The Ultimate Guide to Cape Verde

Sal Cape Verde

Our Senior Travel Consultant Lynn went on a 4-night educational trip with Tui and RIU in March 2024, exploring some of their hotels in Sal, Cape Verde. 

“Cape Verde lies to the west coast of Africa and is an arrangement of 10 islands. Relatively unknown and a melting pot of cultures, originally discovered by the Portuguese – you can see the African and Portuguese influences in the architecture and music, fashion and food. The best time to go is between November and June, although it is an all-year-round destination. 

Cape Verde Plane Window
Cape Verde Beach
Cape Verde Tour

Cape Verde in a Snapshot

Temperature Cape Verde


It has a warm tropical climate with temperatures in the mid to high twenties. 

Currency Cape Verde


Cape Verde’s currency is Euros.

Population Cape Verde


A little over half a million people live in Cape Verde, spread over 9 of the 10 islands. 

Language Cape Verde


Languages spoken are Portuguese and Creole.

Top Attractions and Things To Do

Spot Loggerhead Turtles In August

Cape Verde is the third largest nesting site for loggerhead turtles on Boa Vista and Sal between July and October. August is the main month for observations.

loggerhead turtles

Relax in Salt Lakes

Sal means salt – and that is where the island gets its name from, that is why you can float at the Pedra da Lume Salt Lakes – which is on the crater of an extinct volcano.

Pedra da Lume Salt Lakes

Explore Neighbouring Islands

Island hopping by flight or ferry (very laid back) – book this for the middle of your holiday as they don’t always go – and there may be delays due to winds or excessive heat.


Embark on a 4x4 Adventure

Get picked up from your hotel in a covered off roader for a 4×4 excursion: The Secrets of Sal Island tour with Petra da Lume Salt Lake.  

We were driven around the island, stopping off at the desert mirage sands of Terra Boa –an optical phenomenon in which hot rays of light reflect distant objects and the sky creates the illusion of a desert lake. 

The Buracona Lagoon and Murdeira Bay – our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history and life of the Island, and a joy to listen to.

Soaking up the laid-back vibes of the west coast fishing village of Palmeira, we saw fish being caught and village paintings on the side of homes and businesses.

Buracona Lagoon
Secrets of Sal Island

Where to stay

The RIU Funana

A 24-hour all-inclusive hotel fun for all hotel, the RUI Funana is 300m from the closest beach.  There are several boutiques and shops in the reception area.  There’s a Gym, Spa/Wellness Centre, Sports bar, RIU Land Kids Club, 4 restaurants, 7 bars, Wi-Fi and 5 adapted rooms for wheelchair users on the ground floor. The only place not accessible is the Discotheque which has 30 steps to climb.

Pack something white for the RIU White Party (or Neon for the alternative Friday nights).  The party was full of energy, entertainment, music and bucket loads of fun all in the open air. Guests from other selected hotels also have access to this evening.

The RIU Funana Cape Verde
The RIU Funana Cape Verde (1)

The RIU Cabo Verde Hotel

The RIU Cabo Verde hotel is a 24 hour all inclusive, 5* Adult only hotel. The hotel is full when we visit, but it still feels very quiet.  They have a Cappuccino shop, 4 restaurants, 7 bars, 3 pools, a boutique/shop and free Wi-Fi throughout.

Rooms have a mini bar which is regularly refilled and a liquor dispenser. The Hotel is fully accessible,  you can ask for help from the hotel to get to the beach.  There is direct access to the beach

The RIU Cabo Verde Hotel Cape Verde
The RIU Cabo Verde Hotel Cape Verde (1)

The RIU Palace Santa Maria

The RIU Palace Santa Maria an all-inclusive hotel built in 2020, with swim-up rooms at the end of each block. All areas in the hotel are accessible with 6 adapted wheelchair rooms.  There are 6 annexes over the grounds and 6 restaurants: Italian, Japanese, Fusion and Grill. 8 swimming pools, 6 bars, free Wi-Fi, kids club, a gym and wellness centre, daily sports and entertainment. Rooms have a regularly filled mini-bar and liquor optic dispensers. The waterpark is open 9am-5pm, 6 days a week and generally closed on a Sunday.  There’s a 24-hour sports bar, which can be used for late arrivals with food and drink available.

This hotel is 2km from Santa Maria, around 25 mins to get to the town’s bars and restaurants.

The RIU Palace Santa Maria (1)
The RIU Palace Santa Maria

Robinson Cabo Verde

Robinson Cabo Verde is an adults-only hotel with a wellness and fitness vibe.  The hotel has a rooftop gym looking across to the beach in the distance. There’s a lovely beach bar with bean bags and a place to watch the kites flying.  

Renowned for its well-being/well-eating hotel, opening in 2019, followed by a grand opening in 2021. They have rooms looking into and outside of the resort and 5 suites are sea view.  There is an entertainment programme daytime and evening.  All of the hotel is accessible apart from the beach which is a couple of steps. Aquafit/Zumba and sports activities are readily available.

_Robinson Cabo Verde
Robinson Cabo Verde

Find the Cape Verde holiday for you

The Island of Sal, Cape Verde is a simple place, no high-rise buildings, bustling traffic or well-known brands/makes or shopping malls. Everyone you meet is polite, cheerful and eager to make you have the best stay. There was always an abundance of fresh food, cooked in front of you.

If you are feeling inspired to soak up some sunshine in Cape Verde, come and visit me in store and we can plan the perfect package for you.”

Lynn Wright, Senior Travel Consultant

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The Ultimate Guide to Cape Verde

Our Senior Travel Consultant Lynn went on a 4-night educational trip with Tui and RIU in March 2024, exploring some of their hotels in Sal,

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