A Guide to the Country of Cape Verde for Digital Nomads
a resource for nomads and expats looking to explore Cabo Verde. From the culture and food, to the top attractions and activities, along with a look into local living costs, this guide will give you all the information you need to have an amazing trip!
What are the Best Places to Work Remotely in Cabo Verde?
Cabo Verde is a beautiful archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. Offering stunning landscapes and a welcoming culture, the concept of remote work has been gaining popularity worldwide, and of course Cabo Verde provides some facilities to bring to the remote working table. Here are a few potential options:
SoLuz – Coworking & Networking:
Located in Cabo Verde’s capitol city, Praia, SoLuz Coworking & Networking is a co-working space that provides all the essential amenities along with great networking opportunities for fellow nomads.
GoHubs blend contemporary design with Cabo Verde vibrancy to create the optimum co-working environment for remote workers. Combined with their multiple locations and abundance of meeting rooms for your working needs, GoHub also hosts community events for you to surround yourself with fellow travelers.
Another great option is Prime Coworking, partners of Cabo Verde’s Remote Work Program. Subscription to one location gives you access to all three providing you choices between the historical center of Mindelo, the vibrant neighborhood of Praça do Palmajero, and and relaxing sea views in Palmarejo Baixo to keep you inspired throughout your work day.
Culture in Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde has a rich and diverse culture that reflects its unique history and geographical location.
Here are some key aspects of Cabo Verdean culture:
Music and Dance:
Music plays a central role in Cabo Verdean culture, and the islands are famous for their musical traditions. The most well-known genre is morna, which is often described as a soulful and melancholic style of music. Cesária Évora, a legendary Cabo Verdean singer, is one of the country’s most celebrated musical exports. Other popular genres include coladeira, funaná, and batuque. Cabo Verdean music is often accompanied by traditional dance forms that are an integral part of the local culture.
The official language of Cabo Verde is Portuguese, which is spoken in government, education, and media. However, Cabo Verdean Creole, locally known as “Kriolu” or “Crioulo,” is widely spoken as the everyday language among the population. It is a creole language derived from Portuguese with influences from African and other European languages.
The cuisine of Cabo Verde reflects its maritime history and African heritage. Seafood, including fish, shellfish, and octopus, features prominently in many dishes. Cachupa, a hearty stew made with corn, beans, and various meats, is considered the national dish. Grogue, a local rum, is a popular alcoholic beverage on the islands.
Festivals and Celebrations:
Cabo Verdeans celebrate various cultural festivals throughout the year. The most significant celebration is Carnival, which takes place in February or March before the start of Lent. It involves colorful parades, music, dance, and traditional costumes. Additionally, Santo Antão Festival (held on the island of Santo Antão), Gamboa Festival (held in Praia), and festivals celebrating local saints are essential cultural events.
Art and Craftsmanship:
Cabo Verde has a vibrant arts and crafts scene. Local artisans produce beautiful works of art, including pottery, weaving, and woodcarving. The country’s art often incorporates elements of its natural surroundings and cultural heritage.
Cabo Verdeans are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. It is common for locals to engage in conversation and share stories with newcomers, making it a welcoming destination for travelers.
Family and Community:
Family plays a significant role in Cabo Verdean society, and the sense of community is strong. Extended families often live close to each other, and community ties are valued and respected.
The majority of Cabo Verdeans are Roman Catholic, and religion plays a significant role in the culture and traditions of the islands. Religious festivals and events are an essential part of the cultural calendar.
Literature and Oral Traditions:
Cabo Verde has a rich literary tradition, with several notable authors and poets contributing to the country’s literature. Additionally, oral traditions, such as storytelling and proverbs, are an essential part of passing down cultural knowledge from one generation to another.
Overall, Cabo Verde’s culture is a beautiful fusion of African, European, and other global influences, making it a unique and vibrant place to experience and explore.
Food in Cabo Verde
The island nation’s cuisine reflects its diverse cultural influences, incorporating elements from African, Portuguese, and other European cuisines.
Considered the national dish of Cabo Verde, cachupa is a hearty stew made with corn, beans, and various vegetables like sweet potatoes, cassava, and pumpkin. It often includes different types of meat like sausages, chicken, or fish, depending on availability and region. Another local delight is catchupa rica is a variation of cachupa, but with more meat and fewer vegetables. It is usually served during special occasions and celebrations.
If you like seafood, try lagosta grelhada, a grilled lobster delicacy commonly found in Cabo Verde, especially in coastal areas where fresh seafood is abundant. Polvo grelhado or grilled octopus is another popular seafood dish, often seasoned with garlic, olive oil, and local spices. Buzio is a traditional seafood stew made with various shellfish like clams, mussels, and shrimp, cooked in a tomato and coconut milk sauce.
Pastel com Diabo Dentro, translating to “pastry with the devil inside,” is a deep-fried pastry filled with spicy tuna or spicy minced meat. Also try Cabo Verde’s version of couscous, often served with fish or meat and a rich tomato-based sauce.
For some familiar comfort, try canja, a comforting chicken soup with rice and vegetables, common in Cabo Verdean households. Grogue is the highlighted favorite alcoholic beverage made from distilled sugarcane. It is similar to rum and is a popular drink among the locals.
For dessert, we got you covered! Queijada is a sweet pastry made with cheese, sugar, and eggs, usually served as a dessert and you always easily find an abundance of papaya and banana, the local favorite tropical fruits!
When visiting Cabo Verde, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a mix of traditional local dishes, fresh seafood, and tropical fruits, creating a delightful culinary experience that reflects the country’s vibrant culture and history.
Healthcare in Cabo Verde
Healthcare in Cabo Verde is provided by a mix of public and private healthcare facilities. Let’s dive into a breakdown of healthcare options for you trip!
Cabo Verde has both public and private healthcare facilities. The public healthcare system is overseen by the Ministry of Health and provides medical services to citizens and residents. Cabo Verde has several private healthcare clinics in major urban centers like Praia, Mindelo, and Sal. These private clinics often provide faster and more personalized medical care.
Hospitals and Health Centers:
Cabo Verde has hospitals and health centers spread across its various islands. However, the quality and availability of healthcare facilities may vary between the islands. The major urban centers, such as Praia (on Santiago Island) and Mindelo (on São Vicente Island), tend to have better-equipped hospitals.
- Hospital Agostinho Neto (Praia, Santiago Island): This is the main public hospital in Cabo Verde, located in the capital city of Praia. It provides a range of medical services and is one of the better-equipped hospitals in the country.
- Hospital Baptista de Sousa (Mindelo, São Vicente Island): Situated in the city of Mindelo, this is another significant public hospital with various medical departments and services.
Cabo Verde has a national health insurance system known as the National Institute of Social Security (INPS). Employed citizens and residents are required to make contributions to the INPS, which provides access to various healthcare services and benefits.
Pharmacies: Pharmacies are widely available throughout Cabo Verde, even in smaller towns. They can provide over-the-counter medications and basic healthcare supplies.
Healthcare in Cabo Verde is generally more affordable compared to some other countries, making it an attractive destination for medical tourists and digital nomads who may need medical services during their stay. Cabo Verde is gradually emerging as a medical tourism destination, offering affordable medical services to international visitors.
Vaccinations and Health Precautions:
Before traveling to Cabo Verde, it’s essential to check the recommended vaccinations and health precautions from your home country’s travel health advisory or a reputable health organization.
It’s important to note that while many healthcare professionals in urban areas may speak English, it’s helpful for digital nomads to know some basic Portuguese phrases to communicate with medical staff in more remote areas. In case of medical emergencies, you can dial 130 to reach emergency medical services in Cabo Verde.
As a digital nomad, it’s essential to have comprehensive travel health insurance that covers medical emergencies, hospitalization, and repatriation if needed.
Staying Fit & Healthy in Cabo Verde
Staying fit and healthy while in Cabo Verde is important for digital nomads and travelers alike. Here are some tips to help you maintain your well-being during your stay:
The tropical climate in Cabo Verde can be hot and humid, so it’s essential to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you are engaging in outdoor activities or spending time in the sun.
Try to maintain a balanced diet by incorporating fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood into your meals. Cabo Verde offers an array of delicious local dishes that can be both nutritious and flavorful.
Take advantage of the beautiful landscapes and beaches in Cabo Verde to engage in physical activities. You can go for walks, swim in the ocean, try water sports like surfing or windsurfing, or go hiking in the mountains.
Stay Active Indoors:
If you prefer indoor workouts, consider doing bodyweight exercises, yoga, or using fitness apps that allow you to exercise in the comfort of your accommodation.
Use Gyms and Fitness Centers:
Some hotels and resorts in urban areas may have gyms or fitness centers you can use. Alternatively, there might be local gyms or fitness studios where you can get a temporary membership.
Protect Yourself from the Sun:
Cabo Verde has strong sun exposure, so make sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses when you’re outdoors to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
Remember that each individual’s health needs and preferences are different, so find a routine that suits you best. Staying fit and healthy in Cabo Verde will not only enhance your travel experience but also contribute to your overall well-being during your time as a digital nomad in this beautiful island nation.
Things to Do in Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde, with its stunning islands and rich culture, offers a variety of activities and attractions for travelers and digital nomads. Here are some things to do in Cabo Verde:
Explore the beautiful beaches across the islands, such as Praia de Santa Maria on Sal, Praia de Chaves on Boa Vista, and Praia da Laginha on São Vicente. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like surfing, kiteboarding, and snorkeling.
Hiking and Nature Walks:
Discover the scenic landscapes of Cabo Verde by going on hikes and nature walks. Don hiking boots to explore trails like the Cova Crater on Fogo Island or the Salinas on Sal Island.
Take advantage of the clear waters for activities like sailing, fishing, diving, and whale-watching (seasonal).
Explore the local culture by visiting traditional villages, experiencing live music (such as Morna and Funaná), and trying the delicious Cape Verdean cuisine, which includes dishes like Cachupa and fresh seafood.
Visit Historic Sites:
Learn about the country’s history and colonial past by visiting historical sites like Cidade Velha on Santiago Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you’re on São Vicente Island, head to Mindelo for its vibrant nightlife scene with live music, bars, and restaurants.
Consider exploring multiple islands to experience their unique charms and landscapes. Each island has its own character and attractions to offer.
Relaxation and Spa:
Treat yourself to relaxation and rejuvenation with spa treatments and wellness activities available at various resorts and hotels.
Festivals and Events:
Check the local calendar for festivals and events that may be happening during your visit, such as the annual carnival celebrations.
Local Crafts and Markets:
Shop for local crafts and souvenirs at markets like Mercado Municipal in Praia or Mercado de Sucupira in Mindelo.
Visit Volcanic Landscapes:
Explore volcanic landscapes on islands like Fogo, where you can hike up to the active volcano’s crater.
Cabo Verde is home to several endemic bird species, making it a great destination for birdwatchers.
Remember to respect local customs and traditions while enjoying your time in Cabo Verde. Also, keep in mind that the availability of certain activities may vary based on the specific island you are visiting and the time of year.
Weather & Best Time to Visit Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde enjoys a pleasant tropical climate with warm temperatures and relatively low humidity throughout the year. The best time to visit Cabo Verde depends on your preferences for weather and activities.
The dry season is considered the best time to visit Cabo Verde, especially for outdoor activities and beachgoers. During this period, the weather is generally sunny and dry, with very little rainfall. The sea conditions are also calmer, making it ideal for water sports like snorkeling, diving, and windsurfing. The months from December to May are particularly popular for tourists.
The rainy season in Cabo Verde typically starts in July and lasts until October. While it’s called the “rainy” season, the rainfall is usually sporadic and short-lived, with occasional heavy showers. The islands become greener during this time, and it can still be an attractive time to visit if you prefer a more lush landscape and fewer crowds. However, some outdoor activities may be affected by the rain, and the sea conditions can be rougher for water sports.
If you’re interested in experiencing Cabo Verde’s vibrant culture and festivals, consider planning your visit around events like the carnival celebrations, which usually take place in February or March, depending on the island.
Cabo Verde is generally outside the main hurricane zone, but there is a possibility of tropical storms or hurricanes affecting the islands during the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to November 30. While the risk is relatively low, it’s essential to stay informed about weather updates during this period.
In summary, the dry season from November to June is considered the best time to visit Cabo Verde, offering the most favorable weather for outdoor activities and beach vacations. However, if you prefer a greener landscape and fewer crowds, you may enjoy visiting during the rainy season from July to October. Regardless of the time of year, Cabo Verde’s diverse islands have much to offer in terms of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and warm hospitality.
Cost of Living in Cabo Verde
The cost of living in Cabo Verde can vary depending on your lifestyle, location within the country, but it is considered to have a moderate cost of living compared to many Western countries!
Rent for a one-bedroom apartment (in urban areas): $300 to $700 per month
Rent for a one-bedroom apartment (in rural areas): $200 to $500 per month
Food and Dining:
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $5 to $15
Meal at a mid-range restaurant: $20 to $40
Groceries (per month for one person): $150 to $250
One-way local public transportation: $0.50 to $1
Taxi starting tariff: $3 to $5
Gasoline (per liter): $1.20 to $1.50
Utilities (Electricity, Water, Internet, etc.):
Basic utilities for a standard apartment: $50 to $100 per month
Internet (monthly): $30 to $60
Keep in mind that these are approximate prices and can vary depending on location and local market conditions. It’s also essential to consider additional expenses such as visa fees (if applicable), travel insurance, and any specific activities or excursions you plan to undertake.
If you plan to stay in Cabo Verde for an extended period as a digital nomad, renting a furnished apartment and shopping at local markets for groceries can help you save on living costs. As always, it’s recommended to research the specific costs of living in the area you plan to stay and budget accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience in Cabo Verde.
Visa Requirements in Cabo Verde
Visa requirements for Cabo Verde vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Here are some common visa types and requirements:
Many nationalities can obtain a tourist visa on arrival at the airport or port of entry. This visa allows you to stay in Cabo Verde for up to 30 days and can be extended for an additional 30 days at the immigration office in Cabo Verde.
Some nationalities, particularly those from ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries, do not require a visa for short stays (up to 90 days).
If you are visiting Cabo Verde for business purposes, you may need a business visa. The requirements and duration of the visa may vary based on the purpose and length of your business visit.
If you intend to work in Cabo Verde, you will need a work visa. This type of visa requires sponsorship from a local employer or company.
For those planning to stay in Cabo Verde for an extended period, a residence visa is necessary. This visa is suitable for retirees, investors, or those planning to live in the country for other specific reasons.
Students planning to study in Cabo Verde need to apply for a student visa, which requires an acceptance letter from a recognized educational institution in the country.
It’s essential to check the latest visa requirements and application procedures from the Cabo Verdean embassy or consulate in your home country before your trip. Visa regulations can change, so it’s best to have up-to-date information to avoid any issues during your travel.
For digital nomads and travelers planning to visit Cabo Verde, it’s generally recommended to have a valid passport with at least six months’ validity from the date of entry. Always comply with the visa regulations and any other immigration requirements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip to Cabo Verde!
Jobs and Work Requirements in Cabo Verde
Working and finding employment in Cabo Verde can be a bit challenging for foreign nationals, but still absolutely doable with the right expanse of knowledge and understanding of the country’s work requirements. Here are some important points to consider:
To legally work in Cabo Verde as a foreigner, you generally need a work permit. Work permits are typically obtained through a local employer who sponsors your application. The employer must prove that there are no qualified Cape Verdean citizens available to fill the position.
Cabo Verde’s job market is relatively small, and the economy heavily relies on sectors like tourism, fishing, agriculture, and public administration. Finding formal employment as a foreigner can be challenging due to the limited number of job opportunities, especially for non-Portuguese speakers.
Cabo Verde does not have specific visa or work permit options tailored to digital nomads at the time of my last update. As a result, working remotely while on a tourist visa may not be explicitly allowed. It’s essential to check the latest visa and work permit regulations to see if any changes or new programs have been introduced.
If you are a freelancer or plan to operate a business in Cabo Verde, you might explore the possibility of establishing your own business and obtaining a business visa or residence permit. However, this process may involve meeting specific requirements and legal procedures.
Portuguese is the official language of Cabo Verde, and knowledge of the language may be essential for many job opportunities and business interactions.
Some foreigners may choose to work as volunteers in Cabo Verde. Volunteering can be a rewarding way to contribute to the local community and gain valuable experiences.
Retirement and Residence:
Cabo Verde offers a special residency program for retirees, allowing individuals over a certain age to live in the country provided they meet certain financial requirements.
Please note that the job market and work requirements in Cabo Verde can change over time, so it’s crucial to check with the Cabo Verdean embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information on work permits, visas, and employment opportunities. If you plan to work or stay in Cabo Verde for an extended period, it’s advisable to seek professional legal advice to ensure compliance with local regulations.
Enjoy your trip to Cabo Verde!
Always blue skies ✈️