Africa-Press – Cape verde. Cape Verde is a tropical archipelago nation with plenty of picturesque beaches and stunning volcanic interiors just waiting to be explored.
Cape Verde, like São Tomé and Principe, is one of the small African island nations of the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the largely unknown tropical island destinations that few put on their bucket list and fewer ever get to see. It is a country where every island is an adventure and a land of untold natural beauty.
Cape Verde is arguably one of the world’s most underrated destinations being full of pure, untouched beauty. It is full of stunning tropical beaches, with Santa Monica Beach on Boa Vista Island considered the most stunning beach in the country 18 kilometers (11 miles) long. Next time looking for an exotic tropical island destination, consider visiting Cape Verde.
What To Know Of The Stunning Volcanic Island Nation Of Cape Verde
Cape Verde (meaning “Green Cape”) is made up of ten volcanic islands between 600 and 850 kilometers off the coast of mainland Africa. It forms a part of the Macaronesia ecoregion (which includes Spain’s picturesque and much more popular Canary Islands). Macaronesia is a collection of four volcanic archipelagos (they also include the Azores). Like Teide National Park of the Canary Islands, Cape Verde is full of otherworldly landscapes.
Cape Verde was part of the Portuguese Empire until the empire finally collapsed in 1975.
The islands were among the few islands discovered during the Age of European exploration that were uninhabited. The Portuguese explorers arrived there in the 15th century and colonized the islands. It was also the first European settlement in the tropics. Cape Verde played an important role in the slave trade but declined as the slave trade came to an end in the 19th century.
Cape Verde remained an important stopover point, and in 1951, it became an overseas department of Portugal. But the inhabitants (mostly of mixed African and European descent) were not happy with its arrangement, and it became independent in 1975. Today it is one of Africa’s most developed and democratic countries.
Population: Approx. 480,000
Official Language: Portuguese
While the official language of the country is Portuguese, the islands have their own Portuguese-based creole language called Cape Verdean Creole (or Kriolu or Kriol). It is important to linguists as it is the oldest surviving creole.
Azores Vs Canary Islands: Which One Is Worth Visiting First?
The Tropical Volcanic Islands Of Cape Verde
Cape Verde is made up of 10 dramatic volcanic islands. Each of them has something special to offer and each is unique.
Santo Antao Island:
Santo Antao boasts extensive rocky landscapes and green valleys. Here people can come and wander around the many impressive trails, including ones that climb up to the island’s peaks some 1,979 meters above sea level.
São Vicente has the historic city of Mindelo and is considered the most cosmopolitan and European city in the archipelago. Explore the lively nights, jazz, and culture of the island. Come at the right time and see Cape Verde’s most famous carnival event taking place every year on the island. Explore the sleepy fishing villages and breathtaking beaches.
Santa Luzia Island:
Santa Luzia Island is the only uninhabited island of the archipelago and is an important natural reserve. The fauna is diverse, and access is restricted for educational and scientific purposes. It was inhabited up until the 1860s, when its residents left.
Santiago Island is the largest island and the home of the nation’s capital, Praia. It is regarded as the most African of the islands and most to over half the country’s population. Cidade Velha (formerly Riberia Grande) is the oldest European city of the tropics.
Maio Island boasts a piece of paradise away from the crowds of tourists. Here one can find authentic Cape Verdean culture and historic structures like Igreja Matriz, the Farol de S. José, and the Maio Castle. The stunning beaches are deserted by tourists. Other islands include Sao Nicolau Island, Boa Vista Island, Fogo Island, Sal Island, and Brava Island.
What To Know About Visiting Cape Verde
Cape Verde is visa-free for Americans and other Western passport holders for up to 30 days. However, visitors need to register online before departing. Visitors should register five days before their planned arrival on EASE. On arrival, tourists also need to pay an airport security fee of CVE 3400 ($33) – it can be paid online or on arrival.
Visa Policy: Visa Free For 30 Days (Pre-Registration Required)
Cape Verde is considered one of the most stable and travel-friendly countries in Africa. As of January 2023, the U.S. Department of State only urges its citizens to “exercise normal precautions” but also notes increased crime, particularly in the capital Praia.
Immigration around the world can be complicated, so it is always best to check the travel requirements before flying.
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