Where to Stay on Boa Vista Island Ė an Insiderís Guide

Boa Vista, farthest East of the 10 island archipelago, enjoys 55 km of pristine white sandy beaches. The westerly winds coming from Saharan Africa bringing the raw materials to feed some of the worlds best beaches. Boa Vista, like Sal and Maio, is a barren volcanic island. In recent years an International airport has opened up Boa Vista to the tourist markets of mainland Europe.

pristine white beach with palms trees and sun loungers

Hotels and apartment and villa complexes are still few and far between but there are now 10 hotels across the island. Many of these are in and around the main town of Sal Rei. Sal Rei is a small traditional town with pastel coloured buildings and a nascent bar/restaurant scene. Boa Vista is predicted to challenge Sal as Cape Verdeís tourism mecca in coming years. The new international airport is a short 5 minute bus ride from the main town of Sal Rei.

Sun, Surf and Turtles

Boa Vista is not an island that moves at pace. If peace and tranquility are what you want from your holiday then Boa Vista is the place to go. Year round sunshine means sun lounging is guaranteed. Like the Canary Islands, several hundred miles to the north, strong winds have made the islands a mecca for water sports and other activities. Wind surfing is hugely popular as well as surfing, kite flying, sailing, fishing and dune buggy racing.

Windsurfer off Boa Vista

Boa Vista is also home to an indigenous loggerhead turtle population that nest on the beaches around the island. The turtles are now part of a conservation programme but continued development threatens their existence. Night time tours to view them are popular tourist activity. Whale and dolphin watching trips are also a popular pastime. The local government are doing much to develop the islands while still retaining their local charm and protecting local wildlife.

Sal Rei

Sal Rei is the islandís main town but at little more than a few thousand people it is a small sleepy fishing settlement where development is driven purely by tourism. The main plaza is home to a small market where you can buy fruit and vegetables as well as local African trade wares such as carved figures. Pastel buildings give the town a colourful vibrant feel and new bars and restaurants are opening regularly as visitor numbers increase.

Santa Isabel Church Sal Rei

Vila Cabral Resort

Vila Cabral is situated on the beautiful Cabral Beach just a short walk from the main town of Sal Rei. The resort is a small collection of self catering apartments split into two sections, Vila Cabral 1 and 2. The former was completed in 2008, the latter 2013. The resort is compact and apartments overlook a large community swimming pool and poolside bar. Vila Cabral is a popular short term apartment rental community and is ideally located for the airport, Sal Rei town and Cabral beach. Nearby you will find a large Boas Compras supermarket and located within Vila Cabral 1 in a small cafe/shop where you can buy essentials and cold beer.

view from apartment in complex on higher floor down on to large resort swimming pool, beach adjacent

Santa Monica Beach White Sands Resort

The first major luxury development on Boa Vista is the White Sands Resort and Spa. Home to a 5 star hotel and over 800 luxury rental properties, White Sands is located on the world renowned Santa Monica Beach on the most southerly coastline of the island. This resort, developed by Melia hotel group, positions Boa Vista as direct competition to the Seychelles, Maldives and Caribbean.

Architect designed contemporary villa with sleek clean lines and white finish