Boa Vista Cape Verde

Boa Vista Cape Verde Overview

Boa Vista is the most eastern Island in Cape Verde. Mainly flat with a few mountainous areas, the Island is renowned for its spectacular sand dunes and stunning beaches.

It is the third largest Island in the archipelago and yet the least densely populated, creating a rustic and undiscovered vibe.


Lady on a white sand beach

Sal Rei is the capital and home to the international airport, which opened in 2007. It is a shining example of a traditional Cape Verdean town and as you leisurely wander around the main square, you get a real sense of Cape Verde’s captivating fusion of cultures.

The cobbled streets boast an abundance of cafes, local restaurants and bars nestled amongst a charming patchwork of multi coloured buildings

The tourism success of Cape Verde has, until recently, been driven by increasing visitor numbers on the neighbouring Island of Sal. Boa Vista has remained a well-kept secret during that time; a place for the discerning and pioneering tourist.

However, more and more people are choosing Boa Vista, thanks largely to the 55 kilometres of unspoilt beaches. The Cape Verde Government has earmarked Boa Vista for major touristic development, approving plans for new hotels and resorts, as well as investing in the Island’s infrastructure, such as new roads, improved power supplies and desalination plants.

All of which means Boa Vista is set to become one of the world’s next property hotspots and the reasons are simple: stunning beaches, year round sunshine and increasing numbers of direct flights from the UK and many European cities.

Boa Vista, Cape Verde

Boa Vista (Portuguese meaning “good view”), also written as Boavista, is a desert-like island that belongs to the Cape Verde Islands. At 631.1 km2 (243.7 sq mi), it is the third largest island of the Cape Verde archipelago.

The island of Boa Vista is the Cape Verde island located closest to the African continent, being the easternmost island of all. The distance between Boa Vista and Senegal is only 450 km. The capital of Boa Vista, Sal Rei, is located in the north-western part of the island. Boa Vista is mainly known for its beaches, turtles and traditional music.


The uninhabited island Boa Vista was discovered by António de Noli and Diogo Gomes in 1460. Until the end of the 16th century the only human activity on the island was breeding wild cattle. The island’s first settlement, now known as Povoação Velha, was established in 1620 for its salt deposits, which were mainly exploited by the English.

In 1820, after many pirate attacks, the population moved to Porto Inglês, later renamed Sal Rei, which had been founded at the end of the 18th century. As did much of the Cape Verdean economy, the exploitation of salt on Boa Vista also relied largely on slavery.

A Portuguese-British commission to end slavery was established in Boa Vista in 1842, but slavery was not completely abolished until 1876.

Until 1935 the municipality of Boa Vista also covered the island of Sal. In 1975, Cape Verde declared its independence.


Boa Vista is the third largest island after Santo Antão and Santiago, with an area of 631.1 square kilometres. It is situated south of Sal and north of Maio. The island is generally flat, but it has numerous mountains like Monte Estância (the highest point of the island at 387 m), Monte Santo António, Rocha Estância, Morro de Areia, Morro Negro, Monte Caçador, Pico Forcado and Monte Vigia.

Boa Vista is famous for its large beaches like Atalanta, Cabral, Chaves, Ervatão, Gatas, Santa Mónica and Varandinha. Its northernmost point is Ponta do Sol; its westernmost point Ponta Varandinha. Its main river is the Ribeira do Rabil, which has the largest basin area of all Cape Verde at 199km2 (77 sq mi). Boa Vista is also notable for its desert Deserto de Viana and its dune fields. Boa Vista is surrounded by a number of uninhabited islets, the largest of which is Ilhéu de Sal Rei.


In the 1830s, the population of Boa Vista was estimated at 4,000. In 2015 Boa Vista’s population was 14,451. Most of the population live in Sal Rei, but there are also several smaller settlements with 10 to 100 people. With 23.3 inhabitants per km2, it is the least-dense populated island in the archipelago.

The population of Boa Vista consist of a mixture of different nationalities: Creole, Negroids and Caucasians. The Creoles are the biggest group of inhabitants, with no less than 70%, as a lot of Portuguese enter into a relation with the slaves of the African continent, during the colonization of Portugal, and settled in Boa Vista afterwards.


Before, the inhabitants of Boa Vista survived off salt collection and date farming. Nowadays they still earn money from date farming but also from tourism. 

A lot of people do work in this touristic sector as a taxi driver, an employee in one of the hotel chains or as a salesman of souvenirs in Sal Rei. 

The income from tourism has risen rapidly since the coming of the international airport in 2007. There are several hotels and beach resorts on the island.


The airport of Boa Vista is Aristides Pereira International Airport, about 5km southeast of Sal Rei. There are ferry services from the port of Sal Rei.

The island has 64 km of national roads, the single first class national road connects Sal Rei and Rabil.


Boa Vista is not as abundant in flora and fauna as the other larger or more humid islands such as Santiago and Santo Antão; only 3% of its area is forested. However, 37% of its area is a protected area, which is the highest proportion of all inhabited Cape Verde islands.

There are 14 protected areas on Boa Vista, including beaches that are important nesting areas for loggerhead sea turtles and birds.

There are several endemic species, e.g. Boa Vista wall gecko (Tarentola boavistensis), Conus boavistensis, Conus salreiensis) and Plesiocystiscus bubistae.

Article Source: Wikipedia

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