Boavista, Cape Verde
Boa Vista is well known for it's magnificent beaches and friendly atmosphere. One of the most popular sites is in fact the Sahara like dunes in the middle of the island with sprouting palm trees.
Boa Vista is a peaceful and laidback island that basks in sunshine all year round. The most popular beaches are along the west coast including Estoril Beach which runs from Sal Rei and is protected from extreme waves by the Ilheu de Sal Rei; the extensive sands of Praia de Chaves and the beautiful beach of Santa Monica.
Things to Do
The deserted beaches are perfect for long quiet walks and horse-riding or you could take a quad bike tour through the sand dunes and the red rocks of the Viana Desert.
The clear, turquoise waters are ideal for diving and snorkelling during the summer and enjoy an abundance of colourful marine life. During the winter months windsurfing, body boarding and kitesurfing are a better choice.
March and April are a good time to spot the humpback whales off of the west coast. Deep sea game fishing is popular all year but, particularly from spring to autumn, when the waters are abundant with wahoo, tuna, marlin and sharks.
A number of the islets which lay just off shore are nesting sites for rare birds and the Rabil Lagoon is also a good spot for bird-watching. For more adventurous divers, there are many shipwrecks to discover, on the reefs off of the north and east coasts.
Around the large town square and the port area in Sal Rei, the island's capital, you will find a selection of bars and restaurants as well as tourist facilities such as quad bike hire, buggy and jeep safaris, tours and excursion sales. The town also has everyday services such as banking and internet cafes.
If you're around during the football season, you could watch a couple of the Boa Vista football league games which take place every weekend at the Sal Rei stadium.
Just off-shore in the bay of Sal Rei, you can visit the Ilheu of Sal Rei. On this small uninhabited islet you can relax in sandy coves, stroll around the coastline, enjoy views looking back to Sal Rei and see the remains of the Duque de Braganca Fort.
Out and About
Ervatao Beach is one of the most important nesting sites in the world for the endangered loggerhead turtles. More than 3000 loggerhead turtles come ashore during the summer months and there is a conservation group in place to assist in the protection of the eggs, tagging the turtles, documenting the hatchlings and ensuring their safe release back into the sea.
In the remote region of Morro Negro you can climb the hill where the redundant lighthouse stands for the most spectacular views of the virgin beaches of the east coast.
Rabil is the second largest town on the island and here you can pick up locally made ceramics. For an insight to poorer everyday life on the island, you could visit the agricultural village of Fundo das Figueiras or Joao Galego.
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