Parque Natural Monte Verde: Our most recommended tours and activities

São Vicente: Private Highlights Tour from Mindelo Port

1. São Vicente: Private Highlights Tour from Mindelo Port

Enjoy a pickup from the Port of Mindelo and begin an exciting private tour to discover the highlights of São Vicente Island with a local guide. Start your discovery from Mindelo, the country's cultural capital, famous for the hospitality of its people and the architecture of its beautiful colonial buildings. Visit the main square, the local church, the municipal market and learn about the daily lives of the locals, before enjoying a superb panoramic view of the city and its bay, the most beautiful in the country. Continue on a scenic drive to the eastern side of the island and capture beautiful views of extinct volcanoes, farmlands, and learn local history from your guide. Arrive in Calhau, take a lunch break and enjoy the local cuisine. Next, swim at the beautiful Baía das Gatas beach or simply dip your feet in the warm water before heading to the island's highest point, Monte Verde Natural Park. Here admire the stunning landscape, see endemic plants and, weather permitting, see other Cape Verde islands. The tour ends with a drop-off at the Port of Mindelo.

São Vicente Island: Full-Day Tour

2. São Vicente Island: Full-Day Tour

Starting from Mindelo, this full day trip includes most highlights of São Vicente Island. Explore Mindelo, the capital of the island, known as the most welcoming and attractive city in the country. Walk through the colonial buildings, visit its church, municipal and Afrikan markets, and enjoy a panoramic view of the capital from the top of Fortin.  Drive to the eastern part of the island where animals, endemic plants and farmland can be seen along the Calhau Valley. Here, take time for a delicious lunch in a local atmosphere, and enjoy the local cuisine. Next, visit the fishing village of Salamansa, Baía das Gatas, and pause for a swim at its beautiful beach before heading to the sand dunes brought by the wind from the Sahara Desert. Finally, drive to Monte Verde Natural Park and admire the stunning scenery of the entire island and, weather permitting, take stunning photos of other Cape Verde islands.

São Vicente, Full Day, Highlights, Mindelo, and outside, 6hr

3. São Vicente, Full Day, Highlights, Mindelo, and outside, 6hr

Hear about our history, culture, lifestyle. Enjoy the architectural style of our colorful buildings. Visit the bustling markets of Mindelo; Fish Market, African Market, and Municipal Market (closed on Sundays). From the lookout point, we will have the best views of Mindelo, Monte Cara, and Laginha Beach. Take a scenic drive to the top of Monte Verde, natural and protected park, the highest peak in Sao Vicente. Head to the small charming sea side fishing villages on the Island. Take a swim in the clear blue lagoon of Baía das Gatas, and marvel at the contrasting long beach coastline. Calhau is an oasis! A charming small farming and fishing village also home of Vulcao Viana, one of the of last extinct volcanos on the Island. In the valley of Calhau we will see traditional farming by hand, animals, water wells, and windmills.

Day trip Mindelo tour & highlights of S. Vicente

4. Day trip Mindelo tour & highlights of S. Vicente

Avoid the hassle and stress of standing around waiting to be picked up at the port or at your hotel reception and in the meantime, enjoy every second and have fun in this unforgettable experience on this magnificent island. We will meet you at the reception of your hotel or at the exit gate of the harbor in Mindelo and head for a Guided visit into the the city center Than we will visit the main vegetable market Walk trough the main square on Mindelo After visiting Mindelo we will drive to the highest point of the island to enjoy a memorable panorama. Than we will drive Salamança beach to walk Barefoot on the peacefull white sand beach on the north of the island. Than we will follow to visit the white sandy dunes on the coast of the island. Afternoon we have organized a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we will head back to Mindelo.

São Vicente: Markets, Beaches and Natural Park Tour

5. São Vicente: Markets, Beaches and Natural Park Tour

The day begins with pickup from your accommodation or Port of Mindelo for Cruise Ship passengers and drive towards the city center. Upon arrival, explore the island’s capital, Mindelo, a historically and culturally rich city full of character. Take a guided walking tour through the city center to the island's popular African Market, stroll through the colorful stalls, soak in the variety of sights and scents, and mingle with the locals. Continue on a scenic drive to Monte Verde Natural Park and admire breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys from the highest point in São Vicente. See endemic plants and learn about the local history, fauna and flora from your guide. Move on to Salamansa, a small fishing village of simple and hospitable people, followed by a drive to Baía das Gatas, where you will take a dip into its natural pools or simply relax on the shore. The tour ends with a drop-off at the Port or at your accommodation in Mindelo.

Scooter rental, Mindelo, São Vicente

6. Scooter rental, Mindelo, São Vicente

A fantastic day! Pick up your scooter early in the morning to begin your day around the lively city marketplaces, museums, and cafes, and take a journey outside Mindelo to our Islands highlights: Monte Verde, Salamansa, Baia das Gatas, Stunning Coastal Road of Norte Baia / Praia Grande, Calhau, São Pedro! A great way to explore the Island.

From Praia: Full-Day São Vicente Island Tour

7. From Praia: Full-Day São Vicente Island Tour

The day begins with pickup from your accommodation in Praia and heads towards Nelson Mandela Airport. From there, take a 40 minute flight to São Vicente and soak up amazing views of this idyllic island from the skies. Upon arrival, explore the island’s capital, Mindelo, a historic and culturally-rich city bursting with character. Continue the tour along Avenida Marginal to Praia da Bote and to the island’s popular African Market where the first community was established. Stroll through the colorful stalls, soak up the array of sights and scents, and mingle with the locals going about their day. From here, drive to the eastern part of the island where native animals, endemic plants, and rolling farmland can be seen along the luscious Calhau Valley. Arrive at the village of Baía das Gatas next and take a stroll along the white sand dunes that line the sea. Later, drive to Monte Verde Natural Park to admire a stunning vista of the entire island as well as the other Cape Verde islands. Finally, enjoy a well-deserved rest at Laginha Beach before beginning the journey back to the airport and your return flight.

Hike the highest point of Monte Verde

8. Hike the highest point of Monte Verde

We will pick you up from your hotel or cruise ship port and head on our journey to monte verde, The mountain is part of the Monte Verde Natural Park, covering 3.12 km2. Due to its elevation, it is less arid than the rest of the island. In this area are concentrated all species and communities of flora endemic to São Vicente. Of the 93 species of flora inventoried, 17 are on the list of endangered species of São Vicente, as the landscapes around Monte Verde are mostly dry and desertic, lands of an inactive volcano. we will drive by car to the foot of the mountain and then we will follow the paved path with a cobbled road almost to the top and then we will continue on a trail to the top, after enjoying the view of monte verde our driver will come to pick us up and we will return to town.

Hike Monte Verde

9. Hike Monte Verde

São Vicente is typically dry and clay like, however, Monte Verde is one of the greenest places to be found on the Island. Travel to the base of Monte Verde by car and take a hike up the mountain side footpath. Along the way you will find endemic plants, farmers, livestock, old homes which have been abandoned. At the summit we will stop at the Tea House to enjoy a cup of locally grown tea or coffee, or taste the tea liquor, while taking in the spectacular views of the Island: Mindelo and the Coastal beaches are stunning from the top! On a clear day you will see the Islands of Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Santa Luzia, Ilhéu Raso and Branco. Hike is typically up to 2 hours one way, we may return on the road down, then be picked up and return to accommodation.

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What people are saying about Parque Natural Monte Verde

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 18 reviews

First, I have to make a reprimand. Somehow there were communication problems between GetYourGuide and the local provider, since the tour of Mindelo was in the description according to GetYourGuide, but the local provider knew nothing about it. In addition, we only had an English-speaking driver and no guide in the true sense. Nevertheless, he mastered his job more than excellently and at the end of the tour also made the tour of Mindelo and also visited additional sights with us. The GetYourGuide description didn't say anything about bathing suits either, but according to the driver, a one-hour stop at the beach in Salamansa is part of the program. Somehow there is a worm in there, so a correction of the description or a clarification from the local provider is necessary. All in all, it was a successful excursion thanks to the efforts of our driver. I cannot give GetYourGuide any praise

As part of our cruise, we spent a day in the port of Mindelo, São Vicente. We were the only two participants. Our guide Freddy picked us up punctually at the agreed meeting point. Freddy speaks good English and explains very well. Monte Verde has a great view but you should bring a jacket or sweater as the strong winds are quite chilly. A bit of freezing is worth it for the view of Mindelo and the neighboring island of Santo Antao! During the tour, Freddy told us a lot about the way of life on São Vicente and the problems caused by climate change and Covid. In Porto Calhau we went for lunch on Freddy's recommendation. There was fresh fish typical of the country with various side dishes. We found the most impressive dune landscape south of Praia das Gatas with its unique play of colors. The times were strictly adhered to and we were back in port on time. Freddy, thanks for the nice day!

What an incredible day! Paolo picked us up at the port and our first stop was the downtown area. We saw fisherman coming in with their catch, the market where they were sold. To amazing highlights such as the fresh market, town church, and walked the streets getting a feel for the island life on a Saturday. From there we drove to the highest point of the island and stopped at a tea house. Lunch on the beach with the locals and more fresh fish. We saw volcanic beaches to Sandy white. He was so knowledgeable of the history and was both entertaining and like having an old friend show us around! We ended our day with a stop for souvenirs and hugged goodbye- knowing we would be to this incredible island again. If you’re looking for the best guide in Cape Verde- find Paolo!!!!!!

Since we had done a jeep tour on the island before, this time we wanted to get an impression of the entire island. This worked wonderfully. Our guide gave us an incredible amount of information. All in all we were very satisfied.

Carlos and Hernani were fantastic guides - highly recommend this tour!