Is Cape Verde Expensive To Visit? | Travel Expenses Guide

Cape Verde Fishing Boat

When planning your trip to Cape Verde, you probably wonder if the island group is expensive to visit? Honestly, it depends on what you’re planning to do and where you go to in Cape Verde. This expenses guide gives you an idea of what costs to expect when traveling to Cape Verde. 

Cape Verde can be expensive to visit when traveling to the famous islands Sal and Boa Vista. Average prices for an all-inclusive holiday are $1000 for 10 days per person, often including flights when leaving from the UK or Europe, and depending on the season. The lesser-known islands are often cheaper to visit. 

While a visit to Cape Verde doesn’t have to be expensive, you still need to know where to go, and on which expenses you can save money. We visited the archipelago and did a 10-week roundtrip along most of the islands. In this article, I’ll share the best tips on how to save money in Cape Verde (which we used ourselves). And an average price breakdown of daily costs for when you travel in a luxury or more budget style to the islands.  

Tarrafal Beach

How expensive is an All-inclusive vacation to Cape Verde

The Cape Verde Republic is one of the most stable democracies in Africa, but still, it is a poor country. The cost of living in the country is much lower than in the United States, UK or Western Europe. As a tourist, you’ll notice that local taxi rides, drinks, and food in local restaurants or bars, are cheaply priced. However, most people visit only the popular tourist areas in Cape Verde, which are still quite expensive. 

When booking an all-inclusive trip to Cape Verde on average, people pay 100 Euro a day (which is around 110 US dollars). There are many variables in those prices. Typically factors that are influencing the cost of an all-inclusive trip to Cape Verde are; 

  • The destination (each island the prices are different),
  • Hotel or resort, 
  • Length of stay,
  • Departure city,
  • Travel season 

So, let’s say for this example your traveling from the UK to Cape Verde. And you decide your trip with the travel company TUI (which is the largest travel company for Cape Verde holidays). 

You decide to book a trip with a length of 14 days and want to travel to the famous destination, Sal. For your stay, you only want to stay in a 5-star rated all-inclusive resort, close to the beach. 

The cheapest price for an all-inclusive stay with TUI is on average € 1400,-. But this is including a direct flight leaving from London to Sal. An all-inclusive package with TUI means including flight, accommodation, transport from the airport to the hotel, breakfast, lunch, evening meal, and snacks. 

When you count it back to daily costs, it is even not that expensive. € 140 a day, including flights, and almost everything you’ll need for a perfect beach holiday. 

Prices vary continuously, so to make sure you’ll find the latest and cheapest price, I recommend visiting the website of TUI. However, when you’re from the United States, you might find that their website is not working, and you’re not able to book. Most vacations via their website are focused on people from the UK and Europe. 

I recommend US-based travelers to use Booking.com or Tripadvisor. 

In our booking recourses guide below, I’ll explain the best ways of booking an all-inclusive trip to Cape Verde. 

How Expensive is Cape Verde For Budget Travelers?

Let’s say you’re traveling to Cape Verde, and are on a strict budget of like € 25,- per person, per day. Excluding flight tickets. Can you still visit Cape Verde then? Yes, of course! We did that as well and managed to do so for like 10 weeks. Some days were a bit more expensive, but other days were cheaper, so on average, we stayed within our budget. 

Here’s how we manage to stay within our budget. Kudo’s to Kirsten, by the way, because she uses the app, trailwallet. Where she keeps every expense, we make during the day. We get a great insight into what we’re spending, and we always know where we stand within our travel budget. 

Flight Tickets

We booked our flight direct at the flight company. However, we used Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights. We used Skyscanner for a long time now and still feel that we ding the best results with this search engine. 

When we traveled to Cape Verde, we knew kind of the period when we wanted to go. And we had a period of 10 weeks in mind to travel around the different islands. Also, we didn’t bother to have a long layover in Lisbon, which saved us a lot of money at the time. 

The key to finding cheap flight tickets is to be super flexible. When you aren’t bound to strict dates or travel times, this can save you a lot of money on tickets. 

For our flight tickets to Cape Verde, we paid € 400 per person. This might sound expensive, but it was a return flight from Amsterdam with a layover in Lisbon. And during the most expensive period of the year. We started our trip with a visit to the tropical carnival in Mindelo, São Vicente. It’s the most famous festival and attracts hundreds of thousands of Cape Verdeans every year. 

When you’re not traveling within that season, you might find much cheaper flights. 

Accommodation

With a total budget of € 50,00 a day for 2 persons, we couldn’t afford to stay in luxury hotels. But don’t worry, there’s enough to find in Cape Verde when you’re traveling on a budget. On average we paid between € 25,- and € 30,- a night for either a hotel room, studio, or even a small apartment. 

The quality of these accommodations was good. Not very luxurious, but it had everything we need, and most of the time everything was very clean! 

Other important aspects for us were Wi-Fi, because we also working while traveling, and a kitchen with enough kitchenware to cook our own meals. We just love to make our own food, and it is also much cheaper! We always found both in our accommodations. 

Booking.com was our go-to search engine to find our accommodations in Cape Verde. But we also used Airbnb a lot, which is a great alternative. If you’re new to Airbnb, you can use this link to get a discount on your first booking. 

Food, Groceries, and Restaurants. 

While on a budget, the best expenses you can save on are food, groceries, and going out for dinner. The cost of living in Cape Verde is very cheap. So, you can save money when not going out for dinner every night, but also buying your food in the local (super)markets. We also learned that most meat in Cape Verde is imported deep-frozen, so not always the best quality, and also very expensive. 

Freshly caught fish can be cheap on the fish market. Still, we decided to go vegetarian (which is both good for your budget, health, and environment). In Cape Verde, you find a lot of vegetables, legumes, and other healthy products that you can use for making tasty meals. 

It’s also a fun way of learning the local culture when buying your won food on the local markets. It saved us a lot of money, and on average we spent € 11,00 a day on groceries. This was for 3 meals a day, snacks, water (the tap water isn’t safe in Cape Verde), and beers! 

Transport

We’re not talking about flights ticket or ferries. But how to get from one point on the island to another. Each island has its own ways of transport. Most islands don’t even have an extensive public transport network, just because its to small and locals use aluguers for transportation. Which can be seen as the local public transport in Cape Verde. 

An aluguer is a shared taxi-van, and a ride costs between 1 – 3 Euros, depending on the length. It is a great way to learn local people, and learn more about the local culture. When you’re traveling with an aluguer, always make sure to have enough time (the vans only leave when all the seats are taken). And agree on the price with the driver before the aluguer leaves. 

Using the aluguers costs us on average € 4,00 a day (for 2 persons). 

We also did a lot by walking around, which on most islands is safe to do. Some places at night you need to be more aware, but that’s almost everywhere in the world. 

Restaurants

Sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking your own dinner, right? But when you’re traveling on a budget, it can be tricky, because it can get quite expensive very quickly. 

To make sure we stay within our budget, we always look for the non-touristy places, the restaurants where locals go to. Especially in Cape Verde, you’ll know that it will be cheap and that the food is good. A great example is Bar-Di-Nos on the island Sal. This place is a bit away from the tourist center in Santa Maria but has fresh barbecue food every day. You only pay a few euros, including a drink, for a complete meal. And it is always full of locals having dinner. 

On average, we spent € 45 a day during our 10 weeks round trip to Cape Verde. 

So, when you compare it with an all-inclusive trip which you can book with TUI, it’s almost the same costs in Cape Verde. 

How Expensive is Island Hopping in Cape Verde? 

Island hopping along the different islands is a great thing to do, but it can also be expensive. There are a few ways to get around the islands from which the most-expensive, reliable, and fastest way are the domestic flights. 

Cabo Verde airlines offer several flights a week between the islands, and prices vary on average, between 40 and 100 EURO for a single trip.

A much cheaper way is getting around with a ferry, but this takes a lot more time (sometimes 8 hours or even longer between two islands). And it is not the most reliable way of transportation in Cape Verde. Many ferry connections are often delayed or canceled due to rough sea conditions or mechanical problems. 

Sometimes it can take a week for ferries to run again, which is not convenient when you only have a few weeks to travel around the islands. There’s a good chance you get stuck on an island when you’re dependent on those ferries. 

The islands Brava and Santo Antão are only reachable by ferry because both islands don’t have an airport. The ferry that runs between Santo Antão and São Vicente is very reliable and runs multiple times a day. 

Prices for those ferries vary per route, and are, by my knowledge only to book on the islands and not online. 

I also wrote the article Can You Island Hop in Cape Verde, An Island Hopping Guide,” which you might find interesting to read. 

Cape Verde Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance for Cape Verde?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $2 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Safety Wing, one of the biggest names in travel insurance.

💧Can you drink tap water in Cape Verde?

No — It is generally recommended to drink bottled water in Cape Verde. While tap water is generally safe for showering and brushing teeth, it may not be suitable for drinking. Bottled water is readily available and affordable throughout the country. Or you can buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water.

🚗 Is it safe to rent a car in Cape Verde?

Yes — Renting a car in Cape Verde is one of the best ways to see the islands. I always rent with Rentalcars, which checks international and local Cape Verdean companies, so you get the best rates.

🏩 What’s the best way to book places to stay in Cape Verde?

For Cape Verde hotels, Booking.com is the best site. If you’re considering an (all-inclusive) resort, I recommend TUI since they have the best resorts on the islands.

🛫 What’s the best site to buy Cape Verde flights? 

For direct flights from the UK and Europe, I recommend TUI Airways. For finding alternative flights to Cape Verde, I recommend Skyscanner.

⛵️ Where to book the best tours in Cape Verde?

For the best tours in Cape Verde, I highly recommend booking your trips at Get Your Guide.

🛂 Do I need a visa for Cape Verde?

Likely Not — U.S. and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Cape Verde. Most travelers will receive a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival.

😃 Which is the safest island of Cape Verde?

Santo Antão – Although all islands are safe to travel to, Santo Antão is the safest island of Cape Verde. It is known for “Morabeza,” a Creole word meaning very friendly Cape Verdean hospitality. In the capital Praia on the island of Santiago, you must be somewhat careful but not need paranoia.

🗣 Do they speak English in Cape Verde?

Yes – Most staff speak English, and some are multi-lingual. The official language of Cape Verde is Portuguese. The mother tongue of virtually all Cape Verdeans is Cape Verdean Creole. (Read more)

⭐️ What is the best time to visit Cape Verde?

The best time to visit Cape Verde is between November and June. The average day temperature is around 24°C (75°F), the sea temperature is 25°C, and there is almost no rain. Perfect for a white-sandy beach holiday. However, Cape Verde has many attractions and activities throughout the year:

  • The best time to visit Cape Verde for Hiking: November & December
  • The best time to visit Cape Verde for Snorkeling and Diving: July – December
  • The best time to visit Cape Verde for Kitesurfing: December – March
  • The best time to visit Cape Verde for Whale Watching: March-May
  • The best time to visit Cape Verde for Turtle Spotting: Mid-July – October
  • The best time to visit Cape Verde for Carnival: February/ March

Recommended Articles Cape Verde

We wrote many different articles about Cape Verde, so you can more easily prepare for your next trip. Some of the articles are very practical, like the article you just read, and others are much more inspirational. So you can get a better idea of the different islands in Cape Verde. You can find a complete list of the articles here.

A few articles I recommend reading are:

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