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Wonders of Cabo Verde

Gorge in Santo Antão island, Cabo Verde
Gorge in Santo Antão island, one of the wonders of Cabo Verde / Richard Leeming, / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Once upon a time Cabo Verde islands were on the important way between Portugal and its faraway colonies. Now islands are somewhat trapped in silence.

Highlights of Cabo Verde are historical towns with numerous well-preserved examples of colonial architecture.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 11 wonders of Cabo Verde

Geological wonders

Neve Canyon and Neve Falls

Sao Vicente (São Vicente (Cape Verde))

Several hundred meters deep canyon with steep walls. At the beginning of canyon is 260 m tall waterfall – narrow stream sliding down along nearly vertical cliff.

Pedra de Lume saltworks


Saltworks in evaporated lake at the bottom of volcanic crater. Crater has a radius of some 500 m, base of crater is below the sea level.

Biological wonders

Cova Rodela dragon tree


Large, old dragon tree (Dracaena draco) in the center of a picturesque village with cobblestone streets.

Cova Rodela dragon tree, Cabo Verde
Cova Rodela dragon tree / Torbenbrinker, / CC BY-SA 3.0

Architecture wonders

São Filipe


Historical town with beautiful colonial architecture and gardens. Founded in the 16th century, the second oldest town in Cabo Verde. In the town are located more than 50 ornate city mansions and many other fine buildings.

Cidade Velha in Santiago (Sidadi, formerly – Roberia Grande)

Santiago (Cape Verde)

The oldest European town south of Sahara, the oldest settlement in Cabo Verde. The town was founded in 1462, two years after the discovery of Cabo Verde by the Portuguese. Most of the old buildings have been lost but the street network and part of the structures have been preserved, including the oldest colonial church in the world (1495) and the marble pillar from the 16th century in the central square. Nearby Portuguese made agricultural experiments for successful colonization of the tropics.

Nossa Senhora do Rosario church in Cidade Velha

Santiago (Cape Verde)

World’s oldest colonial church, constructed in 1495 in Manueline (Portuguese Gothic) style.

Nossa Senhora do Rosário church in Cidade Velh, Cabo Verde
Nossa Senhora do Rosário church in Cidade Velha / LeRoc, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Royal Fortress of São Filipe

Santiago (Cape Verde)

The oldest and most important fort in Cabo Verde was built above the former capital of islands in 1587 – 1593. Fort protected the Cidade Velha from attacks of pirates.

São Filipe fort over Cidade Velha, Cape Verde
São Filipe fort over Cidade Velha / BigMikeSndTech, / CC BY 2.0
Nossa Senhora da Luz church in Vila do Maio


Beautiful church in colonial style, built in 1872.

Plateau of Praia

Santiago (Cape Verde)

The old city of Praia. Praia was founded in 1615 and in 1770 became the capital of Cabo Verde. Contrary to other parts of Praia, Plateau has a regular street network, streets are lined with colonial buildings. The oldest buildings are from the first half of the 19th century.

Nova Sintra


Town with well preserved historical architecture and cobblestone streets.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Street’s Guide to the Cape Verde Islands

Street’s Guide to the Cape Verde Islands is the first and only cruising guide for the Cape Verde Islands. Printed in 2011 it is a completely up-to-date, full-color guide that includes charts and sketches not available through any other source, as well as GPS waypoints, harbor and marina information, local knowledge, and much more.

Cape Verde (Bradt Travel Guide)

This new 7th edition of Bradt’s Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) has been fully revised and updated and remains the only comprehensive English-language guidebook available to the islands of this alluring Atlantic archipelago, described by some as ‘Africa light’. The guide includes well-researched history and cultural sections, with a particularly strong section on music, and brings an honest approach to reporting the fragile balance between tourist development and protecting the environment.

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