About Boa Vista

Boa Vista, the island with a thousand sand dunes that shine in the sunlight. Also known as the island with endless white sandy beaches, an azure blue ocean and hidden places only visited by Loggerhead turtles and protected bird species. Relax completely in a cozy beach club, experience the island life at its purest and enjoy boa vista’s (literally: beautiful views) in a tropical climate.

Landscape of Boa Vista

A long time ago, Boa Vista was a mountainous volcanic island. Years of erosion have flattened the mountains and today the island is dry and desert-like. Of all the Cape Verde islands, Boa Vista is closest to the African coast. The sandy interior owes the island to the wind. The sand that blows over from the Sahara desert ends up here for the most part. The interior is rough, with sandy plains and vast lunar landscapes. Because water is scarce there, little vegetation grows except some palm trees. The coastline around Boa Vista stretches for almost 150 km. Most beaches are protected nature reserves and (for the time being) undeveloped.

Boa Vista as a tropical holiday destination

Sal and Boa Vista are the most famous beach islands of Cape Verde. Yet they differ greatly in terms of development. Sal has been visited by tourists since the 70’s, but Boa Vista has only been popular with the international public since 2007. At that time the airport received the first international flights, the first resorts opened their doors and Boa Vista became a tropical holiday destination within Cape Verde. Due to later developments the roads in many places have not yet been asphalted and the villages have been built more simply.

Sal Rei

Sal Rei is the capital of Boa Vista and also the only village with tourist facilities. The city is located in the northwest of the island in a large bay. It is a cozy village that exudes local charm and has everything for a sunny beach holiday; a vast sandy beach with cozy beach clubs, surf schools, local shops, souvenir shops and good restaurants with live music several times a week.

You can have lunch at one of the beach clubs and in the evening you can go to cozy, international/national restaurants in the city centre. Prices are higher than on the other islands, partly due to the import of food products and a shortage of spring water. You can still eat and drink cheaper on Boa Vista than in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The bay of Sal Rei is a suitable place to practice water sports. The vast bay has good spots for kitesurfing, windsurfing and golf surfing.

Beaches on Boa Vista

The most beautiful white beaches of Cape Verde can be found on Boa Vista. Many beaches are not yet known and free of tourism. This is because the roads to them are unpaved and can only be reached with a 4×4 vehicle.

  • In the bay of Sal Rei there are easily accessible beaches including; Estoril with most beach clubs and Praia de Chaves with the iconic potters chimney followed by the immense sand dunes next to the coastline of Morro d’Areia.
  • Varandinha is a special beach with rocks on the coastline. Years of erosion have created bizarre rock formations and caves on the beach.
  • Santa Monica is the most famous beach of Boa Vista and named after Santa Monica beach in Los Angeles. The beach is located in the southwest of the island and stretches for 22 km. For many people this is the most beautiful beach because of the beautiful play of colors. The only beach club in the south, Boca beach is built here. Enjoy the tranquility while your freshly caught fish is prepared on the grill!

Spotting turtles and whales on Boa Vista

Boa Vista is an important breeding area for the Caretta Caretta turtles. The turtle season starts in July and runs until the end of October. In this period you have a great chance to see turtles laying eggs in a nest on the beach. With a guide you will walk on the beach to experience the process up close. In the nesting areas, baby turtles are released early in the day to start the journey to the sea.

Cape Verde is on the migration route of humpback whales. During the mating season they stay in the waters around Boa Vista with their newborn young. From March until the end of May you can spot whales from the boat.

Transport to and on Boa Vista

The taxi ride from the airport to Sal Rei takes 10 minutes and amounts to 10 euros (in 2020). At BOBBYWASHERE airport pick up is included. In the centre of Sal Rei you can travel around the city for a few euros. If you want to see more of the island, we recommend taking a rental car for a few days or go on an island tour with a local guide.

Written by: Lina Iliano Voya Travels