Boa Vista, Cape Verde

For other uses, see Boa Vista (disambiguation).
Boa Vista
Native name: <span class="nickname" ">Bubista
Nickname: Ilha das dunas (island of the dunes)
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 16°6′11.93″N 22°48′12.59″W / 16.1033139°N 22.8034972°W / 16.1033139; -22.8034972
Archipelago Cape Verde
Total islands 10
Area 620 km2 (240 sq mi)
Length 31 km (19.3 mi)
Width 29 km (18 mi)
Highest elevation 387 m (1,270 ft)
Highest point Monte Estância
Concelhos (Municipalities) Boa Vista
Largest settlement Sal Rei
Population 8554 (2010)
Pop. density 13.8 /km2 (35.7 /sq mi)
Additional information
Official website

Boa Vista (Portuguese meaning “good view”) is the easternmost island of Cape Verde. It is located in the Barlavento group of the archipelago.[1] The island is known for marine turtles and traditional music, as well as its ultramarathon[2] and its sand dunes and beaches.[1] The island also constitutes the municipality of Boa Vista, which has two parishes, Santa Isabel and São João Baptista.


In the 19th century, the English called Boa Vista, Bonavisa.[3]


With an area of 620 km², it is the third largest island, after Santo Antão and Santiago. It is 455 km west of the coast of Africa. Much of the island is flat. The highest point on the island is Monte Estância, elevation 387 meters; other mountains include Santo António (Saint Anthony) and Monte Negro (Black Mountain). Other features include Campo da Serra. Its main town is Sal Rei, its ferry port and home to Boa Vista's airport (Rabil Airport)on the northwest side of the island.

Surrounding islets include Ilhéu de Sal Rei featuring a lighthouse in the west, and Ilhéu do Baluarte featuring the easternmost point in Cape Verde. Points include Ponta Antónia to the north.



M/S Cabo Santa Maria wrecked in 1968 off the Praia de Atalanta beach - photographed 2010



As of the mid-19th century, the population was estimated at 4,000.[3] While most of the population live in Sal Rei, there are many small settlements with 10 to 100 people; others are abandoned. It has the smallest population of all of inhabited Cape Verde’s islands, and it is the least-dense populated in the archipelago.

The population steadily grew up to the 1900s, drought and famine affected the population and many of the population immigrated in the final decades of Portuguese rule that started from the 1930s, the population grew around 10% each decade. Emigration dropped the population by over 150 between 1970 and 1980, in 1990, the population added only 80, the population started to rise large for the first time, after the end of the 20th century, the population was 4,209, nearly equal to the 19th century population, construction of hotels, villas and a stadium made a record breaking growth and reached 8,554 in 2010, an addition of over 100%, the estimate population has now reached over 10,000.

Population of Boa Vista, Cape Verde (1940—2010)
1940[4] 1950[4] 1960[4] 1970[4] 1980[4] 1990[4] 2000[5] 2010[6]
2779 2985 3263 3569 3372 3452 4209 8554


Tourists on the Chaves Beach

Its economy was originally based on agriculture, but desertification led to salt collection becoming more important. Its main industries today are date farming and, increasingly, tourism, with already several touristic establishments being built in recent times. As of July 2015, the island boasts the highest income per capita [i.e., US$8819,00] in the island nation.


The Camara Municipal is the main government institution of the island. The current President is José Pinto Almeida, MPD party.

Boavista is twinned with the town of Zocca on May 9, 2014.

Attractions and amenities

Boa Vista has a college (colegio), a middle school, high school, churches, beaches, large hotels and a port which underwent expansion in the early to mid 2010s. Other hotels and villas had popped up in the west and south of the island, hotels and villas popped up in around 2004 west of Rabil and in 2009 in Curral Velho and connected them with newly paved roads.


Since 2009, the island has 50.66 km of paved roads, 29.2 km are national and numbers 2 and 21.46 are municipal with four.

National highways

Number Places Length
Sal Rei-Airport
4,20 km.
Rabil-Cabeça dos Tarafes
25,00 km.

Sporting teams

Notable residents


  1. 1 2 "Cape Verde: Island of Boa Vista". New Media -Servicios de Marketing, Internet e Publicidade Lda. Retrieved 17 October 2016. The easternmost and third-largest island of Cape Verde definitely does justice to its name – Boa Vista: beautiful view.
  2. "Boavista Ultramarathon - Boavista, Cape Verde, Dec 10 2016 – ahotu Marathons". ahotu Marathons. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  3. 1 2 Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 17.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Source: Statoids
  5. Source: Instituto Nacional de Estatísticas.
  6. Portal do Instituto Nacional de Estatística: INE - CENSO 2010.
  7. Archived July 3, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

Coordinates: 16°6′11.93″N 22°48′12.59″W / 16.1033139°N 22.8034972°W / 16.1033139; -22.8034972

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