Cape Verde is a relatively cheap holiday destination where you get a lot for your money. Definitely on the islands where a limited number of tourists are coming. The average price level in Cape Verde is for example significantly higher than in West-Europe.
If you go on holiday with a limited budget, you want to do and see just as much as you have more money to spend. You do not want to spend too much money and save where it is possible to get the most out of your trip. We have collected a number of budget tips so you can save money during your holiday in Cape Verde.
Island hopping: ferry or plane?
Due to the great diversity between the islands, it is recommended to visit several islands of the Cape Verde archipelago. There is a ferry connection between most islands. This is the most economical option to visit other islands. Tickets can usually be purchased in advance locally at the counter in the port. For the ferries between the islands that are at a greater distance from each other, the sailing schedule is often not accurate. So there is a big chance of a delay or even the ferry does not sail at all. In addition, the sailing time can be quite long, for example count on a minimum of 6 hours sailing between the islands of Santiago and Sao Nicolau. Moreover, there is a big chance of a rough ocean. Becoming seasick is normal.
Taking the plane to get around is the most efficient option. The prices are not far above the price of the ferry, especially if you buy a plane ticket in advance. You can get a domestic flight to a neighboring island from around 50 euros (one way). Domestic flights are frequent and the flight time is short. This makes it very flexible and comfortable.
Transport on the islands
Traveling on the islands is well organized. Whether you want to take a taxi, a minibus or just rent a car. There are many options that fit into everyone’s budget.
An aluguer is the cheapest way to travel greater distances on an island. For a few euros you can get on this shared mini bus that you can use on fixed routes. They often leave when there are enough people on the bus. Highly recommended for travelers with a limited budget. Of course also nice to experience this mode of transport and to get in touch with the local people!
With a taxi you can easily explore the smaller islands and it gives you a lot of freedom. In comparison with a tour excursion you can ultimately save a lot of money. To ensure that the costs are clear, it is wise to agree a price in advance. Make it clear in which currency the agreed price is.
Do you want to know more? Then read the article about transport in Cape Verde.
Stay overnight in Cape Verde
In general, the overnight stay is the most expensive part of your vacation. You will easily find a super budget-friendly way of staying on the hiking islands such as Fogo and Santo Antao. Here you can spend the night in so-called homestay’s, a guest house where you can eat with the family.
If you are traveling with a large group, there are also plenty of holiday villas and apartments available. Mainly on the islands of Sal, Boavista, Maio and Sao Vicente. Choose carefully the location, so that you are sure that you will not have to spend a lot of money on transport.
Are you going for budget-friendly hostels? Then take a look at the page about hostels in Cape Verde.
Avoid the islands where most tourists come
Cape Verde is a country with 9 different habited islands. It is a cliché, but the islands that are visited by less tourists are also a lot cheaper. Most tourists go to the islands of Sal and Boavista because of the beautiful long sandy beaches. The other islands are more budget-friendly. Certainly outside the larger towns.
Travel outside of school holidays and events
Another cliché but certainly always worth taking into account is that prices are higher during school holidays, public holidays and times when there are large-scale events such as Carnival (between February – March). Both airline tickets and accommodation are often a little cheaper outside of these periods.
Do not have too much Cape Verde escudos
The Cape Verdean currency is the escudo (CVE). When you go back home, make sure you don’t have too much left. Escudos are often not exchangeable in your own country. The Cape Verde Escudo is linked to the euro and you can also pay with euro in many popular Cape Verde places. This is a handy alternative!
Music, art and dance are everywhere in the streets of every Cape Verde island. Enjoy it! You do not have to go to a museum or gallery for art in Cape Verde, you just find it outside. Colorful wall drawings (street art) are very popular. Besides that they are beautiful, they often have a certain meaning. You can find the murals everywhere. In the following articles you can find an impressions: street art in Cape Verde I and street art in Cape Verde II.
Free music & festivals
To feel the Cape Verdean rhythm, you really must have heard the music. Music is played on every occasion. Many (music) events are free! Consider, for example, the famous carnival or the Pop and Hip-hop festival Baia das Gatas. For the line-up and facilities you would normally pay around 75 euros for this, but this is just free. The events overview shows a large number of annual (street) parties, the majority of which can be visited for free.
Eating out in Cape Verde is not expensive. In particular, skip the products that have been imported and eat the delicious local products. All that comes from the ocean is eaten in Cape Verde. And this is also super fresh and cheap. Also try the cachupa, a stew that is tasty, nutritious and cheap. Lovers of foreign spirits can taste for the Cape Verdean Grogue. Delicious and extremely cheap.
Eating & drinking at hotels
Do you want to eat or drink something at a hotel / beach bar? Or buy something at the supermarket that is located near a hotel? Do not expect budget-friendly prices here. The price level in tourist areas is sometimes 3 times as high.
Do you have nice suggestions to travel with a limited budget in Cape Verde? Please leave a comment below