Welcome to vista verde tours – the travel expert of Cape Verde!

We are very proud of being able to launch our new website despite these unprecedented and difficult times.
It is of high importance to us as we truly believe that tourism is a key to the successful future of this country.
More than ever we – together with all our local service partners – pursue the philosophy of sustainable tourism.
Since the beginning of the crisis we have supported many families and local people thanks to our donation event.
Now we are going to focus on establishing the necessary hygienic standards, together with our service partners, in preparation for our first visitors.
Each guest should be able to experience a beautiful and memorable time here in Cape Verde.
I wish you a lot of fun browsing through our new site and I hope to see you soon!
Warm regards
Heike Alter
Mindelo in October 2020
You are not old enough to access this page.
vista verde tours
vista verde tours: travel FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Travel Informations A - Z

We listed the most important keywords in alphabetical order

AIRPORT SECURITY TAX ("TAS")

AIRPORT SECURITY TAX ("TAS")

Since 1st January 2019 an airport security tax ("TAS") of 3,400 CVE per person (approx. EUR 30.80) has to be paid by all international visitors. Online registration via the EASE system (www.ease.gov.cv) is required up to 5 days prior to arrival; you can pay the tax online in advance by credit card.

 

LOCAL CLIMATE & WEATHER CONDITIONS

climate table Cabo Verde

LOCAL CLIMATE & WEATHER CONDITIONS

The climate in Cape Verde is extremely pleasant for Central Europeans.

The average temperatures are in the range of 24-30°C (the water temperatures are slightly lower).

Relatively low humidity and the influence of the winds make high temperatures very pleasant.

Take mainly light, airy clothes with you. It can cool down a bit in the evening. You should pack a light wind or rain jacket and take a hat for the hikes in order to avoid extreme sun exposure.

Precipitation is very low on the islands and if rare drops are falling, it is a valuable asset. As the climate is changing worldwide, rain forecasting is vague.

Traditionally farmers assume that it rains in September and prior to this it is usually quite humid and the temperatures rise above 30°C.

Over the year, a local meteorological phenomenon may appear, called "bruma seca" by the locals. This is caused by Saharan sand being blown over from the main land which can sometimes cause dust clouds.

In extreme situations this can lead to flights can be cancelled - BINTER Cabo Verde (TICV) operates with ATR aircrafts that are not allowed to fly above a certain sand density or limited visibility. However, based on experience, these are short-lived periods.

Throughout the year the water temperatures are constantly above 20°C.  Due to the fact that the islands are in the Atlantic Ocean it is always important to pay attention to the current, waves and flows when going into the water.

 

COMMUNICATION AND MAIL

communication and mail Cabo Verde

COMMUNICATION AND MAIL

Local mobile providers offer very cheap pre-paid cards with rates that are well below the European prices. The mobile network is quite well developed and we recommend buying a local SIM card and bringing along an old mobile phone.

Wi-Fi is now available at almost all accommodation and there is internet at the international airports on Cabo Verde as well.

There are post offices in all the larger towns across the islands. Postcards to Europe can take between 3 to 5 weeks to arrive.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

domestic flights Cabo Verde

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

BINTER Cabo Verde (TICV) and Cabo Verde Airlines, the domestic airlines, operate flights connecting all the islands (apart from Santo Antão and Brava). Normally, most of the flights start in Praia (Santiago); however Sal and São Vicente as well as Sal and Boa Vista are connected directly.

The luggage allowance on inter-island flights is 20kg per person in the hold and 6kg per person in the cabin. There are charges for overweight luggage but these have to be paid locally at the airport and cannot be pre-booked (please note that this is not possible on all flights and depends on the overall weight).

 

EATING & DRINKING

eating and drinking Cape Verde

EATING & DRINKING

Main dishes usually consist of fresh fish and locally sourced meat. Goatling (“cabrito”) or chicken (“galinha de terra”) dominate the Cape Verdean kitchen. Ask in restaurants for the dish of the day ("prato do dia"). Crayfish should only be ordered in recommended restaurants (and is off season from July to November).

The local cuisine is simple and tasty. Seasonality, the catch of the day, rainfall and for sure money determine the daily menu. The national dish which can be served at any time of day is "catchupa", a stew mainly made of corn and beans, sometimes enriched with various vegetables or even pieces of meat. Definitely you should enjoy the fresh fish ("peixe"). To Europeans many of the fish species and methods of preparation will not be well known. Our culinary favourites to for you to try are fried moray eels ("moreia frita") or wahoo ("serra") served as Carpaccio.

On the markets you will discover a wide selection of fruits. Be open-minded and not afraid to ask questions – the market ladies are always happy to explain different fruits can be prepared and enjoyed.
Do not miss the local products: Goat cheese from Fogo or Santo Antão, Fogo wine and Fogo coffee grown in the volcanic soil, São Nicolau's sugar-cane brandy "grogue", and many more. Each island has its own local dishes and culinary delights.

The prices are not significantly cheaper compared to Europe. Regional and local products are usually organic, even if they are not declared as such. Drinks are quite cheap too. Local beer, brewed in Praia, is called Strela (available in 2 kinds). Drinking the tap water should be avoided (although for brushing teeth it is fine), but drinking water can usually be bought everywhere. Ice cubes should be avoided if you have a sensitive stomach.

If you have specific dietary requirements it is advisable to bring your own products from home as some ingredients and products are not possible to find in Cape Verde.

ENVIRONMENT

avoid waste

ENVIRONMENT

Please respect that drinking water is almost non-existent in Cape Verde.

Almost everywhere, the seawater is expensively desalinated and used for households and hotels. We can only appeal to you to be very responsible with your water consumption.

The same situation exists with electricity. Cape Verde has no natural resources, and so relies 100% on importing oil and gas. In some places on the islands there is no continuous power supply.

Waste prevention and disposal does not comply with European standards. Basics for improvement are supported internationally.
Practical tips can be found here.

HEALTH AND HYGIENE

health on Cabo Verde

HEALTH AND HYGIENE

The risk of gastrointestinal disease can be reduced by well-known preventive measures, such as regular hand washing, avoiding tap water (it is suitable for dental care) and eating fruit and vegetables according to the well-known rule "cook it, peel it or leave it".

There are pharmacies ("farmácia") on all islands and medical care is quite good in the cities (Praia, Mindelo, Assomada, São Filipe). In each district there are health centres ("centro de saude").

Medicines and treatments must be paid for directly and in cash. You will find our first-aid kit recommendations under "packing list”.

INTER ISLAND FERRIES

inter island ferries Cabo verde

INTER ISLAND FERRIES

Brava and Santo Antão can only be reached by ferry.
Up to 3 ferries operate daily between Mindelo (São Vicente) and Porto Novo (Santo Antão).

Brava can be reached from São Filipe (Fogo) or Santiago (Praia) several times per week. We only recommend the connection Fogo to Brava as it is the most reliable.
There are several other ferry connections between the islands, but they are highly dependent on weather conditions and therefore difficult to rely on; most of them are cargo ships.

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL

international arrival Cabo Verde

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL

From Western Europe, e.g. Germany, UK or other countries, the flight time to Cape Verde is 6-7 hours. There are four international airports on Cabo Verde: Santiago, São Vicente, Sal and Boa Vista.
The national airlines Binter Cabo Verde (TICV) provides connecting flights to the islands of Fogo, Maio and São Nicolau. The islands Brava and Santo Antão can only be reached by ferry.

TAP Portugal: The Portuguese airline connects many European cities via Lisbon with Santiago, São Vicente, Sal and Boa Vista.
TUIfly: Direct flights from Germany to Sal and Boa Vista; from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to São Vicente, Santiago and Sal, from UK (London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol) to Sal and Boa Vista
JETAIR (TUIfly): from Brussels (Belgium) directly to Sal and Boa Vista.

CVA (Cabo Verde Airlines): several times per week from Lisbon to Praia, São Vicente and Sal.
Corsair: once a week from Paris to Sal.
Livingston Airline: from Milan (Italy) to Boa Vista.
Royal Air Maroc: several times per week via Casablanca to Praia.

LANGUAGE & UNDERSTANDING

flag Cape Verde

LANGUAGE & UNDERSTANDING

The official language in Cape Verde is Portuguese.

The spoken local language is "Creole" which is a mixture of Portuguese and individual vocabulary with grammatical components of African dialects and the French language. Many locals understand French and English is also quite widely spoken and understood.
An "obrigado" (male) or "obrigada" (female) - "thank you" will open doors!

 

MONEY & EXCHANGE

money Cape Verde

MONEY & EXCHANGE

ATM machines are located at the international airports as well as at the local banks. Here you can withdraw Cape Verdean Escudos (CVE) for a small fee. A maximum of 20,000 CVE can be withdrawn per day (about 180 EUR).

Sometimes it is possible to pay with EUR in supermarkets or taxis but you should always ask in advance. The change is usually obtained in escudos. Cash can be exchanged for a fee in banks or exchange offices under presentation of your passport.
National banks are open Monday to Friday from 8am till 3pm.

Usual exchange rate is: 110 Escudos (CVE) for 1 EUR (fixed). Due to foreign exchange stability, the CVE must not be exported. Return exchange is only possible against the original exchange receipt.

PACKING LIST

packing list Cabo Verde

PACKING LIST

Up to 90% of the goods found in Cape Verde have to be imported, so do not expect to find the same range of groceries that you may be used to in mainland Europe.

Based on our experiences we have put together the following checklist of important items to bring:

  • hiking boots and hiking socks - due to the nature of the terrain we strongly recommend you bring suitable footwear for hiking. Sneakers are not very good for most walks
  • hygiene and personal care products
  • first aid kit (recommendations: bandages, scissors, disinfectant spray, nail file, tweezers, analgesics, mosquito repellent, medicines for gastrointestinal problems (diarrhoea)
  • sunscreen with high SPF, headgear, lip balm
  • reading glasses/ sun glasses
  • passports and passport copies, documents, important phone numbers
  • camera with a large memory card
  • chargers
  • torch/ flashlight
  • power bank
  • old mobile phone for a local SIM card
  • light long-sleeved or long-legged clothing
  • light scarf (used as sun protection, as a windbreak, as a scarf)
  • cotton bag for purchases
  • refillable drinking bottle

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

festivals Cape Verde

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

Cape Verdeans across the country always find a reason to celebrate, whether it is due to religion, tradition or family occasions. The Cape Verdeans love to party, so do not miss the chance to join them!

A chronological overview can be found here

If you have the opportunity to attend one of the festivities, do it, the Cape Verdeans love to celebrate and these moments guarantee great memories and encounters.

RENTAL CAR

rental car Cape Verde

RENTAL CAR

Car rental is getting more and more common in Cape Verde, especially on Santiago, São Vicente and Sal. A European driver's license is required.

Insurance conditions are not comparable to the usual conditions in Europe (for example, full insurance is not common, coverage in case of an accident varies from company to company, etc.). In case of any damage, it usually takes a long time for the police to arrive to record the incident. Missing language skills complicate this process dramatically. In general, we strongly recommend you hire a local driver - the costs are not much higher, you support him and his family and, additionally, gain travel experiences and insights

SECURITY

security Cape Verde

SECURITY

The Cape Verdean people are very peaceful and hospitable.

Religious conflicts are unknown. With the development of tourism, there is always a certain development on local crime. Therefore, leave your valuables, passports and cash at your accommodation (using a safe). In Cape Verde, as everywhere, there is always the chance of opportunistic thefts.

In the evenings we recommend you take a taxi so as not to get lost and, at the same time, to support the local taxi drivers. The costs of such trips are very reasonable and affordable. For hiking we recommend local hiking guides. They know their surroundings very well and show you things along the way that you would probably otherwise miss. Also, the encounters that can happen during such trips are special and can rarely be experienced on your own. In addition, accidents can and sometimes do happen so the added support is well worth it.

You are not at home and do not know how to react in such situations. Your guide will be on your side right away, supporting you and knowing what to do next or how to order a car to the nearest location. Here again: behind each guide is a family, which welcomes any support.

You are not at home and do not know how to react in such situations. Your guide will be on your side right away, supporting you and knowing what to do next or how to order a car to the nearest location. Here again: behind each guide is a family, which is happy about any support.

SHOPPING & SOUVENIRS

souvenirs Cabo Verde

SHOPPING & SOUVENIRS

With the purchase of handicrafts you support the local population. However, there are many imported goods, especially from Senegal. Please respect that it is prohibited to buy or bring turtle products, corals, plants or fruits.

Characteristic and authentic souvenirs from Cape Verde are local specialties such as grogue, Fogo wine, unglazed ceramics, music, instruments and "panos" (thick cotton towels). Ask us for tips about where to get authentic Cape Verdean souvenirs.

SPECIAL BEHAVIOR

SPECIAL BEHAVIOR

Please keep in mind that Cape Verde is one of the poorest countries on earth.
Living conditions are not comparable to those that you are used to and plenty is missing in the islands, especially many small things for everyday life.

Be open-minded, do not expect European conditions, be "adventurous" - the local people will meet you with their warm-hearts, gracious hospitality, interest and lack of prejudice.

A big request: Along the way you may encounter children begging. Please do not give them anything! If you would like to help and support local people please speak to us. We support local charitable organizations and rural development projects, so with our assistance you can help communities as a whole rather than just supporting individual children. Thank you.

TAKING PICTURES

taking pictures Cabo Verde

TAKING PICTURES

The Cape Verdeans like to get photographed.
Often children even ask for a photo. You can do this without hesitation (but please do not give them anything).

Generally, we like you to ask people briefly (with words or gestures) whether they mind having their picture taken. Please respect their privacy and accept that some situations do not allow taking photos.

 

TAXI

taxi Cape Verde

TAXI

For European standards, prices are very reasonable, so we recommend you use taxis in the evenings. Once again, it is important to support the local structures. Always ask in advance what you have to pay for the distance.
In the cities of Praia, Santa Maria and Mindelo, taxi prices are fixed and there is usually a day and a night fare.

TIME DIFFERENCE

time difference Cape verde

TIME DIFFERENCE

The time difference to Central Europe is -3 hours for the European summer time and -2 hours for the European winter time. Exactly: CET (UTC+1) to Cabo Verde time are 2 hours, CEST (UTC+2) to Cabo Verde time are 3 hours.

TIPS

TIPS

Of course, a small tip is welcome for services, but surely only if you were satisfied. Generally, no tip is expected.

The restaurants do not expect a 10% tip; usually everybody is happy about amounts between 200-500 CVE. If you would like to have more detailed information about tips to drivers or guides, feel free to contact us.

TOURIST TAX

TOURIST TAX

A tourist tax has been introduced in 2013 by the Government of the Republic of Cabo Verde. This is valid for all travellers aged 16 years or older. Upon check-in at your accommodation, you pay 220 CVE (about 2 EUR) per person per night for the duration of your stay (up to a maximum of 10 consecutive nights per accommodation).

 

TRANSPORTATION ON THE ISLANDS

TRANSPORTATION ON THE ISLANDS

Local transport around the islands is usually in taxis, pick-ups or minibuses (Hiace). As the costs are not significantly more than those of a rental car, we always recommend you hire a car with a driver. Many of the roads and routes in Cape Verde are very much undeveloped, and having a local driver helps with navigation! It also means you are supporting the local economy at the same time. Rental car (European driver's license sufficient) companies are well established on Santiago and São Vicente (other islands upon request).

Many locals and tourists get around using aluguers (shared taxis). Usually departure is, when all seats are occupied. Aluguers do not usually operate at night-time or on Sundays. In cities like Praia or Mindelo, a regular bus system connects the various districts.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN

traveling with children Cape Verde

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN

Cape Verdeans are very child-friendly, and it is of real benefit for children to travel to the islands and get to know another culture.

By experiencing the different ways of dealing with water usage, electricity and other scarce goods, we often see a rethinking – especially among teenagers, who are, of course, used to a very different environment.
The strong sunshine and unfamiliar food is something to consider and prepare for. Also please note that many paths are not well secured and the sea is not suitable for swimming everywhere. Travelling with babies is not recommended.

VACCINATION AND MEDICAL CARE

VACCINATION AND MEDICAL CARE

No vaccinations are required for entering the country. The health authorities only recommend general preventative measures such as typhoid, cholera, polio and tetanus. Current information can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office. No poisonous or dangerous animals live in Cabo Verde.

In case you need to call out doctor, medical services have to be paid in cash. Travel insurance that includes cover for medical emergencies is strongly recommended.

Frequently used medicine should be brought from home.

We recommend you have with you a small, effective first-aid kit with remedies for stomach pain, diarrhoea, burns, as well as a mosquito repellent and disinfectant spray.
Since the islands are relatively close to the equator, the sun radiation is very intense. Make sure to use sunscreen with a high SPF. Ensure to bring enough sunscreen from home. You should also bring a sun hat to protect your head. See also our notes in the chapter "health and hygiene“.

VISA

flag Cape Verde

VISA

For a maximum stay of 30 days EU citizens, Swiss citizens and people holding a British passport do not need a visa to enter Cape Verde.
If visiting for longer than 30 days please contact the responsible embassy. Upon immigration, a passport is required that is valid for at least 6 months after departure.
All other nationalities should check with the responsible embassy or consulate for Cabo Verde in their country for the respective entry requirements.

VOLTAGE

VOLTAGE

Standard voltage is 220 V AC and 50 Hz (German/ Austrian/ Swiss socket standard). Adapters are therefore not needed (attention for UK and the US it might be different). Blackouts are not rare and come unexpectedly. We recommend a flashlight in your luggage.

 

 


Kontakt

+238 9930788 office@vista-verde.com