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Activities, Cape Verde

Cape Verde holidays offer activities to suit all tastes. If you’re a nature lover and seeking out the island’s flora and fauna, pop down to the breathtaking Viveiro Botanical Garden. Alternatively, if you’re looking to embark on adrenaline-pumping adventures, jump on a quad bike and explore, or plan an island hopping trip to discover a host of cultures. The world is truly your oyster in Cape Verde.

Boat trips

Cape Verde holidays offer a wide range of boat trips, ranging from sport to leisure. Boat trips abound in Cape Verde are a fantastic way to see the islands here from a whole different perspective.

Fishing tours are very popular choices with visitors from all over the world. Excursions leave the harbours and the knowledgeable locals are able to take holidaymakers to the most populated areas of the coast, where they stand the best chance of reeling in a large catch.

Water sports are also a must-try in Cape Verde. Scuba diving is a favourite past time for many people when they visit and trips are easily arranged, giving you the chance to spot some of the exotic sea life which dwells below the surface.

On the other hand, if you’d just prefer a leisurely sail, there are also plenty of sailing trips, ready to be booked for a day trip or a romantic evening sail.

Half-Day Buggy Desert Adventure

For a real adrenalin rush, there’s no better way to spend half a day than taking a buggy desert adventure from Santa Maria on the Island of Sal. Begin your four-hour trip by being picked up from your hotel, or meet your guide at Djadsal Moradias, depending on your preference.

Your adventure will begin by riding to Igrejinha Lagoon on an automatic off-road buggy. From there, you will head to Santa Maria’s famous salt flats and ride across the sand dunes which are close by. After that, you’ll return to the beautiful white sands of Kite Beach. Don’t think this is it, though; aside from these stops you’ll also be calling at the Calheta Funda volcanic beach, Palha Verde Oasis and many more. So, your experience won’t be limited to just one terrain.

A tip to bear in mind: You will need to bring your driver’s licence with you to prove you are eligible to drive a buggy.

Horse Riding Centre

The only certified riding centre on Sal Island, the Horse Riding Centre gives visitors the chance to ride horseback across the incredible salt flats of the island, for a reasonable price.

This family-run business is managed in accordance with European standards and takes the care of both its customers and horses very seriously. The horses are very friendly and extremely well looked after, meaning they are certain to give you the horse ride of your life while you are out on an excursion with them.

Ride across the beaches and sand dunes for two hours, or spend an hour exploring the salt flats. Private riding sessions can also be arranged if you book in advance, as can romantic horse rides with your special someone at sunset. Can you think of a more romantic way to spend an evening than riding along the beach with your partner as the sun goes down?

Island hopping

Thanks to Cape Verde being made up of 10 different islands of varying shapes and sizes, it is the perfect location to go island hopping. Each island is very different, both in terms of size and geography, so it’s advisable putting a whole day aside if you want to get the most out of your island hopping adventure.

Visit the largest island, Sal, where you can enjoy culture, fantastic food and a range of attractions. On the other hand, gaze at the 2,800-metre-high volcanic peak on Fogo, or head to Santo Antao and explore the beautiful canyons and tropical plants.

After there, you could head to Brava island and stop off at the gorgeous Bay of Faja D’Agua, to enjoy the lush greenery. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for sand, sea or countryside, the islands which make up Cape Verde really do have something to suit everyone’s tastes.

Olho Azul Inlet

If you are a lover of the sea, Olho Azul Inlet is a must-visit during your holiday to Cape Verde. In this gorgeous inlet, you can experience the full force of the ocean as it crashes against the rocks. The inlet, which can be found in the Buracona bay, is home to caves, making it ideal for divers.

The lagoon also allows swimmers to take a dip in the turquoise waters, which is the perfect way to cool down from the hot temperatures. If you don’t feel like getting wet, you can always relax on the rocks above the lagoon and soak up some of the magnificent sunshine.

Photographers also love Olho Azul Inlet and relish the opportunity to snap pictures of the ocean, which becomes an immensely deep shade of blue when contrasted with the dark brown rocks. Nearby is a café which offers fantastic views of the sea.

Quad biking

Discover the beauty of Cape Verde in a completely different way – book a quad biking trip across the beaches and countryside of the islands.

A wide range of quad biking excursions is available to be booked during Cape Verde holidays, giving you the chance to satisfy your thirst for adrenalin, while also making sure you see plenty of these beautiful islands. Book a half day excursion to see as much as possible. With a guide, you will take in the beaches, the salt flats, oasis, deserts, sand dunes and much more.

Visit the shipwreck and get an up-close view of the vessel. Most excursions also call in at a local restaurant, where you can taste the delicious local produce and refuel your stomach, ready for the rest of the journey.

The gorgeous panoramic trails ensure none of the incredible views or sights is missed out, as well as making sure you get the chance for some real excitement during your stay in Cape Verde.

Scuba diving

Scuba diving in Cape Verde is among the best in the world. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced diver taking their umpteenth trip, or are brand new to the sport, the water around Sal Island is the perfect place to start.

Let experienced instructors take you on an unforgettable journey beneath the ocean, ensuring you are comfortable and safe during your dive. Cape Verde is pretty unique in the world of scuba diving, offering a mixture of tropical end Mediterranean marine life. Spot rays, shoals of tropical fish, shipwrecks and magnificently colourful coral reefs.

Also, because there isn’t a rainy season in Cape Verde, you are able to embark on a scuba diving trip at any time of the year. Pay a visit between January and March for the chance to see the humpback and sperm whales on their annual migration, or head over between June and November for the best chance to see the local turtles lay their eggs on the shore.


The beautifully clean and crystal-clear waters surrounding Cape Verde make it the ideal spot for surfers. Every year, thousands of people flock to the shoreline to get on their boards and catch some waves.

A wide range of trips is available to be booked if you are looking for expert help. Family-friendly surf trips ensure there is something for everyone, while luxury surf trips mean you get plenty of added perks besides just a great time on the waves. There are also plenty of courses available for first-time surfers.

Boards are available to rent from a variety of outlets near the beaches, and there are several beaches around Cape Verde which are particularly good for surfing. Don’t feel limited to just traditional surfboarding, either. In fact, the true potential for surfing in the waters around these islands was discovered in the 1980s by windsurfers in Santa Maria. So, if windsurfing is something you have always wanted to try, or if you’re already an expert on the sport, make sure you hit the waves during your Cape Verde holiday.

Turtle watching

With the third-largest population of nesting loggerhead turtles, Cape Verde holidays are the perfect chance to watch these incredible and mysterious creatures in their natural habitat. The islands of Boa Vista and Sal are ideal locations to observe turtles, particularly when they are nesting on the islands between July and October.

There are also several turtle conservation projects, whose mission is to protect the turtle population and their nesting sites. During your Cape Verde holiday, you can join a ranger on a night walk and tag turtles. There’s even the option to adopt one of the turtles you find and donate money directly to the conservation project.

If you want to visit the hatcheries and see them coming out of their shell for the first time, that can be arranged, too, both on Boa Vista and Sal. The money you pay to visit the hatcheries also goes towards supporting the various conservation projects.

Viveiro Botanical Garden

The Viveiro Botanical Garden can be found in Santa Maria on the Island of Sal. Viveiro is not just a greenhouse, it is a botanical garden of a wide range of diverse plant life. Surrounded by desert, the garden is like an oasis, offering visitors a rare chance to see some fresh greenery.

Flora and fauna live in harmony in the Viveiro Botanical Garden, and visitors can roam freely around the premises, taking in the sights and smells of these beautiful plants. There is also an animal park, which houses everything from donkeys and ponies to exotic birds. Get up close and personal with the various creatures housed here and feel free to snap as many pictures as you’d like; the many animals and exotic plants make this place a photographer’s dream.

Once your visit is complete, you can enjoy a refreshing drink and something to eat in the cafe, which is located on the site.