Highlights of Cape Verde
Duration: 3 1/4 hours
Tour Code: PRG-004
This mostly panoramic driving tour presents the very best of the island's natural attractions, including its highest mountain, most scenic beaches and most fertile valley.
From the pier it's a short drive east of town to the top of Monte Verde, the highest point on Sao Vicente. From here, you'll have sweeping views of the entire island, including a bird's-eye look at lovely Mindelo and the beaches along the eastern shore. Volcanically formed Monte Verde is rich in plant life with garden crops that include corn, sweet potatoes, and bananas.
Soon after descending, you'll arrive at Baia das Gatas, which means Catfish Bay. Like much of the island, its sheltered lagoon was created by volcanic eruption centuries ago. Praia Grande, a large crescent-shaped beach lying just south, is equally stunning; especially in the way its white sands beautifully contrast with the backdrop of black lava mountains. While taking in the spectacle, enjoy a glass of "pontche," a traditional island cocktail made with sugar-cane molasses and "grogue," the national liqueur of Cape Verde.
Continuing on, you'll drive through an agricultural valley fed by a stream that eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The stream provides much needed irrigation for the surrounding croplands, as most of the island is quite arid. In fact, even though Sao Vicente was discovered on January 22, 1462, it wasn't developed until the 19th century because the island lacks substantial water. After passing through the valley, you'll return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking, mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the bus and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Transportation is usually via buses that do not have air-conditioning and which are used at other times as public transportation on the island.