Before you leave
Visa : If you have booked your trip through a tour operator, your tour operator will take care of your visa and you will not need one on arrival. If you are travelling independently, you have two options: you can either apply for a visa at the embassy of your country of origin (a long and laborious process) or you purchase a visa on arrival for 25€.
Passports : European nationals must possess a passport that is valid 6 months after their date of return.
Vaccinations : there are no particular health risks on Cape Verde and no vaccinations are required.
During your stay
Spoken languages : Portuguese (official language) and Creole. English, French and Italian are widely spoken.
Currency : 1 Euro = 110 Escudos (ECV). The euro and escudo are at parity. There is no need to change your Euros before you leave. Euros are accepted by all local stores.
Credit cards : Accepted in most local stores (VISA and MASTERCARD).
Cash withdrawal machines (ATM) : There are ten ATMs in Santa Maria.
Banks : Open from 8 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday.
Time zone : GMT -1
Example of winter times: When it is midday in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, it is 10am in Cape Verde. When it is midday in London and Lisbon, it is 11 am in Cape Verde.
Electricity : 220 volts, European sockets.
Telephone : prefix +238
Cell phones : Excellent coverage.
Internet : Most hotels have WiFi but 3G technology also works. Connection to the Internet is free in cyber cafés and in more fashionable restaurants and bars.
Tips : Tips are not compulsory but highly appreciated.