Cape Verde is located in the North Atlantic Ocean and off the west coast of Africa. All of the islands of Cape Verde have volcanic origins and a wide array of terrains. There are salt flats found in Sal and Maio and an active volcano is located on the island of Fogo. The arid slopes of Santiago, Santo Antao and Sao Nicolau have banana plantations and sugar cane fields along the base of tall, towering mountains. The climate is much milder than other areas of the African mainland and the average daily temperature is 75 °F from January through September.
Santiago is the largest island of all in Cape Verde. It is between Fogo and Maio and was the first island to be settled. This island has long, pristine, white sand beaches and a rich creole-based culture and is a great location for water sports. Because of being so remotely located, the island is unspoiled and perfect for the tourist who wants to get away from it all. In the capital, Praia, guests will find an invigorating nightlife filled with clubs and discos.
Cidade Vehla, is the older portion of Praia and was the first Portuguese settlement on the island. Here tourists will be able to tour ruins and old buildings. One of the most interesting locations on the island is Fort Real de San Felipe, an old Portuguese fort. There is also a fishing village and an old colonial prison, it was here that Portuguese dictator Salazar held dissidents in the early 20th century.
On the island of Sal, there are several attractions that draw tourists to this location. There are three diving schools and the environment is perfect for parasailing and wind surfing. The salt flats on the island were at one time responsible for providing the Portuguese empire with salt.
The streets of Mindelo come alive with the sights and sounds of Carnival in February. Mindelo is the main city on Cape Verde and known to have the most beautiful Carnival festival in the region. The kindergarten and elementary school students design colorful floats and displays that are part of the opening day parade. The Carnival runs from February 24th and lasts through Ash Wednesday, and the participants wear elaborate costumes and dress as kings, queens, jesters, ballerinas and witches. Preparation begins in December and is fierce among the local residents. The festival has grown in popularity through the years and is now drawing in record numbers of tourists to the islands every year.
For tourists desiring to shop, the Market at Santa Catarina is open on Wednesday and Saturday and lasts all day long. At the market there are coconut shells that have intricate carvings, pottery, lacework, baskets and paintings all done by local crafts people. While in the market guests will likely hear lively, enamoring music from local street musicians, musicians perform daily and are an important part of Cape Verde culture.
Cape Verde has some very diverse cuisine and some of the more well-known dishes are Pastel con diablo dente, which means “pastry with the devil inside”, the dish is traditional and contains tuna, onions, tomatoes and a pastry which is made from potatoes and corn flour. Cachupa is another delicate dish made from maize and beans. The food is influenced by the creole-cajun culture and reflected best by the use of spices and pepper sauces.
The Oasis Atlantico Porto Grande Cape Verde, is a wonderful hotel that offers five-star accommodations and offers guests a complete array of services and amenities. The Hotel Foya Branca , Cape Verde is adjacent to one of the finest beaches on Cape Verde, Sao Vincente. The hotel offers single and double rooms, as well as luxury suites, there is a bar, lounge and restaurant within the resort and this hotel is noted for its outstanding hospitality. Cape Verde offers some of the finest hotels and resorts found in all of Africa and because of its rich heritage and mild climate, makes it one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in recent years.