According to Cape Verde’s Institute of Statistics, of the 765,000 visitors that stayed at a hotel in Cape Verde during 2018, less than 7,000 (0.9 percent) were from the United States. The reasons for such a small number are not surprising: travel options from the U.S. to Cape Verde were scarce and extremely pricey.
Apart from weekly flights between Providence or Boston to the archipelago, the only way to get there was stopping once or twice and making multiple connections throughout Europe. As previously mentioned, these itineraries were not cheap. Not even the beautiful islands of Cape Verde were enough to motivate American travelers to visit.
However, this is set to change. In December, Cabo Verde Airlines, now partly owned by Icelandair Group, launched three weekly flights to Washington D.C. (IAD). The airline also announced that it would be increasing flights to Boston (BOS) with up to twice weekly service. To start up these routes, the airline’s price strategy has been quite aggressive.
While the U.S. to Europe to Cape Verde sector can still be found for no less than $1200 round-trip with other carriers these itineraries can take up to 21 hours. However, Cabo Verde Airlines offers nonstop flights from Washington and Boston for about half of that price. Here’s how you can fly from the United States to Cape Verde from just $620 round-trip.
Departure City: Boston (BOS) or Washington/Dulles (IAD)
Arrival City: Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde (SID)
Price: ~$620 round-trip in economy class
Dates: January 2020 – November 2020
Airline: Cabo Verde Airlines
Trip Duration: 1+ Days
While these fares can be found weeks in advance, Cabo Verde Airlines also offers last-minute trips starting at $620 round-trip. Plus, if you are an avgeek, Cabo Verde Airlines’ fleet is still comprised almost entirely of Boeing 757s, an aircraft with a cult-like following among aviation enthusiasts. Here are a few sample itineraries.
Washington/Dulles (IAD) to Sal (SID) – $627 R/T in Economy Class – February 2020 — Book it
Washington/Dulles (IAD) to Sal (SID) – $627 R/T in Economy Class – January 2020 — last-minute deal — Book it
Boston (BOS) to Sal (SID) – $619 R/T in Economy Class – February 2020 — Book it
Boston (BOS) to Sal (SID) – $627 R/T in Economy Class – January 2020 — last-minute deal — Book it
An important detail is that twice weekly flights offered by the airline from Cape Verde to Boston may include a stop in the city of Praia once a week. That being said, these flight alternate between Praia-Boston-Sal on Saturdays and Sal-Boston-Praia on Tuesdays.
However, inter-island flights are quite reliable in Cape Verde, connecting Sal, Praia and other cities daily. Whether you want to visit more than one island or plan on traveling to Praia and returning to Boston through Sal or vice-versa, this should not be a problem. Currently, Cabo Verde Airlines connects Praia to Sal daily with a wet-leased ATR 42-300, with prices around $84. Last-minute fares are also available on this route.
Praia (RAI) to Sal (SID) – $84 one-way in Economy Class – January 2020 — Book it
Additionally, Binter Cabo Verde, a branch from Canary Islands’ Binter Canarias, serves the islands with three ATR 72s. Prices are somewhat higher — priced at 9,550 Cape-Verdean escudos worth $96.17 as of Jan. 4, 2020. Tickets are on sale at Binter’s website and last-minute fares don’t typically increase all that much.
Praia (RAI) to Sal (SID) – ~$96 one-way in Economy Class – January 2020 — Book it
To book these flights, you can do so on the airline’s own websites. Each airline has their own English versions. Additionally, tools and aggregators like Google Flights do not list Cabo Verde Airline’s connections between the U.S. and Cape Verde. That being said, each airline’s websites are pretty intuitive and choosing flights should not be difficult.
Apart from beautiful beaches and landscapes, Cape Verde has an overall strong touristic infrastructure, with thousands of Europeans visiting the islands every year. Huge hotel chains are also interested in Cape Verde; Hilton has its own resort near Sal and Marriott is set to open a Four Points in São Vicente Island by 2022. With seemless flights from the US to the islands, you’ll be able to relax, choose which islands to visit and which major hotels to book. Spring break anyone? Boa viagem!