Boa Vista

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THE SANDY ISLAND

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THE SANDY ISLAND

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@niall62

History

The island of Boa Vista was discovered in 1460, after which it fell into oblivion for 150 years due to its geological and climactic conditions. Christopher Columbus stopped at the island in 1498, giving a vivid and terrifying description of the hardship he came across there.

The history of the island of Boa Vista was punctuated by successive shipwrecks resulting from the convergence of peculiar circumstances: tempestuous winds associated with extremely strong currents, shallow, rocky reefs extending along the flat coastline, which was often shrouded by haze, thus reducing visibility.

Currently, the tourism industry on the island is on an upswing, and the past decade has seen an explosion in the number of hotels. Boa Vista has been able to preserve what makes it unique and singular: its landscape, its culture, its fauna and its sea turtles, which come ashore on the island’s beaches during nesting season.

In order to ensure that they will continue to lay their eggs on the island, associations such as SOS Tartarugas and The Turtle Foundation have come to carry out conservation activities there. Boa Vista is also known among Cabo Verdeans for being the cradle of the country’s most emblematic musical genre, the morna.

Geography

Boa Vista lies in the Windward group of islands. It is the easternmost of all the islands in the archipelago, lying 455 kilometers from the continental African coast. Its surface area of 620 km2 makes it the third largest island in the country, after Santiago and Santo Antão, measuring some 31 kilometers from north to south and 29 kilometers from east to west.

The largest population center on the island is the town of Sal Rei, with some 2,500 inhabitants. Boa Vista has Cabo Verde’s longest beaches, and has recently perked the interest of investors in the tourism sector, who have built several hotels and tourist infrastructures there. Conditions for diving are good on the various islets located off of Boa Vista. 

Cuisine

The most popular typical dishes on the island of Boa Vista are fish and seafood-based. Fish such as sea bass, swordfish and wahoo and seafood such as octopus and lobster are always fresh and savory. The national dish, cachupa, is somewhat harder to find, given the chronic shortage of some of its ingredients on the island.

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