Fogo (Eng.: “fire”) is one of the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic. It is part of the Cape Verde archipelago Ilhas de Sotavento (Eng.: “Leeward Islands”) and lies east of the islands Brava and west of Santiago. The Pico do Fogo is with 2829 m the second highest mountain in the Atlantic and dominated the island, which has a diameter of about 26 km. The seabed here is on about 5,300 m, making the cone then measuring approximately 8,100 meters from base to tip. The cone rises about 1,000 m above the caldera. On the flank of Pico do Fogo, the last active 1995 Pico Pequeno has risen. The Caldeira, framed by the Bordeira and dominated by Pico do Fogo forms a worldwide unique volcanic ensemble.
Fogo erupted out of the Atlantic 100,000 years ago and has been an active volcano ever since. The most recent erruption was in 1995 which had the inhabitants of Chã das Caldeiras – the crater region at the top of the island – evacuate their homes for 6 months.
A trip to Fogo is not complete without a visit to the otherworldly Chã das Caldeiras including, for the adventurous, an ascent to the 2829m peak Pico de Fogo (allowed only guided, see below).
Almost all over the island, it is dry and warm with a pleasant breeze. Except in the north-east above Mosteiros a fruitful cloud forest is here by the rising north-east trade winds. In the heights, especially at night it can be quite chilly.
The charming main town of São Filipe (approximately 8,300 inhabitants) with its sobrado architecture is worth exploring for a day or so on your way through. It is the largest town of the island, and the regional capital of Fogo. Here is located the only airport (only regional airplanes to Praia/Santiago) and close by a small harbor. Here to go to the ferry to and from Santiago/Praia and Brava.
Mosteiros is a smaller town with about 5,000 inhabitants in the north-east of the island. The remaining villages are small.
The main objectives are:
- Capital of Sao Filipe (there are all essential purchase):
- Museum with exhibits on the culture and volcanism (rewarding the film about the outbreak of 1995).
- Sobrados (colonial architecture)
- Mosteiros with the above-lying fog forest and agricultural cultivation
- La Salina for swimming
- Cha das Caldeiras (Recommendation Guide)
- Pico do Fogo (climb only with guide)
- Pico Pequeno (recommendation with guide)
- Bordeira (to hike around with guide)
Portuguese and Creole. Some people also speak English.
Regular flights to Fogo from Praia and Sal landing in São Filipe. Ask for a seat on the right side of the plane for the best view of the volcano.
In essence, it is an island, perfect for hiking and trekking.
Swimming possibility is practically only at La Salina in the north of the island. The beautiful black sand beach of São Filipe is not suitable for swimming due to dangerous currents.
Caldera is the main attraction to the (extinct) Pico do Fogo. Other volcanic attractions are last active Pico Pequeno and the Bordeira. In Caldeira you find some smaller towns with wine production. The Pico do Fogo is allowed to be climbed only when accompanied by a guide. At other targets it is useful to be guide to see everything important and to be protected from dangers. The cost compared to individual expeditions are favorable. An impression you can get at this guide homepage: Guide Creole.
Above Mosteiros there is a cloud forest with lush vegetation. Here is some agriculture (bananas, coffee, papaya, beans, …). You can hike through the cloud forest coming from the Caldeira going down to Mosteiros. The rest of the island is rather barren, but fruitful, case water for irrigation is available. The usual crops of this climate zone are grown.
Scarce. Occasionally music events take place in the Tropical Club and Pipis Bar
Mainly it is served freshly landed fish and chicken. Beef or pork (as well as fresh meat or in processed form (sausages, …)) is very rare. In smaller convenience stores you can find everything important for your daily needs. In the two-story indoor market are fruits, vegetables and fish offered as well as various small items like T-shirts, leather goods from West Africa and minor services in the upper floor.
Lactose-free products are still unknown. Otherwise, the food is probably good for many allergy sufferers, because fewer highly processed products are offered. However, one can also find these now already.
At Cafe Fixe (i.e.get in contact via this creole guide) is prepared an original Cachupa, a must have tasted meal. It is a bean-corn stew with fish or chicken.