Along the southern coast of Boavista lies the ghostly village of Curral Velho. The old fishing village is deserted and you will only find ruins today. Curral Velho is the oldest settlement of Boavista and dates back to the 17th century. You can wander between the dilapidated ruins of the old buildings and then enjoy the nearby beach (praia de Curral Velho). This is a beautiful unspoiled stretch of beach.
Origin of the ruins of Curral Velho
Life in the fishing village was heavy in the past. Curral Velho was remote and the southern coast was difficult to reach. In addition, there was a shortage of fresh drinking water in the dry period. Besides the fact that the village lived by fishing, there was also a trade in salt. There is a large salt flat near Curral Velho. The salt was traded to the other Cape Verde islands and the mainland. Curral Velho was abandoned around the 19th century. Because of the endless drought and attacks of pirates, most of the inhabitants of the fishing village left for the largest town in Boavista.
Flora and fauna
The deserted area around the ruins, the coast and the nearby small island Ilheu de Curral Velho are an important area for birds and turtles. The area is also an internationally recognized wetland area for birds. The beautiful Frigate bird also occurs here. This bird has a wingspan of no less than 2 meters and the males are clearly recognizable by the red colored throat pouch that they can inflate. The wetland of Curral Velho is an ideal place for nature lovers to spend a day.
How do I get to the ruins of Curral Velho?
The Curral Velho is located on the south coast of Boavista, about 15 kilometers from the nearest village. From the town of Sal Rei you are with a jeep within an hour (about 43 kilometers) in Curral Velho. South of the village of Rabil you go towards Fundo das Figueras. From here it is an hour’s drive through a unique landscape that looks like you’re on the moon. Curral Velho is also accessible from the village of Povoacao Velha and Cabeco das Tarafas. Make sure you drive a 4 × 4 car.