rich, spicy sauce.

Afternoon

Take a guided tour of the Old slave market and the ruins of the old city. Learn about the history and culture of Cape Verde.

Dinner

Dine at a local restaurant in Cidade Velha. Enjoy the traditional music and dance performances while having your meal.

Evening

Spend the evening exploring the local nightlife. Cape Verde is known for its vibrant music scene, especially the traditional Morna music.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Serra da Malagueta National Park. Hike through the park and enjoy the diverse flora and fauna.

Lunch

Have a picnic lunch in the park. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the natural surroundings.

Afternoon

Continue exploring the park. Visit the local villages and interact with the locals to learn about their way of life.

Dinner

Have dinner at a local restaurant. Try the local dish, Xerem, a corn-based dish often served with fish or meat.

Evening

End your adventure in Cape Verde with a relaxing evening at the beach. Reflect on your experiences and the memories you've made.

Attractions in Itinerary (6)

Pico do Fogo

1
Pico do Fogo

The highest peak in Cape Verde, Pico do Fogo is an active volcano that offers challenging hikes and stunning views.

Attractions
Landmarks
Santa Luzia

2
Santa Luzia

Santa Luzia is an uninhabited island in Cape Verde, known for its unique desert landscapes and biodiversity.

Beaches
Attractions

3
Old slave market

The old slave market in Cidade Velha is a poignant reminder of Cape Verde's history in the Atlantic slave trade. Today, it serves as a museum where visitors can learn about this dark chapter in human history.

Attractions
Monuments
Cultural Experiences
Serra da Malagueta National Park

4
Serra da Malagueta National Park

Serra da Malagueta National Park is a mountain range on Santiago Island, offering hiking trails with stunning views.

Parks
Attractions
Historic sites in Cidade Velha

5
Historic sites in Cidade Velha

Cidade Velha is a city rich in history, with many historic sites that reflect its past as the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. These sites include the ruins of the royal fortress and the old cathedral.

Attractions
Monuments
Cultural Experiences
Vineyards in Fogo

6
Vineyards in Fogo

Fogo is known for its rich volcanic soil that produces unique wines. Tourists can visit the vineyards, learn about the wine-making process, and sample the local wines.

Attractions
Tours
Food and Drink

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Cachupa

Cachupa

Cachupa is the national dish of Cape Verde, a hearty stew made with corn, beans, and various kinds of meat.

Pastel com diabo dentro

Pastel com diabo dentro

Pastel com diabo dentro, or 'pastry with a devil inside', is a popular Cape Verdean snack. It's a spicy tuna pastry that's perfect for a quick bite.

Grogue

Grogue

Grogue is a strong alcoholic drink made from sugarcane, similar to rum. It's a traditional Cape Verdean drink, often enjoyed in social settings.

Buzio

Buzio is a dish made from large sea snails, a common delicacy in Cape Verde. The snails are boiled and served with a spicy sauce.

Percebes

Percebes

Percebes, or goose barnacles, are a unique seafood delicacy in Cape Verde. They're harvested from the rocky coastline and are often served boiled.

Jagacida (Jag)

Jagacida (Jag)

Jagacida, also known as 'Jag', is a popular Cape Verdean dish. It's a bean and rice dish, often cooked with meat or vegetables.

Morabeza

Morabeza

Morabeza is a local beer in Cape Verde. It's a light and refreshing lager, perfect for enjoying on a hot day.

Canja de Marisco

Canja de Marisco

Canja de Marisco is a traditional Cape Verdean seafood soup. It's made with a variety of seafood, including fish, clams, and shrimp.

Polvo a Moda de Santiago

Polvo a Moda de Santiago

Polvo a Moda de Santiago is a traditional dish from the island of Santiago in Cape Verde. It's a hearty octopus stew, often served with rice.

Queijo de Cabra

Queijo de Cabra

Queijo de Cabra is a traditional Cape Verdean goat cheese. It's often served as part of a cheese platter or used in cooking.

Ponche

Ponche

Ponche is a traditional Cape Verdean drink, similar to a liqueur. It's made from grogue and infused with various flavors, such as coconut or fruit.

Tuna Steak

Tuna Steak

Tuna Steak is a popular dish in Cape Verde, given the abundance of fresh tuna in the surrounding waters. It's often grilled and served with a side of vegetables or rice.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Cape Verde is from November to June. During these months, the weather is warm and dry, making it perfect for beach activities and exploring the islands. The peak tourist season is between December and April, when the weather is at its best. However, if you prefer a quieter vacation, the months of May and June are less crowded.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year

January 13

Sat

Freedom and Democracy Day

January 20

Sat

National Heroes' Day

March 29

Fri

Good Friday

May 1

Wed

Labour Day

June 1

Sat

Children's Day

July 5

Fri

Independence Day

August 15

Thu

Assumption of Mary

November 1

Fri

All Saints' Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Cape Verde's national airline, TACV, operates between the islands. There are also international flights from Europe, Africa, and the Americas to the Amílcar Cabral International Airport on Sal Island and the Cesária Évora Airport on São Vicente Island.

Inter-island ferries are a popular way to travel between the islands of Cape Verde. The schedules can be irregular and are subject to weather conditions.

Taxis are readily available in the cities and larger towns. They are metered, but it's also common to agree on a fare before the journey. Taxis are a convenient way to travel short distances.

Aluguers, shared taxis or minibuses, are a common form of transport in Cape Verde. They operate on fixed routes and leave when they are full. They are a cheap and efficient way to get around, especially on the larger islands.

Renting a car is a good option if you want to explore the islands at your own pace. International and local car rental companies operate in Cape Verde. Remember to drive on the right side of the road.

Ridesharing services, such as Uber, are not currently available in Cape Verde.

Biking is a popular way to get around, especially on the flatter islands. Bike rental shops are available in the major towns.

Hiking is a great way to explore the mountainous islands of Cape Verde. There are many trails with stunning views. Always take plenty of water and sun protection.

Public buses operate in the larger towns and cities. They are a cheap way to get around, but can be crowded and do not always run on a regular schedule.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency CVE

Time zoneUTC-1

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 130; Fire: 131; Police: 132

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type F

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Cape Verde as a first time visitor

1

Cape Verde's official language is Portuguese, but locals also speak Cape Verdean Creole.

2

The local currency is the Cape Verdean Escudo (CVE), and it's advisable to carry some cash as not all places accept credit cards.

3

Cape Verde has a tropical climate. The average temperature ranges from 77°F to 86°F (25°C to 30°C).

4

Cape Verde is one hour behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-1).

5

Tap water is not safe to drink in Cape Verde, so it's recommended to drink bottled water.

6

Cape Verde's cuisine is a blend of African, Portuguese, and Brazilian influences. Be sure to try the national dish, Cachupa.

7

Cape Verde is a safe country, but like any other tourist destination, it's advisable to take precautions against petty theft.

8

Public transportation is limited in Cape Verde. Taxis and car rentals are the most common ways to get around.

9

Cape Verde has a strong musical culture. Morna, Funaná, and Batuque are popular music genres.

10

The country is made up of 10 islands, each with its unique charm and attractions.

11

Cape Verde has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. It's common for things to run on 'Cape Verde time', which means things may not always start on time.

12

The country has a strong maritime culture. Fishing is a popular activity, and fresh seafood is a staple in the local diet.

13

Cape Verde has a strong Catholic influence, but there's also a blend of African and indigenous beliefs.

14

The country has a high level of literacy, with over 85% of the population being literate.

15

Cape Verde is a popular destination for water sports, including surfing, windsurfing, and diving.

16

The country has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, with several protected areas and national parks.

17

Cape Verde has a vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues.

18

The country has a diverse landscape, with beaches, mountains, and desert-like areas.

19

Cape Verde has a rich history of slavery and colonization, which is reflected in its architecture and cultural heritage.

20

The country has a strong sense of community, and locals are known for their hospitality and friendliness.

Basic Portuguese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

Oi

Oy

Greeting someone

Goodbye

Tchau

Chow

Leaving or saying goodbye to someone

Please

Por favor

Por fa-vor

When asking for something

Thank you

Obrigado

Obri-gah-doo

When someone helps you or gives you something

Yes

Sim

Seem

Agreeing with someone or answering a yes-no question

No

Não

Nown

Disagreeing with someone or answering a yes-no question

Excuse me

Desculpe

Dess-kool-peh

Getting someone's attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Lamento

Lah-men-toh

Apologizing

Do you speak English?

Você fala inglês?

Vo-seh fah-lah in-glesh?

When you want to find someone who speaks English

I don't understand

Eu não entendo

Eh-oo nown en-ten-doo

When you don't understand what someone is saying

Where is the bathroom?

Onde é o banheiro?

Onde eh o ban-he-ro?

When you need to find the bathroom

How much does it cost?

Quanto custa?

Kwan-toh coos-tah?

When you want to know the price of something

I would like...

Eu gostaria...

Eh-oo gohs-tah-ree-ah...

When you're ordering something or expressing a desire

Help!

Socorro!

So-coh-roh!

When you're in danger or need assistance

Call the police!

Chame a polícia!

Sha-meh a po-lee-see-ah!

When you need to get the police

I'm lost

Estou perdido

Es-toh per-dee-doh

When you've lost your way

Can I use your phone?

Posso usar seu telefone?

Pos-soh oo-sar seu teh-leh-foh-neh?

When you need to use someone's phone

Good morning

Bom dia

Bom dee-ah

Greeting someone in the morning

Good afternoon

Boa tarde

Boa tar-deh

Greeting someone in the afternoon

Good night

Boa noite

Boa noy-teh

Greeting someone in the evening or before bed

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Underwear (4 pairs)

  • Socks (4 pairs)

  • T-shirts (4)

  • Shorts (2 pairs)

  • Long pants/jeans (1 pair)

  • Lightweight jacket

  • Swimwear (2)

  • Sleepwear

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sandals/Flip-flops

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat/Cap for sun protection

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size shampoo

  • Travel-size conditioner

  • Travel-size body wash

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor

  • Shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license/ID

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash in local currency

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and/or car rental reservations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Maps and guidebooks

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Power bank

  • Headphones/Earbuds

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Memory card for camera

  • Travel adapter

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs

  • Eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Books or e-books

  • Travel-size laundry detergent

  • Plastic bags for dirty clothes

  • Beach towel

Weather Conditions

Cape Verde, an island country in the Atlantic Ocean, is known for its tropical climate. The weather is generally warm and dry throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers. The temperature in Cape Verde typically ranges from 70°F to 86°F (21°C to 30°C) throughout the year. It's important to note that the islands are quite windy, especially between November and March, due to the Harmattan wind. This can cause a significant drop in humidity, making the air feel cooler than it actually is. Therefore, it's advisable to pack a light jacket or sweater for the evenings during these months. The rainy season in Cape Verde is from August to October. However, rainfall is usually short and sporadic, so it's unlikely to disrupt your travel plans significantly. Still, it's a good idea to pack a lightweight, waterproof jacket or umbrella during these months. Despite the occasional rain, the summer months (June to August) are the hottest and can be a great time to visit if you enjoy warmer temperatures. However, it's essential to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun during this period. Always carry a bottle of water with you and don't forget your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. In contrast, the winter months (December to March) are cooler and drier, making it an ideal time for hiking and exploring the islands' landscapes. However, the sea can be a bit rough during this period, so it might not be the best time for water activities. Overall, Cape Verde's weather is relatively mild and pleasant throughout the year, making it a great destination for any season. Just remember to pack according to the season and your planned activities, and you'll have a fantastic time exploring this beautiful island country.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

25° / 18°

January is a mild month in Cape Verde, with temperatures ranging from 18 to 25 degrees Celsius. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.

February

25° / 18°

February continues the mild trend, with temperatures similar to January. It's ideal for tourists who want to avoid the heat.

March

27° / 19°

In March, temperatures start to rise slightly, making it a good time for beach activities. The weather is still comfortable, not too hot.

April

28° / 20°

April sees a further increase in temperature, with highs reaching 28 degrees Celsius. It's a perfect time for sunbathing and water sports.

May

29° / 21°

May is the start of the warmer months in Cape Verde, with temperatures ranging from 21 to 29 degrees Celsius. It's a great time for outdoor activities and exploring the islands.

June

30° / 22°

June is a hot month, with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius. It's an excellent time for swimming and enjoying the beach.

July

32° / 24°

July is one of the hottest months in Cape Verde, with highs of 32 degrees Celsius. It's perfect for tourists who love the heat and want to spend time on the beach.

August

33° / 25°

August is the peak of summer in Cape Verde, with temperatures reaching up to 33 degrees Celsius. It's ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and other beach activities.

September

33° / 25°

September continues the hot trend, with temperatures similar to August. It's a great time to enjoy the beach and explore the islands.

October

32° / 24°

In October, temperatures start to decrease slightly, but it's still a warm month. It's a good time to visit if you prefer less intense heat.

November

30° / 22°

November sees a further decrease in temperature, making it a comfortable time to visit. The weather is ideal for exploring the islands and enjoying outdoor activities.

December

28° / 20°

December is a mild month in Cape Verde, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 28 degrees Celsius. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.

Did you know?

Did you know that Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, is an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean?

1 of 10

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