aida_1203_050 Photo by David Kirsch via Flickr Creative Commons

The ideal destination for those looking for both an active and relaxing vacation, Cape Verde boasts a plethora of activities to keep any visitor exhilarated. Thousands flock to the islands every year to make the most of some of the world’s finest waves, pristine beaches and unspoiled marine life. Yet the islands also have a great deal to do onshore, with plenty of verdant and volcanic scenery and an impressive array of flora and fauna for hiking, biking and walking tours.

Most visitors set up camp in Praia, the archipelago’s largest city and commercial hub. A number of resorts are nearby and most of the major tour operators are located in the Cape Verde capital, making it easy to arrange island hopping, boat trips, a vast array of marine activities through the lovely landscapes.

Diving is one of the biggest pulls to the Atlantic archipelago, with numerous spots off the coast. The calm, unspoiled waters are home to a large number of shipwrecks waiting to be explored, in addition to underwater caves and diverse marine life, including humpback whales and turtles. An endless number of tour operators offering dive courses on most of the islands. Cabo Verde Diving is one of the most well known and provides all the necessary equipment.

Cape Verde is world-renowned for its perfect waves and ideal windsurfing conditions, especially from November through April. The island of Sal is one of the most celebrated surf destinations in the region and operators such as Pezi Huber can be found near all the major beaches. Classes and lessons vary in skill level and all gear can be rented.

Jet-skiing is a fantastic way to explore the Cape Verde waters and get up close and personal with the underwater ecosystem. A number of establishments are located on Sal Island, including Zebrajet, which is situated next to the Santa Maria harbor and has been operating since 2008.

Hiking is the best way to discover Mount Pico, the Atlantic’s second highest peak and an active volcano, which last erupted in 1995. Located on Fogo, Pico stands some 2,838 meters high and is a refreshing challenge for most climbers. The ascent takes around three hours and requires a guide, which can be arranged through Cape Verde Travel.

Birdwatching is an extremely popular pastime on the Cape Verde due to the wide range of species which call the area home. Unique to the country are the Cape Verde warbler, Cape Verde lark and Cape Verdean petrel. Boa Vista is one of the most popular places to go bird watching and trips can be arranged through Morena Travel Agency.

Click here to learn about Attractions in Cape Verde