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Old Cape Verde Map
Although there are rumours that people visited the islands of Cape Verde before 1460, whether fishermen from the nearby African coast or the Venetian Cadarnosto, who might have glimpsed the island of Boavista in 1456, history attributes the discovery of these islands to Diogo Gomes and Antonio da Noli (Genoans in the service of the King of Portugal), in 1460 on board two carracks.
Throughout the 16th and 17th century, for good or ill the society of Cape Verde forged a model that made liberty the supreme value of Creole identity delineating an egalitarian ideology although the kingdom did not want it or have means to work against this development (even when the companies, which had absolute power for 20 years from 1757-1777 particularly those of Grao Para and Maranhao applied pressure to return to the previous status quo,  generally crushing the populations to which they sold at high prices and bought at low prices while blocking their waterborne commerce with their ships) it remained a society open to the outside, as was proved by the popularity of commerce on the beaches the proverbial morabeza (openness — always quoted as a characteristic of the people of these islands despite the existence at some times of armed bonds in the mountains arid even in the cities) and emigration to innumerable countries and the people of Cape Verde did not accept situations demanding submission, even if they had to pay for this value with their lives, abandoned to hunger and disease.
The Creole experience should be understood primarily by the action of the forces that created it, such as a definite questioning of the claims that a man could own another man, before this debate had been explicitly held it was this sense of independence and liberty that gave a force, meaning and edge to the Creole identity up to the mid 20th Century in the archipelago although there was no equivalent event to the "Grito do Ipiranga”.
It is not by chance in the 21st Century as is happening in Brazil, the sense of natianhood of the Cape Verdeans is not the property of one particular sector of society but of all sectors together whatever their racial or religious background the nation of Cape Verde appears entirely ready to live in democracy as has become clear although it may be a surprise to some.
Cape Verde has been a crucible for the universalisation of human beings since the start of its existence and together with the rest of the Creole world it now has a mission ahead of it that beliefs its srze, the mission to bring new worlds to the world not in the sense of discovering new lands but by developing new people with innovative ideas.
Situated at the extreme west of the archipelago, Boavista Island is flat, similar to the neighbouring Sal and Mayo Islands. Dream beaches, spots with coconut and palm trees just like an oasis, and delicious wholesome food are all elements which provide an excellent visiting card. Boavista Island provides the perfect location for the traveler who wants to both explore and relax.
Sal Rei, the capital to the north-east of the island, is the first most likely destination for arrivals, with almost all the hotels nearby. Trips, pure relaxation, the inevitable interlude with the morna singing, and the discovery of profoundly entrenched traditions in a friendly population comprise the programm that visitors can expect. The trip begins in Sal Rei. Here sal, or salt, was really king (rei), principally in the 18th century, when it was an essential product of the economy of the regions where it was produced. The remains of the salt mines which still exist show the golden age of Boavista, a time of important demographic and economic development. Naturally, the island was sought after, even by pirates who ravaged these Atlantic waters. For this reason, in front of the town and on a small island, the remains of the old Duque de Braganga Fort can be found, a military structure where cautious watch was carried out. Nowadays, the local attractions are the wonderful waters which surround it, rich in marine life and sublime underwater scenes which delight visitors. There is a long shallow underwater platform which runs to the neighbouring Islands of Sal to the north, and Majo to the south.
Sal Rei is a good place to appriciate the unmistakable colonial architecture, and to better evoke the passage of time. Not to be missed is a small Jewish Cemetery a precious relic which reminds us of an active community which settled here, dominating the social and economic life of the island. It can be foud next to the Marina Club Hotel, in front of the beach with the same name.
From the small Old Quay, which is the origin of the other name by which Sal Rei is known, excursions may be made by boat, to the small islet opposite, to Chave, Santa Monica, Curral Velho, or for a round-island trip. Snorkeling, diving and fishing are other activity excursions; an excellent way to get to know this Island, which is flat and almost completely surrounded by splendid beaches.  
Chave Beach was the first to develop hotels, then Cruz Beach. lt already has over 2,500 hotel beds, with the arrival of a new unit with 750 rooms to Carleta Beach.  
The expanse of sand to the north of the Island, the Boa Esperanca Beach, round Santa Maria Cape, although more exposed to the prevailing winds than the more sheltered beaches of the west and south, is a magnifcent spectacle, as is the beautiful David Beach, opposite the chapel built by Benoliel, a name which has dominated life on this island for a long time.
Following on from Sal Rei to the south—west, going round the airport, and preferably following the picturesque route, among date and coconut trees and acacias, which cover innumerables dunes, reminding one of NorthAfrica, one arrives at Rabil. Here we have the airport which is now international and receives flights from Europe. Rabil is also the name given to the sea bird usually known as fragata, which is threatened with extinction in Cape Verde. The Sao Roque Church which can be seen here is the oldest on the island and was built in 1801.
One can visit the ceramic factory-school in Rabil, a special industry with profound African characteristics. One of the principal objectives of the institution is to preserve this type of handcraft which is so rich in the local expression.
Between Rabil and the neighbouring township of Estancia de Baixo, a little to the east, is a vast area of high dunes, a corridor of moving sands which the wind blows trom NE to SW: an impressive landscape, which is called the Viana Desert. The Rabill valley is in a hydrographic basin, considered as one of the bigger of Cape Verde, although the water only runs for short intervals during the rainy season.
Arriving at the north and north-west of the island one can identify areas given over to agriculture. This activity complements the principal source of revenue of Boavista - fishing. Cabega dos Tarafes, Fundo de Figueiras and Joao Galego are places where, often with very hard labour, the inhabitants subsist from the land. They complement this activity with animals, mainly goats, which graze freely all over the island. Don’t be surprised, therefore, that these form the basis of a characteristic cuisine which is excellent, wholesome and tasty, contributing to the traveller unique experience. Apart from fish, always present at the table, and seafood, there is another speciality which is part of the culinary tradition of Boavista: botchada, which can be cooked with cachupa, or fish stews as a side dish or fried with rice or other ingredients.
For moments of relaxation and leisure, Boavista is covered with beaches, considered by many to be the best in the world. They can be found all over the island, but the most famous is Curralinho / Santa Monica, near Povacao Velha, the first settlement of the island, founded in the frst quarter of the 17th century. Also a must to visit is the gorgeous Varandinha Beach. This continues with the extensive Lacacao Beach, where there is intensive construction of new hotels, which will open in 2011. To the east is Curral Velho and Ervatao... here, however progress still awaits. On a coast tens of kilometres long, there is beach after isolated beach, still virgin, which provide the traveler with sheer unspoilt pleasure. This is a privilege that does not exist in many other places in the world. The turtles are witness to this, choosing the south of the island to lay their eggs. Protection of the turtles is taken very seriously. The caretta caretta is the species which most frequently chooses to lay its eggs here, from which thousands of new specimens are hatched every season. Children from schools within an international organisation of nature protection are involved in the preservation of the eggs. These are taken to a safe place, marked and followed until the hatching of the tiny offspring, which then make their way steadfastly to the sea. Here is a place which is unforgettable for its relaxing swimming and water sports, especially diving and fishing. Boavista Island is an outstanding place in Cape Verde, and without doubt the one which can completely fullfill the promise of tourism linked to the sea.


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