Holidays in the Cape Verde Islands
The Cape Verdeans display a wonderful cultural mix of Africa and Brazil, with a dash of Portugal. The local dialect is Kriolu (creole) and the official language Portuguese.
Cape Verde is made up of 10 islands and 8 islets, with the Hot Sands apartment being in the town of Santa Maria on Sal. Having an Atlantic coastline and year-round sunshine, Sal is popular with beach lovers and water-sports enthusiasts alike.
For those who like to venture out a little more, Sal can easily be explored by car. Regular flights and boat trips put the rest of the Cape Verde Islands within easy reach, and the island can also be used as a stopping point before travelling on to South America - flights to Brazil leave from Sal's international airport.
Things to do in Santa Maria
With its stunning sandy beaches and myriad ocean-based activities, Santa Maria is becoming increasingly well known as the beach and water sports destination. It's so good that the 3-times world windsurf champion even has a school here.
- Scuba diving
- PADI diving courses
- Kite surfing
- Fishing trips
- Submarine trips
- Boat trips
- Dune buggy hire
- Car hire for island touring
- February is Carnival time
- September sees a 3 day international music festival in Santa Maria
- Turtle watching at certain times of the year
- Whale watching at certain times of the year
Should you have time, there are also regular flights to the other 8 main islands - all of which are beautiful but unique.
Blu Bar - a relaxed and stylish cocktail bar situated in the blue building less than an minute's walk from the apartment, where you are guaranteed a warm welcome.
Power boat trips - on King Boa with Bob and Jackie (contact +238 994 9248) - fantastic!
Sailing trips - on Sal Princess with Terry (contact +238 987 7948) - great fun.
Snack Shack - looking for a great place for breakfast or lunch overlooking the beach? Just a short walk from the apartment, this is a must.
Santa Maria has two international banks and cash machines (more can be found in Espargos, the other major town on the island), but please note that they only accept debit and Visa cards (i.e. not MasterCard). Money is dispensed in the local currency of Cape Verde Escudos (CVE), however Euros are also widely accepted around the islands.
Keeping in touch
There are a number of internet cafes in Santa Maria that also offer international telephone facilities at reasonable rates. You can also now get WIFI in Santa Maria and vouchers are available from various shops and at the Blu Bar. There is a strong signal at the apartment.
It is possible to tour the island by hiring a car or taxi, or for the more adventurous why not jump on a local bus (called 'Aluger') - great fun, quick and cheap!
What to wear
Check out WhatToWearOnHoliday.com for packing advice for Cape Verde.