Island hopping and diving in Cape Verde

Make the most beautiful dives at Santo Antão and São Vicente. These two islands are still undiscovered and offer diving with large amounts of fish, rich culture and amazing nature – perfect for hiking.
Travel period
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Features
Boatdiving
Starting at
15 days from €1680,- p.p

Island hopping in Cape Verde

During this diving vacation to Cape Verde, you will visit the islands of São Vicente and Santo Antão. Each of these islands has its own unique charm with good diving conditions.

These islands, still unspoiled and relatively undiscovered by tourists – especially divers, offer unique opportunities for intimate and small-scale diving experiences. For many years we have enjoyed a strong cooperation with the diving schools Green Turtle and Dive-Tribe. Thanks to their expertise and local knowledge, we are able to create fantastic dives.

During the two weeks of the trip, you will not only dive in clear waters with plenty of fish, but will also discover the unique personalities of these two islands. São Vicente, bustling with culture and vibrancy, offers a contrast to Santo Antão, where enchanting nature with high mountains and hiking trails will take your breath away. Each day brings a new adventure, both above and below the water’s surface.

Best travel time: You can dive well all year round in Cape Verde. As far as we are concerned, the best periods to go are April, May, June, October, November and early December. Fall is especially nice when the water is already warmed up. Then you also have the greatest chance of spotting some great stuff.

Diving in Cape Verde means encounters with schools of barracuda, tuna, doctor fish, and many other species of fish. Its impressive biodiversity and reasonable price make it an attractive diving destination just 7 hours away by plane.

Besides the abundance of fish, the underwater landscape with its jagged rocks, wrecks and uninhabited islands offers a fascinating diving experience. The underwater topography, consisting mainly of rocks and white sand, is similar to that of the Azores.

📺 NPO – 3 on travel: São Vicente and Santo Antão (CV)

Chris tours Cape Verde, a volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Senegal, Africa. Here he visits two of the northernmost islands: São Vicente and Santo Antão. São Vicente, with capital Mindelo, is the cultural and musical heart of the archipelago. On green and rugged Santo Antão, Chris stays in the Paúl Valley, in the midst of impressive nature and away from mass tourism. Watch the episode here.

Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for Cape Verde

We recommend diving here with a 5mm, 7mm or dry suit.

What will you experience on this trip?

View itinerary here

Day 1 - Departure to Cape Verde

You are flying today to São Vicente where you land at the Cesária Évora International Airport. This airport is named after perhaps the most important and famous singer from Cape Verde..

It is a small airport so you are quickly in the arrivals hall. Outside you will be met and a transfer will be ready to take you to the ferry in Mindelo. From here you will depart by ferry in +/- 1.5 hours to Porto Novo in Santo Antão where your last transfer of the day awaits you. You will be taken to the Art Resort.

Once you have checked in and unpacked your bags you can take a walk to the dive center. The diving school is located within the walls of the Art Resort. Ricardo and his team welcome you to go over the planning for the next few days.

Day 2 to 6 - Diving around Santo Antao

After arriving at Green Turtle Dive Center, you will prepare for your first dives. The diving gear goes into crates and these are put into the aluguer (pickup) by the men, then you yourself climb into the back. Then you drive to the boat.

You will spend the next few days sailing between 20 min and 50 min to the various dive sites off the coast of Porto Novo.

You will dive here at dive sites such as ‘‘Wish you Were Here,” ”Hanging Garden” and Ponta Tubarão. Expect lots of trumpet fish, large schools of fish, turtles, rays and sister sharks are just some of the different species you will see here. If you are lucky you may also encounter a passing manta ray or whale shark.

You will have a surface interval on the boat between dives. It is strategically scheduled in a quiet place. Cookies and water will be provided.

From the boat, don’t forget to take a good look around you above water, too. The rugged-looking coastline and Atlantic Ocean here is brimming with life.

Day 7 - Explore Santo Antão with a guide!

In the morning you will be picked up by pickup by a guide to explore the island of Santo Antão explore. This is the largest island of the two and has unparalleled natural beauty. Enjoy the small quaint towns along the coast with colorful houses and take a short hike near the crater on the island or visit a rum distillery.

In the late afternoon you will be taken back to the Art Resort for your last evening on Santo Antão.

Day 8 - By ferry to Mindelo, São Vicente

Today you will depart back to São Vicente by ferry. You will be taken to the ferry by the Green Turtle Dive Center where you will be picked up on the other side by Dive Tribe, the diving school on Mindelo. They will take you to the Foya Branca resort and give an explanation of diving for the upcoming week and how to get to the dive center.

If you still have enough time, be sure to also take a look at Mindelo itself. The streets are full of stores and it will feel a lot livelier than Santo Antão.

Day 9 to 13 - Diving around São Vicente

Today, diving starts at São Vicente. Near the port of Mindelo sits the Dive-Tribe diving school. Anica and her crew will welcome you warmly and help you prepare for your first dives. Once everyone’s equipment is ready it will be placed in the zodiacs and you will leave the port towards the west coast of São Vicente. Sheltered in the bays, you will dive to a maximum depth of 30 meters on special dive sites such as Djeu Sul, Sao Macaro, and Ponta do Tubarao.

During the dives you will spot schools of fish, angler fish, sister sharks, turtles and much more. Due to limited tourism, you will find a lot of untouched marine life here.

You will make 2 dives a day with a short surface interval on the boat between dives where the crew will provide you with water and local delicacies.

When you return from diving, you can have lunch in cozy Mindelo before returning by van to the Foya Branca Resort.

Day 14 - Excursions, relax.... sea turtles?

You can’t dive today, unfortunately! But not to worry, right next to the Foya Branca Resort you can do something unique – snorkel with turtles! This activity is also definitely fun for non-divers.

About 100 meters off the coast at Foya Branca, the turtles often used to follow fishermen to eat the fish remains they threw overboard. Meanwhile, Dive Tribe has reached an agreement with these fishermen to reduce fishing by making money in other ways…. Namely, with tourism!

Part of the proceeds go to the fishermen, another part to the local school. A win-win situation.

This snorkeling trip is perfect for taking photos or videos with your Go-pro. Dodging the turtles is still a challenge in itself because they are present in large numbers. Good luck 😉

Day 15 - Back home

Today you will be picked up at the Foya Branca Resort and transferred to the São Vicente airport. Unfortunately, the beautiful trip through Cape Verde is over again. In the coming time, you will often think back to the beautiful dives you made on São Vicente and Santo Antão.

The accommodations

The stay and surroundings

Art Resort on Santo Antão

The Art Resort is located in the south of the cozy village of Porto Novo, the base for the most insane diving in Cape Verde! It is an ideal island for if you are an avid diver as well as a true nature lover.

The Art hotel’s well-appointed rooms feature ensuite bathroom/WC, air conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar and balcony. Most rooms at the Santantao Art Hotel have sea views. There are 55 standard rooms, 15 superior rooms and 3 deluxe suites. Wifi is there in the hotel however there is not good connection daily. Prepare for several days of slow Internet connection.

Ouril Hotel on São Vicente

On the island of São Vicente, stay at the Ouril hotel. Located in Mindelo (the vibrant capital of the island), close to the beach and right across from the dive shop, the 4-star Hotel Ouril offers a very comfortable stay. The hotel is close to popular attractions such as Praia da Laginha, the Torre de Belém and Capvertdesign Artesanato.

In terms of facilities, amenities include an outdoor and indoor pool, a fitness center, and a terrace. The hotel also features a restaurant and a bar, while guests can use free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. For added convenience, services such as a 24-hour front desk, airport transfer, and room service are available. For breakfast, guests can choose between a buffet or continental breakfast.

Travel costs

What is included

This trip is available from €1680 per person. Prices are based on occupancy of 2 people in a hotel room. 

Prefer a different accommodation, excursion or length of trip? You can, of course, do the same. This trip can be customized to suit your needs. We are happy to go over these with you.

Included in this trip, from €1680 p.p.
Excluding
Optional

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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation

General questions

Here you will make boat dives in sheltered bays around the islands of Santo Antão and São Vicente. Most dives take place between 15 and 25m and last up to 1 hour.

Cruising to these dive sites is between 10 and 50 min on a zodiac or authentic fishing boat.

You will make 2 dives here in the morning with your usual return just after lunch around 1:30 pm. Depending on weather conditions, it may be possible to make 1 or 2 more dives.

Yes. However, this depends on weather conditions. Often the wind gets stronger in the afternoon, making boat diving impossible due to safety concerns.

No. All dive sites are by boat.

Both diving schools follow SSI standards and are comparable to PADI and internationally recognized. Both islands are also great for learning to dive.

The diving center on Santo Antão is located at the resort. For diving on São Vicente, you will first have to be taken by a free shuttle bus (+/- 10 min) to the diving school in Mindelo. The diving school is located there by the harbor.

Diving equipment

On Santo Antão, they use DIN. But adapters are available. On São Vicente, both are possible.

No. This applies to both diving schools.

No.This applies to both diving schools.

The total price for rental of complete diving equipment during this trip at both diving schools is a total of €275,- p.p.

This does not include dive computer.

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