Boavista is the most eastern island of the Archipelago, and quite near to the African continent. It has a surface of 620 km2 and is pentagonal in shape with its longest distance, from North to South of 31 km, and 29 km from West to East. lt is made of sedimentary rocks and is basically flat except for the volcanic formations in Rabil and Fundo das Figueiras. Pico d'Estancia at 390 meters is the highest point of the island. Among the typical vegetation of the island is the date palm a kind of a palm tree with three or six branches coming out of the same base.
It was discovered on the 3rd of May, 1480, after the islands of Maio, Santiago and Fogo, and was first named S.Cristovão.
During the year, diverse festivities take place to animate the cultural life of Boa Vista.
Religious and Other Festivals
1st of JANUARY - Celebrated throughout the whole island, the biggest celebration of this festival is in the village of Sal-Rei with dances and other forms of festivities. 6th of
JANUARY - The festival of the Three Wise Men is celebrated in the villages of João Galego, Funda das Figueiras and Cabeça dos Tarafes, with mass, dances and various other social activities. Groups of musicians visit the houses playing the music connected to this occasion.
CARNAVAL TUESDAY - This is celebrated all over the island. 3rd of MAY On this day the Feast of the Saint Cross is celebrated to commemorate the liberation of the slaves, and it attracks all inhabitants of the island. Besides the mass and procession, there are also parades marching to the sounds of drums, whistles and hooting.
4th of MAY - Celebration of Pidrona.
8th of MAY - The feast of S. Roque at Povoação Velha, with mass procession and the dance that no festival would be complete without.
28th of MAY - Festival of "Cruz Nhô Lolo" with goat fighting.
l3th of JUNE - The Feast of Saint Anthony, with a procession that approaches a small church (Ermida) located in the centre of,the island, near "Rocha de Santo Antonio" (Saint Anthony Rock).
4th of JULY - The mam festivity of the island since it is the day of Santa Isabel, the Patron Saint of Boa Vista. Because it is the Municipal Day, it is the largest festival and it attracts many people from the other islands.
24th of JULY - The Feast of Saint John the Baptist in the Parish with the sarne name, with procession and offerings.
15th of AUGUST - The feast of Our Lady of Mercy ("Nossa Senhora da Piedade") takes place in the village of João Galego.
16th of AUGUST - Celebration in Rabil of the feast of S. Roque.
AUGUST - During the third weekend of this month the Festival of Music of Praia de Santa Cruz takes place, bringing artists from the other islands and from abroad.
8th DECEMBER - Povoação Velha celebrates the feast of its Patroness, the Immaculate Conception.
Of all the industrial handicrafts introduced at the time of the settlement of the population there is only one remaining. This is the production of ceramics using the typical African methods. Besides being decorative, the cooking pots, mosaics, floors tile are also very useful. ln the working shops and local establishments you may find embroideries, rough clay dolls, straw hats and various objects carved out of horns and coconut shells. The latter of these is very popular with tourists.
Food and Drink
The food is rich and varied, based on fish and shellfish. The "lagostada', prepared in various forms, and the delicious dishes made with limpets, and crab should not be missed by those visiting the island. The fish soup and the soup made with ("capado") goat meat are also enloyed by the most demanding "gourmet". As dessert or for breakfast, try tasty cheese of Boa Vista.
Sports and Entertainment
Known as the island of beaches and dunes, the Boa Vista's coast provides the best alternative for the tourist's leisure time. Either for a swim in crystal clear waters or for sports like windsurfing, scuba-diving or fishing. Among the other beaches surrounding the whole island, Curralinho stands out as the very best in all of Cape Verde. This beach is also known as Santa Monica because of its resemblance to the beach with this same name in the United States of America.
Places to visit and Itineraries
In front of the capital of the island, the village of Sal-Rei, you will find the islet with the same name with signs of the historic Duque de Bragança Fort. Walking on the beach of Chave, you will arrive at Rabil which in the past was the most important location of the island. Here you may visit the church of S. Roque, the oldest of on Boa Vista that was built in 1801, and you may also tour a ceramic factory. We suggest that you return to Sal-Rei by the road passing through dunes and date-trees.