"> 2 Week Cape Verde Adventure - Volunteer Overseas with IVI

2 Week Cape Verde Adventure

Welcome to Cape Verde with IVI Volunteers! 2 weeks of fun, exploring and adventure await you, as we take part in activities such as hiking, trekking, snorkelling and rum tasting! Visit local villages, meet the locals and learn their culture, trek through lush rainforest, mountains and valleys, go on a cycling tour and take an ocean adventure, snorkelling and sea kayaking!


Program Description

Get ready for the ultimate Cape Verdean adventure! During this fun packed 2 weeks you will visit the highlights of Santiago island. We will take part in adventurous activities such as hiking, trekking, visiting traditional villages and even exploring a rum factory! Not only does this island have active outdoor adventures, it also has some of the best beaches, with blue waters and golden sands. It’s also an excellent spot for diving and snorkelling.

Program Duration & Availability

Min duration (weeks):2

Max duration (weeks):2

Aims & Objectives

To gain an introduction to Cape Verdean culture and become immersed in the local lifestyle. To experience the best of the island, explore local areas and enquire a deeper understanding of the local culture.


Week 1

Day 1: Sunday

Arrival and transfer to your accommodation.

Day 2: Monday

Northern part of Santiago island

Today is when the adventure begins! We will be visiting the lush green valleys of the North part of Santiago island, admiring the beautiful landscapes and interacting with local people in the villages. Here, we will have the chance to visit a local rum distillery, including a rum tasting!

Later on, we will explore the island’s oldest and largest water dam. After lunch at a local restaurant, we take a trip to the famous black beaches.

Day 3: Tuesday

Serra Malagueta to Mato Brasil Trek

Today, you will take a scenic walking trail from Serra Malagueta to Achada Lagoa and to Mato Brasil. This hiking trail has some remarkable views over the Northern part of the island.

Day 4: Wednesday

Hiking with Lunch at local farmer’s house

Today we will walk the mountains of Serra Malagueta, having lunch at an organic farm. In the valley of Lagoa, you will get the chance to see a traditional Cape Verdean village. Along the trail you’ll see agricultural landscapes and a small oasis. You will meet a local farming family, interact with them and have a tour of their home. Lunch will be served at the farmer’s house.

During this 2 hour hiking trail you may even spot monkeys along the way.

Day 5: Thursday

Gon-Gon – the “King-Track”

Named after the Bird Gon-Gon, the valley of Gon-gon consists of an incredibly beautiful landscape in which we will be hiking through, taking in the stunning views along the way. This hike may be challenging and is classified for accustomed hikers, because of the height and duration of the trek.

We will begin from the nature park of Serra Malagueta, venture down into the Gon-gon valley and then back up, over a ridge. Then it’s downhill all the way through the valley of Principal, until we reach the ocean. The trek is very diverse, with beautiful views throughout- it’s been named the King of Tracks!

*Duration: About 6 hours, Difficulty level: Level 4 (Accustomed hikers)

Day 6: Friday

Mountain Cycling Trip

Today, we will go on a 6 hour cycling tour around the beautiful Tarrafal area, taking in the natural surroundings of the island.

Day 7: Saturday

Free time to relax.

Week 2

Day 8: Sunday

Free time to relax.

Day 9: Monday

Snorkelling tour

Tarrafal has some incredible snorkelling, so today we will go on an underwater adventure on a 2 hour snorkelling trip. The trip will leave from Ponta Atum or at another beach. Your snorkelling guide will advise you on the best spots in Tarrafal and show you some of most exciting marine life.

Day 10: Tuesday

Snorkelling with a fishing boat

Today, we will take part in more snorkelling- this time further out in the ocean around Tarrafal. Venturing further out from the cliffs of Tarrafal, we will have the opportunity to spot a diverse number of fish and if you’re lucky you may even get the chance to swim with the sea turtles!

The day will begin first at the snorkelling centre in Tarrafal, where you will be taught basic technical skills before heading out to sea for a 2 hour trip.

Day 11: Wednesday

Sea Kayaking

Today, we hop into sea kayaks and paddle out to explore the pristine waters surrounding Tarrafal. You will first receive a short briefing on basic paddling techniques before we start. You will also get to visit a nearby lighthouse, enjoying fascinating views of the ocean.

Day 12: Thursday

Kayaking, Fishing Trip and BBQ

Head out into the blue ocean with a local fisherman and catch your own fresh fish! On this boat trip you will catch your dinner, which will be put on the grill a few hours later.

We will leave in the morning-midday (depending on the weather conditions) to catch some fresh fish, the local fishermen knows the best spots and where to find them.

Once returning from the fishing trip, we will have a BBQ with grilled fish caught by YOU!

Day 13: Friday

Island of Santiago

On your last day on Santiago island we will explore some of the off the beaten paths and local areas. We will visit a pottery craft workshop and explore around the Northern areas of Santiago, where we visit an old Lighthouse and an ancient village. Later, we also discover the Tsunami Boulders, which were left by a mega tsunami thousands of years ago.

Day 14: Saturday

This is your last day and we say farewell to the local team and fellow travellers.


Starting Dates

During 2019

Jul 8th Jul 22nd Aug 5th Aug 19th Sep 2nd Sep 16th Oct 7th
Oct 21st Nov 4th Nov 18th Dec 2nd Dec 16th    

During 2020

Jan 6th Jan 20th Feb 3rd Feb 17th Mar 2nd Mar 16th Apr 6th
Apr 20th May 4th May 18th Jun 1st Jun 15th Jul 6th Jul 20th
Aug 3rd Aug 17th Sep 7th Sep 21st Oct 5th Oct 19th Nov 2nd
Nov 16th Dec 7th Dec 21st        


Additional Equipment

Hiking shoes

Sun protection

Refillable water bottle


Tarrafal (also named Mangui or Mangu), gets its name from the indigenous plant Tarrafe (Tamarix senegalensis). It is located on the Northern part of Santiago island. It is also a municipality (government town) and a fishing town.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

You will share a room on a single gender basis. The bathrooms areas shared, with western toilets available.

Available Room Types

Standard Room
All meals included Yes *
Free beverages Yes **
Persons per room 4 – 8
Wifi in public areas Yes
Laundry facilities No
Safety box No
Lockable rooms Yes
Hot shower Yes
Private bathroom No
Bed linen Yes
Towels No
Air conditioning No
Fan Yes
Mosquito protection No

* Three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the week and two meals (breakfast, dinner) during weekends
** Tea, Coffee and Drinking water

Food Arrangements

Local food is a mix of West African, European and Portuguese cuisine. Typical is fresh seafood, corns, beans, rice, potatoes, stews and vegetables. Your daily meals will contain a mix of local and various types of Western food.


There are ATMs, small supermarkets and some shops and restaurants available in the city centre.

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