Boa Vista (Cape Verde)
Boa Vista is the third largest island of the Archipelago Cape Verde. Similarly to the island of Sal, it is flat, and has a surface of 620 Km2. The Peak of Estância is the highest point of the island measuring about 390 metres. It is covered with white sand dunes, including the Deserto Viana which was (and still is being) formed by Saharan sand blowing over from mainland Africa. Oases of date palms are found here and there, and are the typical vegetation of the island. Boa Vista has 55 Km of white sand beaches and crystal clear water.
This island considered to be the birth place of Morna, one of the main musical genres of the country, went through some economic improvement only in the beginning of the 17th century when great amount of salt were found in it. At that time, salt was already sold in the island of Maio. Before the discovery of this product, the island's economy was based on cattle breeding, just like the other arid islands of the Archipelago Cape Verde, which had little or no water available.
The airport is in Rabil, approximately 5 minutes drive from the West coast hotels, 10 minutes from Sal Rei, and 30 minutes from the Southern coast resorts. Taxis await all flights outside the entrance.
The TUI travel group provide flights. This means from the UK Thomson are the provider, flying to Boa Vista from Manchester, Gatwick and Birmingham airports. While the airport is currently small and can only handle one aircraft at a time, there are plans for an expansion and increasing the capability of the airport.
Airlines that fly into Boa Vista International Airport: Thomson TAP Cabo Verde Airlines TUI TUI Nordic
There are ferry services to/from the other islands.
Organised excursions with your holiday provider will be using 4X4 Land Rovers or rugged coaches/minibuses. Otherwise, local taxis can be called upon - these are benches bolted onto the back of a pickup. A round trip to Sal Rei from the Riu Touareg will cost around 50€ or 5500 Cape Verde Escudos. Don't expect cheap travel - fuel costs are comparable with the UK.
Mile upon mile of stunning beaches, some untouched and remote. Famous as the nesting sites of loggerhead turtles.
While on the island it is worth booking excursions with operators as to see the gems of the island, visiting beaches, villages, farmlands and workshops. With certain tours this offers a unique opportunity to see parts of the island that otherwise would be missed on the trip to and from the hotel and airport.
Apart from enjoying the beaches, the holiday providers will upsell their excursions; ranging from relaxed afternoons sailing on a catamaran to exciting quad biking along the many dirt trails and through the sand dunes of the Deserto Viana.
These excursions can also be provided by local companies, who also make sure to donate to local projects to give back to the Boa Vista communities.
Do a nighttime beach patrol during Loggerhead turtle nesting season and watch in amazement as these elegant creatures come ashore in shimmering moonlight to lay their eggs. The Turtle Foundation  is the main charity on the island and may invite you along if you email them.
Research and make contact prior to departing on your travels - the tour operators will provide similar excursions but at higher cost and in larger group sizes which gives a much less personal experience.
Boa Vista's desert ecosystem doesn't provide for much local produce. There is however a lot of rocks and stones! Traditionally made pottery is made at the pottery school (Escola de Olaria) in Rabil, this is an intiative designed to re-introduce these old fashioned skills back to the young population.
Almost everything is imported - food and drink included, so expect prices to be comparible with Europe.
The tourist shops (and the persistent street sellers) sell interesting wooden carvings and general tourist items.
Morabeza beach bar provides freshly cooked fish and steak dishes in a relaxed setting on the Western coast, not far from the Riu Karamboa resort. Ideal for an afternoon lazing away with great beer.
In Boa Vista, one of the local drink is Grog, this is a sprit that is available across the island.