Averages for Cape Verde in January
Cape Verde can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa. The country spans 10 different islands of volcanic origin and several dozen small islets. The archipelago has a semi-desert, sub-tropical mix of climates. Every island boasts its own distinctive culture and selection of landmarks and attractions. There are all kinds of islands to explore; each of them offering a different experience, hence the art of "island hopping" is very popular here, with tourists travelling across m...
Cape Verde can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa. The country spans 10 different islands of volcanic origin and several dozen small islets. The archipelago has a semi-desert, sub-tropical mix of climates. Every island boasts its own distinctive culture and selection of landmarks and attractions. There are all kinds of islands to explore; each of them offering a different experience, hence the art of "island hopping" is very popular here, with tourists travelling across multiple islands to experience everything this fascinating archipelago has to offer.
Cape Verde is famous for its eclectic mix of music and cuisine; its charming local villages, numerous volcanoes (most but not all of which are extinct), amazing weather, and its unique culture that is a blend of Portuguese, African and Brazilian cultures. Cape Verde's islands are divided into two groups, the Barlavento Islands (windward islands), which are: Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista and the Sotavento Islands (leeward islands), which are Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava.
Cape Verde was colonised in the 15th century by the Portuguese and was a prosperous trading port for centuries. Today, the islands enjoy a strong, service-oriented economy that focuses on tourism and internal growth. The small island nation is one of the fastest developing in the world, having been transformed in the recent decades from a quaint remote getaway to an impressive, first-rate tourist resort. A wonderfully diverse holiday destination - definitely add Cape Verde to your bucket list.
January is the coldest month on the exotic archipelago of islands at Cape Verde, but this doesn't mean it is cold at all, by any standards. Average daytime temperature stays around a comfortable 23 degrees Celsius and rarely drops below 19 degrees. So, 19 degrees is pretty much the coldest temperature Cape Verde experiences throughout a typical year.
During the day, temperatures can rise up to 24 degrees in January; never too hot for comfort. According to historical data, the Barlavento islnds (windward islands) experience slightly lower temperatures during January as they are situated to the north of the archipelago and are less affected by African-borne winds and currents.
Nonetheless, the average sea temperature across the islands in January floats around a comfortable 23 degrees Celsius. Cape Verde enjoys 6 hours of daily sunshine in January. Rarely, cold sea currents from north Atlantic may result in sea temperature declining sharply during the winter months but these declines are ephemeral as warm sea currents from western Africa rapidly warm Cape Verde's coasts on a daily basis.
Rainfall is minimal to nonexistent in Cape Verde during January. Only 3 days are expected to have some form of rain over the islands and the total precipitation across all ten islands (and the numerous islets) rarely surpasses 2 mm during January.
Cape Verde from Monte Verde with Calhau in the background, Sao Vicente.
Dates for the diary
Every year, on January the 13th, Cape Verdians across the archipelago celebrate Democracy day. As one of the most democratic nations in the world (frequently ranked No.1 in lists measuring personal and political freedom), Cape Verde dedicates a whole day to the ideals of democracy. During this celebration, outdoors feasts are common and in large settlements such as Praia, large celebrations are held.
A true patriotic month, January sees Cape Verdians celebrate the Heroes Day on the 20th of the month. This day commemorates the 1973 assassination of Amílcar Cabral, who is remembered as a hero for fighting western colonialism and exploitation. Cabral's actions eventually lead to the liberation of Cape Verde and the formation of the modern state.
Things to do
Sal is one of the most tourist-focused islands of the country, so much so that many locals argue that the resort area doesn't show off the true beauty Cape Verde. However, there is still plenty of history on Sal, including the Pedra Lume Salt Crater and numerous small villages and communities off the tourist track. Pedra Lume, situated in the crater of an extinct volcano, was renowned in the 18th Century for its salt mines. Today, the remaining high quantities of salt give swimmers the opportunity to float effortlessly in the surrounding waters while making surfing and windsurfing particularly forgiving for beginners.
The island of Fogo used to be a volcano in itself. Today, with only 55 thousand inhabitants it is one of the most scenic locales in Cape Verde. The village of Sao Fillipe in Fogo is perhaps the most attractive settlement there. The colourful houses, designed in a colonial Portuguese architectural style, have been excellently preserved and provide a glimpse into the history of Cape Verde well before it became a resort destination.
Green mountains above the town of Sao Jorge on the island of Fogo, Cape Verde.
Hit the beach
The Santa Monica beach in Curralinho on the island of Boa Vista has been ranked among the top beaches in the world by numerous independent reviewers and international bodies. This white sand beach is often described as similar to the world famous Santa Monica beach in California. This is a fairly quiet beach as it has very few tourist amenities.
Just a few miles up the coast is the equally stunning Chaves Beach that is also quite more busy. This lively beach has bars, restaurants and other amenities on site, and it is quite common to see beach volley and beach football games here. Tourists are welcome to join in these friendly matches.
White sand beaches of Boa Vista, Cape Verde.
Where to eat & drink
The Les Palmiers restaurant offers genuine Cape Verdian food and entertainment, with a buffet of local delicacies, lots of traditional music, dance and a free Caipirinha cocktail for each customer.
The Restaurante Chocolate in Sao Vicente is so much more than just a desserts shop! This is a fantastic place for tasting some of the freshest sushi and sashimi in Cape Verde along with local desserts. Everything is cooked from extra-fresh, local produce here.
The bar, at the 4-star Xaguate Hotel in Sao Filipe is very cosy and hospitable, attracting locals and non-visitors to dance, socialise and have fun together. The drinks are inexpensive and the vistas magnificent. The hotel's pool is also available to the bar's patrons, as well as several other attractive amenities.
The Barracuda Bar is one of the hottest bar-clubs in Santa Maria. With a stage and an outdoors dance floor, this is a very popular hangout for young tourists and water sports enthusiasts.
Where to stay
The Iberostar Club Boa Vista hotel is situated right on the beachfront and offer affordable rooms that ideal for families or couples. This is a luxurious 5 star hotel with children friendly amenities (such as a kid-sized pool and a kids' club) as well as family-focused entertainment.
The Hotel Morabeza provides convenient accommodation for surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, along with unrestricted access to some of Cape Verde's most popular beaches. Rooms are fairly inexpensive and the hotel boasts a beautiful design, ideal for late-night romance.
The Pedra Brabo Inn offers a unique opportunity to stay overnight in the volcano's crater at the island of Fogo. This unique inn is very inexpensive and totally charming. The hotel's restaurant serves the national dish known as "Cachupa" and tourists can arrange for hiking trips to the volcano's top on a daily basis.
The 4-star Xaguate Hotel in Sao Filipe is a cosy, locally themed resort for tourists seeking an authentically Cape Verdean take on their vacations. The staff is very polite and the hotel spacious and clean.
The Casa Cavoquinho offers unique lodgings on Santo Antao. Located high up in the mountains (and quite literally in the middle of nowhere) the scenery and views over the whole island are breathtaking. The restaurant offers traditional Cape Verdean breakfast and very inexpensive, quality food.