Best Places to stay in Cape Verde
Tarrafal (Island of Santiago)
Tarrafal lies to the north of the island of Santiago in Cape Verde. The small town is predominantly known as a fishing port, but there is much more to Tarrafal than just that. The popular palm-fringed beach is small and intimate and lined with white sand. Plus, the fantastic cool breeze from the Atlantic is there to ease the heat in summer. Tarrafal’s beach is a perfect spot for water sport – snorkel and boat rentals are operated from a beachfront restaurant known as Pizzeria Alto Mira.
The most surprisingly modern place to stay in Tarrafal is without a doubt Vista Mar, which is a prime location in the sense that you basically step right out onto the beach from your room. Accommodation is generally not too pricey in this area, so for those on the lookout for lower prices, Tarrafal promises to deliver on this front.
Apart from full-day tours around the island and different walking excursions (with a trusted local) try out the most popular fusion restaurant that Tarrafal has to offer. Maracuja takes pride in presenting their delicious seafood and grilled fish plates served with mouthwatering French accents. Live music is usually played on the weekends and creates a lively atmosphere as the sunsets over the bay.
Hotels in Tarrafal
Praia (Island of Santiago)
The capital of Santiago is a bustling little city that seems to never sleep. Located on the southern coast of the Island, Praia definitely has more of a vibe than Tarrafal does. The center of the city is known as Plateau and as the name suggests, it is built on a plateau that boasts with some of the most magnificent houses and buildings from the colonial era. This old quarter will keep you happily busy for a day, as there is simply way to many Instagram moments to capture.
Praia offers visitors a fair selection of guesthouses, condos and luxury hotels. This makes the city a very popular with a wide range of tourists on different budgets. The Pestana Tropico Hotel is a firm favourite as it’s located in a high-end residential area right on the water’s edge. It’s also within walking distance from bars like Ipanema and El Pescador – both two very lively watering holes that offers the best in terms of service and atmosphere.
Places of interest in this vibrant city include Sala-Museu Amilcar Cabral, the infamous food market Mercado de Sucupira and the battered lighthouse named after a Portuguese queen, Farol Dona Maria Pia (which offers the most stunning views across the coastline).
Hotels in Praia
Santa Maria (Island of Sal)
Situated on the Southern tip of Sal Island, lies Santa Maria. Proudly offering the most sublime strip of white sands and blue waters. Santa Maria is a location that is known for world-class windsurfing and a wide range of other fun beach activities. This little town is all about life on the beach and there isn’t much to see or do beyond the shoreline.
Santa Maria is a place where you come to chill out and catch a tan. Think lazy lunches in town followed by sundowners in one of the resort bars that line the beachfront and a night out in the town that comes to life as the sun goes down. A plethora of open-air eateries and bars pour out onto the sidewalks just parallel to the beach and makes this little town one of the best in terms of convenience.
Honeymooners will find Santa Maria to be essentially perfect for their choice of getaway. That is if you simply wish to enjoy the beach and lazy afternoons followed by a great evening atmosphere. However, Santa Maria is not only for newlyweds – it’s a perfect choice for an easy stay in one of Cape Verde’s best locations.
Hotels in Santa Maria
Mindelo (Island of Sao Vicente)
The beautiful port city of Mindelo lies on Sao Vicente – an island known for its music and vibrant nightlife. Lively Brazilian-influenced celebrations often take place on the streets lined with colorful colonial houses built on the border of Porto Grande Harbor. This captivating Mediterranean town promises a stay of a lifetime and experiences to remember long after you’ve left.
Accommodation in Mindelo ranges from old colonial hotels to slightly more modern options. Prassa 3 Boutique Hotel has the most consistent rating in the area and is quite possibly the most popular for a stay in Mindelo, but it is Pousada Montecara that scores the highest ratings in popularity and setting. It’s a stunning property that sits favorably with guests. For something closer to the beach, be sure to check out Solar Windelo.
Outdoor excursions to Mount Verde makes for an easy hike that delivers the best panoramic views over the bay. For a day at the beach, opt for Baía das Gatas, Calhau and Salamansa. Mindelo’s beaches can be quite windy, but makes it perfect for windsurfing and kite surfing classes operated from the Kite Surf Cabo Verde beach shack. Mindelo is a fun, lively, party-inspired location for bit of raucous fun before heading off to your next destination.
Hotels in Mindelo
Sal Rei (Island of Boa Vista)
On the northwestern coast of the island of Boa Vista, lies Sal Rei – the main urban settlement of the area and a place that seems to be expanding with more resorts and hotels popping up in the area. Since Boa Vista comprises of desert interior, you can expect some off-roading down the peachy dunes. A short stroll south of the town center brings you to Praia de Estoril – a little beach with blue waters and white sands. Along the short coastline, beach bars serve the finest in seafood and drinks. Grab a lounge chair and soak up the sun…
Before making your way down to the beach be sure to visit the spooky village of Curral Velho. It was abandoned due to heavy drought and walking along the sandy ruins lies stark in comparison to the pristine shoreline. Be sure to make your way up to Morro Negro – a lighthouse that stands on top of Cape Verde’s most easterly point.
Guesthouses, B&B’s and 3-star hotels make up the largest portion of accommodation in Sal Rei. There are a few 4-star options available and about 6 luxury hotels for those who wish to upgrade their stay.
Hotels in Sal Rei