Transport in Cape Verde
We've listed the different types of transportation in and around the islands. It's important that you have some knowledge of this before you arrive. The most common ways to travel between islands is by plane and by boat. The national flight connections are always excecuted with small propeller airplanes. Some flights take about 15 minutes and others maximim 50 minutes. Many people think there are easy boat connections, but this is not always the case.
Airplanes & flight routes
Cape Verde is internationally reachable through more and more countries these days. Big airline companies have direct flights that take around 6 hours to arrive from most European destinations.. Twice a week you can fly direct from Sal and Praia to Brazil and Boston in the US. Sal, Boa Vista, Santiago and São Vicente are the only islands with international airports.
Sal, Boa Vista, Maio, Santiago, Fogo, São Nicolau and São Vicente have national airports and receive small propeller airplanes. The flights are quite frequent, only to or from Maio and Fogo you can't fly every day of the week. The flights are easily fully booked and local aren't many ticketing offices. The tricks is to book early online. The company for all national flights is Binter airlines Cabo Verde.
Over the last years more attention is given to expanding the national ferry network. Some boats are used to transport people between islands, but are unsuitable for the journey. Local people use these boats, because of economical reasons, but the journey is long and not always safe on the rough ocean.
Now there are some ferryboats of the company CV Fast ferry that are safe and suitable to bring passengers to other islands.
The port of Mindelo is used for yachts who make a stop before crossing the ocean. There is also a terminal for small cruiseships which they are currently expanding to receive bigger ships as well.
The ocean can be quite rough at some parts, that's why there are no frequent connections between Sal and Boa Vista.
The islands Brava and Santo Antão can only be reached by boat.
Saõ Vicente, Mindelo - Santo Antão, Porto Novo twice a day (+/- 1 hour)
Saõ Vicente, Mindelo - São Nicolau, Tarrafal 3 times a week ( 2h45 with the fast ferry, 4h with the normal one)
Fogo, São Filipe - Brava, Furna 4 to 5 times a week (+/- 45 minutes)
Santiago, Praia - Maio, Vila do Maio, 3 or 4 times a week (+/- 1 hour)
Tip: If you decide to travel between islands, make sure to watch flight availabilty before booking a ferry. The cross over between São Vicente and Santo Antão can easily be booked in the port of Mindelo a few days in advance (+/- 16 euro return).
Public transport & taxi's
Only São Vicente and Santiago have got lineair bus connections with timetables.
The local citizens also use another system. Small busses called 'aluguer' are driving between point A and B and don't have unnecessary stops on the road, only when someone wants to go out or come in. This traject will cost you around 4 times less than a normal taxi. Just shout the name of the village where you want to go and you will hear from the driver if the bus goes there or not.
You'll find taxi's on every island and have a blue, yellow or white colour. The word 'taxi' or 'aluguer' is always written on the car, this is how you know the vehicle is oficially registered. On Boa Vista and Sal there is no problem finding one, they are parked central in town and can be ordered at the reception of your accommodation or through us. Because of the rough landscapes on Boa Vista we also have a lot of pick-up trucks being used as taxi's.
The official taxi rates on Boa Vista (2020):
Sal Rei - airport €7 / CVE 700
Sal Rei - RIU Karamboa, RIU Palace, Iberostar, Royal Horizon €10 / CVE 1000
Sal Rei, airport - RIU Touareg €25 / CVE 2500
Bikes and scooters
We often get the question for the possibilty of renting bikes and scooters. In our opinion scooters are not suitable to discover the islands, because most of the highlights are not located on normal roads. On Santiago and São Vicente there are possibilities to rent scooters, but a car is a faster and safer option.
Renting bikes on Boa Vista is not really possible and the distance to get to the places of interest are too long and the roads difficult accessible. Renting a quad bike, buggy or 4x4 car are better possibilities.
Renting a bike in Sal is quite easy for your stay in Santa Maria. There are electrical bikes for rent who are easy to explore the island with.