Undiscovered Trails of Cape Verde

11 days
from
$2,295 USD
incl. taxes
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 4 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TQV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
5–16
Min age:
18

Explore Cape Verde's stunning fertile valleys, mountains and incredible scenery.

The Cape Verde Islands never fail to delight the senses and this exciting itinerary will allow us to experience the dramatic variety of landscapes to be found here. Predominantly on foot, we will explore the very best of these islands, starting with Santiago to discover the history of the Cape Verde Islands. We continue with Sao Vincente and Santo Antao to enjoy the breath-taking scenery; from fertile valleys and mountain ranges to salt pans and long stretches of coastline as well as the peculiar rock formations and microclimates which are characteristic of this region. 

Highlights

• Explore the old town of Cidade Velha, a UNESCO World Heritage site

• Stroll in amongst the many plantations, including bananas, papayas, mangoes and sugarcane

• Hike the stunning ribeiras of Santo Antão, and meet the locals

• Visit fairytale-like villages such as Fontainhas

• See São Vicente and vibrant Mindelo, the cultural capital

Key information

• 5 days walking (4-5 hours), and 1 shorter day walk

• Altitude maximum 1100m, average 700m

• 10 nights hotels/guesthouses most with ensuite facilities, some with shared facilities

• All breakfasts, 7 lunches/lunch boxes and 6 dinners included

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Praia, Santiago Island
to
Mindelo, São Vicente Island
  • Day 1

    Start Praia, Santiago

    We begin our trip in  Praia,  Santiago - the capital city and the largest of the island nation. Upon arrival in Praia around midday, those on group flights will be met and transferred to the accommodation in Praia. After some time to settle in, your leader will host a welcome meeting and tell you a little more about your upcoming itinerary. You will then have free time to explore the old city, or make your way to the beach for a little sunshine.

    Hotel Oasis Atlantico Praiamar or similar

  • Day 2

    Visit of Cidade Velha, Flight to São Vicente

    This morning we will have the opportunity to visit Cidade Velha, UNESCO World Heritage Site, where everything started for the Cape Verdians. The first settlement from the Portuguese was established here and it was the centre of the slave trade. In the afternoon we will enjoy we a  city tour and a short hike through the fertile valley before taking our flight to Mindelo, São Vicente. After checking in we will have a welcome dinner with live music.

    Hotel Porto Grande or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Ferry to Santo Antão, hike to Caibros

    In the morning we transfer to the harbour and enjoy the scenic ferry ride to São Vicente's neighbour island, Santo Antão (Approx 45-60 minute ferry crossing). Upon arrival, we transfer to the plateau of the island Espongeiros with time to take photos of the dramatic scenery along the way as we descend to our hiking start point of Caibros. From here our luggage will be transferred to our accommodation leaving us free to start trekking from the centre of the island following a descent down a steep valley and crossing to the other side of the island. This walk has some steep sections, but the trail is wide with small walls for security. As you descend, you pass from the vegetated highlands through barren hillsides to the fertile valley. 

    Pension Casa Mite or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Hike through the valley of the Ribeira Grande

    After breakfast we will walk along the fertile valley of the Ribeira Grande and its lateral valleys, passing through Horta de Garça to Chã d'Igreja. According to the season, the river becomes either a torrential river or a leisurely stream and alongside them with a bountiful amount of vegetation growing here. You will experience the local life at the riverside before arriving in Chã d'Igreja, situated on a picturesque canyon right in front of the Atlantic. 

    Pension Casa Mite or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Move along the coast to Ponta do Sol

    After breakfast you will start your hike, this being one of the most popular hikes on Santo Antão. It is no surprise, as the views are absolutely stunning having the ocean on your left, and the mountains on the right as you walk through tiny villages including, among others the famous Fontainhas. This colourful, fairytale-like village is perched on very steep cliffs and has a beautiful view of the surrounding area.

    Hotel Tiduca or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    The greenest valley of all... Paúl

    After breakfast transfer to the Paúl Valley, the greenest valley of Cape Verde. The Paúl Valley is surrounded by towering steep rocks and by a bay of coconut palms. Following ancient mule tracks, we will walk along the stunning tropic vegetation consisting of sugar cane, mango and dragon trees and visit a grogue distillery. In the afternoon, we transfer back to Ponta do Sol and enjoy dinner at a cosy restaurant. 

    Hotel Tiduca or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Cha de Morte to Alto Mira

    After a late breakfast, we will be transported to Cha de Morte, from here we begin the hike up to Alto Mira. We will explore the lesser known northwest part of Santo Antão, remote and relatively untouched by tourists. This hike is very impressive because of the peculiar rock formations and the unique microclimate which is ubiquitous in Santo Antão.

    Casa Amadeu or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Local farmer’s Project & ferry back to Mindelo

    After a late breakfast, we will leave from Casa Amadeu and drive to the farmer's project at Lagedos. Here we will try some fresh juices  and some examples of local produce before we arrive in Porto Novo to take the afternoon ferry back to Mindelo. 

    Hotel Porto Grande or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Culture and Music in Mindelo

    After breakfast, enjoy a city tour throughout the secret cultural capital of the country. If you have not experienced Mindelense music, you have not been to Mindelo at all! We will visit a local manufacturer, this is the best way to listen to these fine artists and after learning how guitars are made, we will enjoy an impromptu musical performance from the masters.

    Hotel Porto Grande or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Island Tour São Vicente

    After several days of hiking, we will explore the island today by bus. Amongst others we will drive to the oasis of Calhau, walking a little on the Sahara sand dunes of Praia Grande and visit the villages of Baia das Gatas and Salamansa. Afterwards, we will drive up to the highest point of the island, the Monte Verde, where we will have an amazing view of the islands as well as the islands of Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Santa Luzia. The rest of the afternoon is free for getting some souvenirs or relax on the city beach of Laginha. In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in town. 

    Hotel Porto Grande or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 11

    Adeus Cabo Verde

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport and check-in for the international departure from São Vicente.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

 

A new Airport Security Tax (TSA) has been implemented for travellers to Cape Verde from 01 January 2019 onwards. All foreign nationals who enter Cape Verde will be charged (3.400cve = appr. 31 EUR) at the airport upon arrival, and are then covered by this fee for their stay. The short-stay visa (up to 30 days) to enter Cape Verde, therefore, ceases to exist as of the same date for citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the UK. All other nationalities will still require a visa. The price should be requested at the local embassy of the country.

LIST OF COUNTRIES COVERED BY THE VISA EXEMPTION REGIME FROM 01.01.2019
 Germany
 Slovenia
 Iceland
 Netherlands
 Austria
 Spain
 Italy
 Poland
 Belgium
 Estonia
 Latvia
 Portugal
 Bulgária
 Finland
 Liechtenstein
 United Kingdom
 Cyprus
 France
 Lituania
 Czech Republic
 Croatia
 Greece
 Luxembourg
 Romania
 Denmark
 Hungary
 Malta
 Sweden
 Slovakia
 Ireland
 Norway

Vaccinations

Most travellers will need to consider a course or booster of Hepatitis A and Typhoid as there is a risk of these diseases across most parts of the world.

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 7 lunches/lunchboxes and 6 dinners included.

The food in the Cape Verde islands is generally of a good quality, particularly so by the coast where the seafood is excellent. The food of the islands is very much a reflection of its history and geography –  a fusion of South American and African ingredients influenced by the Portuguese history, as well as Southern and Western Europe. Expect a variety of stews, soups, pizza, pasta and grilled meat/seafood as well as plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables owing to the fertile climate.

Cachupa Rica is Cape Verde's national dish, a stew made with corn, beans, fish or meat and vegetables and usually served with rice.

Even though the hygienic conditions on Cape Verde have improved considerably over recent years, along with stricter water testing, stomach bugs can occur. As a preventative measure, you should abstain from eating fruit that has not been peeled, bring purifying drinking tap water with tablets and/or portable water filters. We do not encourage buying single-use plastic bottles of water and instead suggest bringing re-usable bottles.

Weather

Its location in this part of the Atlantic Ocean gives the Cape Verde region warm weather all year round and there’s rarely a day when the sun isn’t shining. The average temperature ranges from 24°C to 30°C with slightly less sunshine in the summer because it falls within wet season.

The best time to visit Cape Verde for trekking is outside of the wet season, which is spread over the months of August and September. Autumn and spring are dry with very little rainfall, making them the best time to go to Cape Verde for sunny and dry weather. If you are looking for the slightly cooler months, arrive in December or January for the coolest weather of the year.

 

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 3 (Moderate):

This trip is suitable for those with some level of fitness and a spirit of adventure. Some previous trekking experience is desirable but not vital as long as you are confident of your physical condition. Some of the areas we visit are quite remote and will have basic facilities. Some of the walks are on uneven terrain and may be slippery underfoot so you need to be comfortable with this. None of the trekking days are very long or strenuous, and the temperatures should be comfortable.

While we are confident in the general quality of the vehicles used, due to the lack of local legislation in relation to seatbelt provision, we are cannot guarantee to provide transport with seatbelts fitted.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and family-run guest houses

You will spend 7 nights in hotels, and 3 nights in family-run guest houses, most with en suite facilities but some with shared facilities. 

The hotels are simple but comfortable. Most of the hotels have mosquito nets in the rooms. Please note that although all of the hotels are said to have a reliable electricity and water supply there may be instances in which you experience some gaps in supply - this is more a reflection of life in Cape Verde than the standard of the hotel. There is WiFi in most of the hotels but often this is only in the communal areas and not in the rooms.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2019
    John Atherton

    Interesting and varied walking

    Walking a new area in warm weather looked interesting – and it was. The first walk: a short steep descent followed by an interesting green valley to the coast, was a gentle introduction. The next, on Santo Antao, was hard work, culminating in a very long descent. Might have been better later in the trip when we were a bit more used to the terrain. Good paths in general, lots of cobbled paths plus a bit of loose stuff. Great scenery, rock formations, mountain and coastal views, assorted cultivation, even a couple of monkeys. Knowledgeable and considerate local guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Volcanic mountain scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, proud of her country. Lots of information, good time keeping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be hill fit – Lakes, Dales, etc. Walking pole(s) useful for descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Simple graphical representation of each walk profile in the trip notes would have been useful.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Derek Henderson

    Harder than expected walks

    Although the trip notes said this was a cat 3 some of the treks especially the first day on Santo Antao were a bit harder but that di not detract from a fantastic holiday in a wonderful country. A mixed group ranging from 80's to 40's but all got on well. The guides were great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the cliff path to Ponta do Sol, especially the "Stations of the cross" section.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was very good, possibly a bit shrill, partly I think because thefe as an Exodus rep reviewing the trip. Like most leaders tended to treat everyone as if they were children. All in all I was very happy with her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some hard walking and some rustic accomodation. Go with an open mind and you will not be disapointed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    no
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Derek Henderson

    Harder than expected walks

    Although the trip notes said this was a cat 3 some of the treks especially the first day on Santo Antao were a bit harder but that di not detract from a fantastic holiday in a wonderful country. A mixed group ranging from 80's to 40's but all got on well. The guides were great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the cliff path to Ponta do Sol, especially the "Stations of the cross" section.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was very good, possibly a bit shrill, partly I think because thefe as an Exodus rep reviewing the trip. Like most leaders tended to treat everyone as if they were children. All in all I was very happy with her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some hard walking and some rustic accomodation. Go with an open mind and you will not be disapointed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    no
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Judy Ransley

    New Trip

    Wanted to visit Cape Verde for some time so jumped at the chance of this new trip. I very much enjoyed experiencing the islands but found the hiking challenging. This is graded "3 moderate" but almost everybody thought this was a misrepresentation. The tracks are all hard, mostly cobbled, paths so don't expect any soft grass! The gradients are pretty severe and coupled with the heat (quite a bit hotter than estimated in trip notes) the hikes weren't easy. I was not really fit enough for this trip and others who do more walking found it easier going. It is not suitable for anybody with knee problems.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying in remote mountain village pensions

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do go but make sure you are hill walking fit and take poles if you use them as many of the descents can be quite slippery with loose sand/stones. Changing money is expensive so aim to do it once - between 150 - 200 euros depending on how many drinks/souvenirs you like to buy. Beer = 1.30; glass of wine 3.0; fruit juice 1.50 approx.

Dates & Prices

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