Praia de Chaves, Cabo Verde

Photo: Horst [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D
Montego Bay. Playa del Carmen. Punta Cana. Albufeira. Ibiza. You’re getting a bit bored with your regular beach destinations. You still want an all-inclusive resort. That’s nonnegotiable. A gorgeous stretch of sand, plenty of sun loungers, and guaranteed sunshine are priorities, as well. So you start searching for other options.

Cabo Verde is an alternative. The volcanic archipelago lies 350 miles off the coast of Senegal in the Atlantic Ocean. Its 10 islands were uninhabited until the 15th century when the Portuguese discovered an ideal location to base their slave trade. Independent since 1975, Cabo Verde (originally called Cape Verde) has a stable democracy and one of Africa’s highest standards of living. Add beautiful beaches and 350 days a year of sunshine for a great vacation destination.

Sal is the island nation’s most popular island. Some would call it overdeveloped. So you immediately choose another one. Boa Vista is its neighbor. The archipelago’s easternmost island is mostly flat. It’s known for its huge sand dunes (formed by Saharan sand blowing over from Africa), untouched beaches, and nesting loggerhead sea turtles. Sal Rei, its little capital, is the home of morna (a Creole music and dance style) and casual seafood restaurants. A nature reserve, Morro de Areia, covers the entire southwest coast. It borders Praia de Chaves, a golden-sand beach that extends for more than three miles.

Photo: Royal Horizons

At the north end of Praia de Chaves, you’ll find Royal Horizons. The mid-sized resort is all-inclusive, of course. It sits right on the beach and has an uninterrupted view of the turquoise water. Plus, between three pools and thatched palapas on the sand, there are lots of options to spread out and relax.

Royal Horizons is a laid-back resort. Cobbled paths wind around flowering bushes and low stucco buildings painted in bright colors. The light-filled lobby has a pitched wooden roof. Rooms have cool tile floors, brightly colored artwork, and bold yellow accents. Though yours could use some upgrades, it’s comfortable, especially when you push aside the curtains to reveal the balcony and the view of the beach.

The room certainly isn’t your focus here, though. You’re thinking about booking a spa treatment on the beach, eating prawns at Praia Blu, and drinking ponche (a cocktail concocted with locally made grogue) on a day bed by the quiet pool. You’ll look into windsurfing lessons and a deep-sea fishing trip this week, too. Boa Vista is officially in your rotation.

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