Riu Touareg, Santa Monica, Boa Vista,
Cape Verde Islands

Christmas 2015

A recommendation

We visited based on Lisa Murray's recommendation and, as ever, she was spot on!

The Riu Touareg Hotel is in the extreme south of the island about 2.5 km west of the headland known as Curral Velho.

The airport is at Rabil, about 30 minutes by road, some blacktop and some gravel / dirt road.

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The hotel architecture is based on some sort of African Castle theme, it is colour matched to the beach sand and from a distance almost blends into the beach.

Generally

The flight isn't arduous, the time zone is only -1 so no jet lag and the weather whilst we were here has been perfect.

Unlike the all inclusive we visited in Mexico several years ago this 2,000 bed hotel has plenty of space for everyone and for every taste, provided you are primarily interested in sun, sand and peace and quiet.

It seems that there is some common ownership between Riu Resorts and Hotels and Tui the Travel Group of whom Thomson are part. In any event, Riu Touareg seems to attact a big majority of British guests, with a scattering of other Europeans particularly from Germany, France, so this is in effect a Thomson hotel.

It is located somewhere in the middle of a very long beach. It took us an hour to walk to the eastern end and an hour in the other direction took us about half way to the other end.

The beach is fine yellow sand, beautiful to walk on and in our two long walks to date we found only a single piece of plastic waste washed up. Undoubtedly the cleanest and nicest beach we have ever seen.

No doubt in time this beach will be lined by a row of gigantic hotels so the best we can suggest is visit it whilst it is the sole development on this side of the island.

Cape Verde

The Cape Verde Islands are a republic which one organisation has rated as the most democratic and least corrupt in Africa. They have a Portuguese colonial history with quite a lot of British influence from the time that one island was an essential re-fueling station for Transatlantic coal fired shipping.

They became a democracy in the 1970s and from the people we have meet they seem pretty well sorted out. Their informal slogan is "No stress".

They seem to be putting all the tourist development on the two most sparsely populated and arid islands, Sal and Boa Vista and avoiding mixing the tourists with the life of the main islands. Somewhat like the strategy used in the Maldives.

The neighbouring tourist island of Sal ("Salt") was visited by Arab traders from at least the 800s to collect salt and was subsequently "discovered" by the Portuguese apparently becoming their first overseas colony. So the language here is Portuguese give or take a bit, but many people in the hotel seemed to speak some English, French and German.

Weather

Perfect, cool at night, hot during the day and warm in the evening.

Insects

Very few and virtually no mosquitoes, really very pleasant indeed!

Beach

Amazing, see the photos!

Big waves

Even more amazing, the waves close to shore we have ever seen, take a loook at our photos!

Some photos

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