Things to do in
Boa Vista Island

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Our most recommended things to do in Boa Vista Island

Boa Vista: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

1. Boa Vista: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

Boa Vista is a hotspot for whale activity. The impressive humpback whales (adult size approx. 15 m) stay around Boa Vista from March till May to mate or give birth to their babies. Your chance for unforgettable experiences! This half-day cruise takes you into the waters around the island to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Start with pickup from your hotel and travel to the port of Sal Rei. From there, transfer to the yacht by dinghy. Board the yacht and meet your crew, which can draw on over 12 years of experience with whale watching tours at Boa Vista. Receive a detailed briefing with many interesting facts about the humpback whales. All tours are accompanied by local biologists, so you can learn as much as possible about the amazing wildlife. After the briefing, start your quest to find the humpback whales. From March until May, the whales are abundant in the waters of Boa Vista as they migrate to the region to mate and give birth to their offspring. With patience and some luck try to spot some whales in their natural habitat as they swim, play, and put on dazzling, natural acrobatic shows. After about 3 hours on the ocean, return to the port of Sal Rei and you will be driven back to your hotel.

Boa Vista: Full-Day Whale Watching Tour

2. Boa Vista: Full-Day Whale Watching Tour

Boa Vista is a hotspot for whale activity and impressive humpback whales stay around the island from March until May to mate or give birth to their babies. Embark on this full-day cruise for an unforgettable experience spotting these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Marvel at the gargantuan adult whales that can grow up to 15 meters (49 feet) long. After pickup from your hotel, your driver will take you to the port of Sal Rei. From there, transfer by dinghy to your yacht for the day. Aboard the yacht called “Simply No Stress,” a crew with over 12 years of experience in whale watching tours awaits you. Receive a detailed briefing with many interesting facts about humpback whales, and ask any questions you have to the local biologist onboard. Once you've been briefed, start your adventure to find the whales. Your experienced crew and biologist will do their best to find them for you. You need patience and, of course, a bit of luck — after all, this is a natural spectacle. But when you do see them, the yacht's height and its comfortable flybridge will give you the best of the whales. There is no such thing as a typical whale watching tour on Boa Vista, as the whales are always in charge. Let them lead the way, and follow as they swim, play, and put on dazzling acrobatic shows. There is a high chance of seeing whales but it's not guaranteed. After about 7 hours, return to the port at Sal Rei and get driven back to your hotel.

Boa Vista Island: Half-Day Viana Desert Quad Bike Adventure

3. Boa Vista Island: Half-Day Viana Desert Quad Bike Adventure

The day begins with pickup from your hotel. Head to the first stop of the tour, Rabil, the second most populated village on Boa Vista Island. Visit a ceramic factory to learn about the ancient art of pottery as well as Olaria, one of the few forms of local craftsmanship. Depart from Rabil and cross the palm-lined oasis towards the Viana Desert. Learn about how the desert started forming in the 1980s and has continued to grow due to trade winds that bring sand from the Sahara and Mauritania. Feel the wind in your hair and the adrenaline pump through your body on a thrilling ride across the sand dunes on your quad bike. Continue the tour to Bofareira, a small and sleepy village on the north side of the island. From there, drive to Sal Rei city, for a short break followed by a ride along the old cobble stone road to Fatima Church. Admire this recently renovated church while taking in the breathtaking view of the stunning sandy coves that surround you. At the end of an unforgettable day, enjoy drop-off back to your accommodation.

Boa Vista Island: 3-Hour Bay Cruise

4. Boa Vista Island: 3-Hour Bay Cruise

Discover the turquoise waters of Boa Vista on a large and luxurious sailing yacht. Soak up the sun, sip an ice-cold drink, and relax on the ocean with local and international tunes. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the bay of Chaves. After a stop for swimming and snorkeling, enjoy some finger food followed by some time for dancing on board.

Boa Vista Island: Quad Adventure to Cabo Santa Maria Beach

5. Boa Vista Island: Quad Adventure to Cabo Santa Maria Beach

After pickup from your hotel, you adventure starts out from Rabil, the second largest town on the island. The first part of your quad tour follows sand and rock tracks towards Praia de Atalanta beach. At the beach you'll discover the wreck of the Cabo Santa Maria that has been stranded on the sand for 50 years. The wreck is so famous, that it has become a symbol of Boa Vista and Cape Verde and a source of inspiration for painters and photographers. You'll have some time here to enjoy the beach and take a few of your own photos. From the beach, head out on your quad through a surreal lunar landscape characterized by volcanic rock. You'll also ride through the middle of an acacia tree forest known as Floresta Clotilde before heading back to Rabil on the Via Pitoresca (the ancient cobble stone road). After a couple hours quadding in the African winds and tropical sun, you'll arrive back at your hotel ready to relax.

Boa Vista Island: Full-Day ATV Bike Adventure with Lunch

6. Boa Vista Island: Full-Day ATV Bike Adventure with Lunch

Embark on a coast to coast off-road adventure around Boa Vista Island during a thrilling ATV tour. Get picked up from your hotel in Rabil and get kitted out with your ATV vehicle. Drive South along a cobblestone road until you reach a dry river. Then, drive along a dirt track that leads to the beautiful Oasis de Fonte Vicente in the center of the island. There, observe the leafy fruit trees including giant fig trees, robust almond trees, tambarines, and an exotic baobab tree. Next, explore the old village of Coral Velho and see the extensive golden dunes. Take the path across the beach and start driving north in the direction of Fundo das Figueras where you will stop for lunch. After that, drive along a cobblestone road until you reach Cabeça de Tarrafas and Santinha to admire a charming small chapel. Turn right in the direction of Bofareira and drive on an asphalt road for 5 km. Then, take the path into the Viana Desert in the northwestern part of the island - a must-see place for anyone visiting Boa Vista. Learn about how the sand forming the dunes originated in the Sahara Desert and has been brought to the island by the wind over many years. Drive along the edge of the desert on the way back to Rabil. Conclude your adventure with drop-off at your accommodation.

Boa Vista Island: Full-Day Northeasten Tour & Ervatão Beach

7. Boa Vista Island: Full-Day Northeasten Tour & Ervatão Beach

Get picked up at your hotel and depart towards Rabil, the second most populated village in Boa Vista. There, meet locals, visit a local handicraft production, and appreciate the work of artisans who dedicate themselves to making decorative pieces with clay from the Barreiro. Next, drive through the center of the city and visit the main church of S. Roque, built in 1806.  Continue toward the Fonte Vicente Oasis, and observe the leafy fruit trees like a giant fig tree, robust almond trees, tamarind, and an exotic baobab tree. Drive toward Curral Velho, and discover an agricultural oasis where the green merges with the aridity of the mountain. Find a large salt mine embellished by extensive golden dunes, palm trees, and date palms, as well as a wild beach about 5 kilometers (around 3 miles) long.  From there, see the islet of Curral Velho, a favorite spot with divers where hundreds of reed-tailed birds live. Following a path along the coast, pass along the beach of João Barrosa until reaching Ervatão beach, a wild paradise and the most important spawning point for loggerhead sea turtles, also known as Caretta Caretta. There, if the sea conditions permit, have the opportunity to swim in the beautiful waters of this paradisiacal beach.  The island tour continues towards the villages in the northeast, with a break for lunch at Fundo das Figueiras, a small village entirely dedicated to agriculture and pastoralism. The famous Boa Vista goat cheese is produced here, and each family produces their own. The tour concludes with drop-off at your accommodation.

Other Sightseeing Options in Boa Vista Island

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What people are saying about Boa Vista Island

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 11 reviews

It is special to be able to see these imposing great creatures so close! We were lucky enough to see a mother and her calf shortly after sailing, and after sailing further on, we saw another calf with mother and adult male. The calf even made a joyful jump out of the water! Special and majestic appearance! The boat was fine, good guidance and explanation (by 2 marine biologists) received snacks and drinks, neatly cared for. It is wise if you suffer from seasickness (more than 1 to 2 hours) before taking a pill. Then the chance that you will get seasick is minimal. We had read the reviews beforehand and saw that in 2 months time, no whale was spotted on only 2 trips… so a great chance to see them! I would say; TO DO! And be a little careful with waste… sad to see what floats in the sea and washes up on the coast! Improve the world and start with yourself.

We were lucky with the nice weather and that we soon encountered a whale family. It was relaxed on the boat and we were well looked after. At the start of the day, the bus had left the pick-up point too early. Fortunately, we came across the bus and we were able to join. Make sure you are present well before the agreed time.

It was an extremely beautiful but also demanding tour. Professionally run with great scenic highlights. Highlights were the dunes and the shipwreck. You can only recommend the tour unreservedly.

Super! Excellent! Thé guide was super nice, flexible to stop where we wanted, the landscapes were just standing, changing every time. Just amazing! And therefore, more than recommended!

We had a very good morning, with the added chance of seeing the whales. Excellent!!!