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Things to do in São Vicente, Cape Verde

Our most recommended things to do in São Vicente, Cape Verde

São Vicente: Snorkel with Sea Turtles Adventure

1. São Vicente: Snorkel with Sea Turtles Adventure

Get up close with sea turtles at São Pedro, home to an abundance of sea turtles. Great for beginners, this is the perfect adventure for all the family. Start the tour with pickup from your accommodation then head to São Pedro. Upon arrival, your guide will hand out the snorkeling gear, give you a quick safety briefing and teach you how to snorkel. Next, take a short boat ride and travel to a designated bay to admire sea turtles in their natural environment. Here, spend approximately 1-hour swimming and snorkeling. Get up close to these spectacular creatures with sightings guaranteed and enjoy an adventure that you won’t forget, swimming with one of the planet's oldest living species. Finally, get dropped off back at your accommodation where your memorable experience concludes.

São Vicente: Private Highlights Tour from Mindelo Port

2. São Vicente: Private Highlights Tour from Mindelo Port

Enjoy a pickup from the Port of Mindelo and begin an exciting private tour to discover the highlights of São Vicente Island with a local guide. Start your discovery from Mindelo, the country's cultural capital, famous for the hospitality of its people and the architecture of its beautiful colonial buildings. Visit the main square, the local church, the municipal market and learn about the daily lives of the locals, before enjoying a superb panoramic view of the city and its bay, the most beautiful in the country. Continue on a scenic drive to the eastern side of the island and capture beautiful views of extinct volcanoes, farmlands, and learn local history from your guide. Arrive in Calhau, take a lunch break and enjoy the local cuisine. Next, swim at the beautiful Baía das Gatas beach or simply dip your feet in the warm water before heading to the island's highest point, Monte Verde Natural Park. Here admire the stunning landscape, see endemic plants and, weather permitting, see other Cape Verde islands. The tour ends with a drop-off at the Port of Mindelo.

São Vicente: Markets, Beaches and Natural Park Tour

3. São Vicente: Markets, Beaches and Natural Park Tour

The day begins with pickup from your accommodation or Port of Mindelo for Cruise Ship passengers and drive towards the city center. Upon arrival, explore the island’s capital, Mindelo, a historically and culturally rich city full of character. Take a guided walking tour through the city center to the island's popular African Market, stroll through the colorful stalls, soak in the variety of sights and scents, and mingle with the locals. Continue on a scenic drive to Monte Verde Natural Park and admire breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys from the highest point in São Vicente. See endemic plants and learn about the local history, fauna and flora from your guide. Move on to Salamansa, a small fishing village of simple and hospitable people, followed by a drive to Baía das Gatas, where you will take a dip into its natural pools or simply relax on the shore. The tour ends with a drop-off at the Port or at your accommodation in Mindelo.

São Vicente Island: Full-Day Tour

4. São Vicente Island: Full-Day Tour

Starting from Mindelo, this full day trip includes most highlights of São Vicente Island. Explore Mindelo, the capital of the island, known as the most welcoming and attractive city in the country. Walk through the colonial buildings, visit its church, municipal and Afrikan markets, and enjoy a panoramic view of the capital from the top of Fortin.  Drive to the eastern part of the island where animals, endemic plants and farmland can be seen along the Calhau Valley. Here, take time for a delicious lunch in a local atmosphere, and enjoy the local cuisine. Next, visit the fishing village of Salamansa, Baía das Gatas, and pause for a swim at its beautiful beach before heading to the sand dunes brought by the wind from the Sahara Desert. Finally, drive to Monte Verde Natural Park and admire the stunning scenery of the entire island and, weather permitting, take stunning photos of other Cape Verde islands.

From Praia: Full-Day São Vicente Island Tour

5. From Praia: Full-Day São Vicente Island Tour

The day begins with pickup from your accommodation in Praia and heads towards Nelson Mandela Airport. From there, take a 40 minute flight to São Vicente and soak up amazing views of this idyllic island from the skies. Upon arrival, explore the island’s capital, Mindelo, a historic and culturally-rich city bursting with character. Continue the tour along Avenida Marginal to Praia da Bote and to the island’s popular African Market where the first community was established. Stroll through the colorful stalls, soak up the array of sights and scents, and mingle with the locals going about their day. From here, drive to the eastern part of the island where native animals, endemic plants, and rolling farmland can be seen along the luscious Calhau Valley. Arrive at the village of Baía das Gatas next and take a stroll along the white sand dunes that line the sea. Later, drive to Monte Verde Natural Park to admire a stunning vista of the entire island as well as the other Cape Verde islands. Finally, enjoy a well-deserved rest at Laginha Beach before beginning the journey back to the airport and your return flight.

São Vicente: Guided City Tour of Historic Mindelo

6. São Vicente: Guided City Tour of Historic Mindelo

Start with pickup at your accommodation or Mindelo Port for Cruise Ship Passengers, and meet your professional guide. Embark on a tour of the main sights of the city and learn about the history of São Vicente's capital, a historic and culturally-rich city with beautiful colonial buildings. Take a guided walking tour through the city center to the island's popular markets, stroll through the colorful stalls, soak in the variety of sights and scents, and mingle with the locals. At the fish market, observe the trade among the locals and meet some of the local sea creatures. Purchase some souvenirs and take pictures of the historical monuments while your guide enriches your knowledge of the local culture and history. After learning about Mindelo and the history of São Vicente, be returned to your hotel or Mindelo Port.

Mindelo: Private Walking Tour with Local Food Tasting

7. Mindelo: Private Walking Tour with Local Food Tasting

The historical center of Mindelo city is the cultural heart of Cape Verde. The colorful houses, colonial buildings, the bustling city life and the cozy harbor provide the lively atmosphere. The guide will pick you up by your accommodation and walk you along all the highlights in Mindelo. This half-day tour is an ideal first introduction to the city. Discover the fish, fruit- and veggies market, the African square "Praca Estrela", the pink people's palace, the townhall, the Torre de Belem replica, and much more. Stop in the local shops to buy hand crafted souvenirs or locally grown rum (Grogue) and coffee. The tour ends with a degustation of Cape Verdean products including goat cheese, hebiscus tea, papaya jam and couscous. Enjoy the tastes on this spectacular rooftop overlooking Mindelo bay. The guide will walk you back to your accommodation afterwards. Tip: ask the guide for tips on typical restaurants and music bars.

Other Sightseeing Options in São Vicente, Cape Verde

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What people are saying about São Vicente, Cape Verde

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 16 reviews

First, I have to make a reprimand. Somehow there were communication problems between GetYourGuide and the local provider, since the tour of Mindelo was in the description according to GetYourGuide, but the local provider knew nothing about it. In addition, we only had an English-speaking driver and no guide in the true sense. Nevertheless, he mastered his job more than excellently and at the end of the tour also made the tour of Mindelo and also visited additional sights with us. The GetYourGuide description didn't say anything about bathing suits either, but according to the driver, a one-hour stop at the beach in Salamansa is part of the program. Somehow there is a worm in there, so a correction of the description or a clarification from the local provider is necessary. All in all, it was a successful excursion thanks to the efforts of our driver. I cannot give GetYourGuide any praise

We were picked up by Lino and he showed us everything that we were interested in very individually. At the same time he gave us an insight into life on Sao Vicente: scarcity of water, job market, living conditions, medical care, development of tourism, etc. ... he was able to report a lot and well. Not only the tourist highlights such as the market square and the "green mountain" were in the foreground, but also life in the villages, various natural beaches and a meal together in a restaurant frequented mainly by locals were part of our tour. We were happy and satisfied.

We were picked up punctually at the agreed place, the communication in advance worked very well. It was very well organised. We drove to the beach in a minibus, got a short safety briefing and then went out to sea in small boats. It is a great experience to see these animals so close. If you wanted, you could also go snorkeling in the water. After that we were driven back. Thank you for the great experience!

Super contact via WhatsApp about all information. A fantastic experience with lots of turtles and great people. Thank you for everything ❤️

Carlos and Hernani were fantastic guides - highly recommend this tour!