Ever been to an archipelago that showcases a unique mesh of Portuguese and African influences? Then head over to Cape Verde, a country in West Africa and is home to a cluster of islands from the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its European colonization, this island nation sports European-style structures in the African landscape.
Cape Verde is made up of ten islands and five tiny islets that are extremely different from each other be it in their personality or its appearance. Whether is luscious mountain terrains to sun-kissed soft-sandy beaches that stretch for miles or dramatic volcanic landscapes that are breathtaking to say the least, the diversity in its make-up makes Cape Verse a 'must-see' destination.
Be sure to visit Santiago, an island of Cape Verde. This is one of the largest of the islands at 991 sq km (383 sq miles) which is packed with incredible places for hiking through the forests and also hope to catch a glimpse of native wildlife. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this old fort site at Cidade Velha is an incredible attraction to explore. Scuba divers be sure to explore 16th century shipwrecks.
Spend some time at the serene and tranquil islet of Boa Vista if you want to escape the crowd and the chaos. Divers will have a gala time there for there are innumerable opportunities to go on a scuba dive as well as go snorkelling. Be sure to be on the search for eels, yellowfish tuna and the elusive humpback whale in the deep-blue waters. If water sports such as kite-surfing and windsurfing are in your agenda then be sure to take a trip to the island of Sal. Those who are keen on viewing a volcanic island should stop over at the stunning Fogo where volcanic peaks loom 2800m (9186ft) above sea level.
Be sure to head over to the island of Sao Vicente. It is packed with towering mountains, soft-sandy beaches and tiny fishing towns that add to the overall charm of this destination. Most of the activities on the island are concentrated around the city of Mindelo, the cultural capital of the Cape Verde islands. Those who love outdoor activities can trek over to the Mount Verde - the highest point on Sao Vicente ar 725 meters (2,379ft) either by foot or by car to enjoy breathtaking panoramic vistas. Those who enjoy hiking should take a trip to Santo Antao, second biggest of the Cape Verde archipelago as there are several opportunities offered particularly in the north east corner of the island.
When it comes to shopping, there are several local markets that offer quintessential local items such as handicrafts or basket-weaving. As for cuisine, the delicacies are a unique mesh of Creole, Portuguese and African flavours. Some of the specialities are Canja (thick chicken soup with rice) or Catchupa (a slow boiled stew or corn, beans, vegetables and marinated tuna). Be sure to sip into a few national drinks such as Manecome (local wine from Fogo) or Aguardiente (sugarcane rum).
The stay options in Cape Verde are plenty with the best luxury hotels, cheap accommodations or swanky apartments/lodgings available for the tourist to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget or taste.
Cape Verde experiences temperate climate with a warm, dry summer. The best time to visit would be between August and October as the temperatures are pleasant and conditions good enough to travel.