This lesser known desert island—Boa Vista—in the Cape Verde archipelago will make you wish you were there. By Rashima Nagpal
Boa Vista, the desert island part of the Cape Verde archipelago, boasts of a singularly fascinating topography. Its surface features jagged, lunar-like volcanic landscapes, vast sand dunes, and endless white-sand beaches—all at once. Add to that the Cape Verdean culture known for its wonderful music and Afro-Portuguese essence, and you have a multi-faceted destination waiting to be unspooled.
Take a stroll through its artsy settlements and vibrant markets; sample local cuisine at beachfront restaurants in the urban setting of Sal Rei; soak in the sight of the undulating golden hills at the Praia de Chaves beach; take a quad-bike safari across the rolling dunes of the Viana Desert; witness the haunting shipwreck of M/S Cabo Santa Maria on the north coast; take in the views from the island’s highest peak, Monte Estância; visit the eerie, deserted village of Curral Velho; and call upon the towering Morro Negro lighthouse.
If the otherworldly island draws you, time your travels in spring or early summer to catch giant humpback whales who come to breed in the waters off the coast of Boa Vista, or between June and September to spot loggerhead turtles on the Ervatão Beach.