Lazing at one of the beautiful beaches, it is beyond doubt that you wish to discover the secrets of the amazing azure water. Although there are no formal coral reefs on the Cape Verde islands, you can find corals in different places. Cape Verde even belongs to the top 10 hotspots when it comes to coral biodiversity. There is a lot to see underwater if you go to the right places.
When you are diving you can admire the diversity of marine life. For example, you will see rigs and schools swimming around the old shipwrecks and reefs. But if you just want to enjoy the wonderful seaside life in an easy and active way, then snorkelling is ideal. We have selected the best Cape Verde snorkel spots for you and described them below.
Snorkel spots Sal
Snorkelling on the island of Sal is possible. The most success to see underwater life is near the rocky soils but beware of certain sea currents. The white sandy beaches of Sal are less suitable for snorkelling because the underwater view is not optimal. The sandy bottom is being whriled by the sea’s flow, which makes the water less clear.
On Sal, the area east of the pier of Santa Maria – at Porto Antigo and Papaia’s restaurant – is a good place to snorkel. About 50 meters off Papaia. there is an underwater statue. In addition, outside the village of Santa Maria you can find the locals snorkelling at Calheta Funda and Cadjatinha.
Palmeira of Murdeira Bay are two other good snorkel spots on Sal. Tour operators organize snorkelling trips to Palmeira or Murdeira Bay. As Murdeira Bay is a protected area, you will be sure to spot some beautiful fish. The disadvantage is that the boats go for anchor in some deeper water to prevent damaging the coral. This means that you will have to swim towards the reef on your own to see the most beautiful fish. Of course you can also reach Murdeira Bay independently from the mainland. This via one of the beaches north or south of the inhabited area, about 10 minutes offof Santa Maria.
Last hotspot on Sal is the shipwreck south of Pedra de Luma. Follow the dirt paths along the coast. At one point you will see the remains of the wreck rise from the water. From there, it is a challenging walk over smooth rocks until you see a small sandbank. Good (water) shoes are recommended! However, the effort will be rewarded. You have a great chance to see the fins of schools of nurse sharks (not dangerous) emerging from the water in this shallow part of see.
Snorkel spots Boavista
Like on Sal, snorkelling on Boavista is very good. At Boavista, As Gatas Bay on the north-east of the island is the place to snorkel. In the summer months there is a chance that you will see nurse sharks swimming between the coral. These are harmless sharks and are called in Portuguese “gatas”. The existing reef consists of stony coral which provides shelter for a wide variety of marine life. Unfortunately, the flow in the Atlantic Ocean can significantly impede sight in winter months. Also at ebb snorkel excursions are not possible because the sea water is then so low that the coral even exceeds the water level. Visit this snorkel site at the right time.
Estoril Beach in Sal Rei is another good snorkel spot on the island of Boavista. With a little luck, you can see turtles next to a huge variety of tropical fish (about 100 species!).
Snorkel spots Sao Vicente
At Sao Vicente you do not have to go far for a beautiful snorkel spots. Whether you are coming by plane or ferry to the island, you are likely to stay in Mindelo. In the bay of the city, Porto Grande, you can take a refreshing swim and look at in the underwater world.
On the eastern side of the island about 18 kilometers from Mindelo and near Praia Grande you will find the fishing village of Calhau. At the foot of the 163-meter high and extinct volcano Viana it is a good place to snorkel. Because it is a pebble beach where you enter the water, it is advisable to wear water shoes or something like that.
Another nice snorkel place is Sao Pedro, 10 kilometers south of Mindelo. The charming village with fur-colored cottages and a few restaurants is located on a bay with a beautiful long sandy beach.
Snorkel spots Santo Antao
Tarrafal de Monte Trigo on Santo Antao island is a good snorkel spot. The place is located between the mountains and the sea in the southwest of Santo Antao. At Tarrafal de Monte Trigo time stood still until the 90’s due to poor access to the village at the time. For this reason, it is still a nice place to retreat and enjoy the underwater world. On the longest (black) sandy beach of the island, turtles lay their eggs in summer and the bay itself is on the migratory route of tuna, whales and dolphins. So enough to see in the water! Due to the sheltered location of the bay, the water is calm and thus clear throughout the whole year. Snorkel tours are also offered from Tarrafal, so alsofurther offshore can be snorkeled.
Snorkel spots other islands
Of course you can also snorkel on the other islands. The locals often know the best places. Do you have good tips for snorkelling in Cape Verde? Let us know tby giring a response below.
This seems unlikely
“Cape Verde even belongs to the top 10 hotspots when it comes to coral biodiversity. ”
Can you please give a source for that statement?
Colombia University (NY, USA) and results are published in a peer-reviewed academic journal
Coral biodiversity = centers of endemism.