Shore Excursion Details

Mindelo - the Cultural Capital

Porto Grande, Cape Verde

Mindelo - the Cultural Capital


  • 31/2
    hrs Estimate Duration

This exceptional tour presents the cultural side of Mindelo through its museum, open-air market African market, historic quarter and a traditional dance performance.

Departing from the pier, you'll first drive through downtown, stopping at Praca Nova, a beautiful colonial square that offers a glimpse into the city's casual social life. Still, Mindelo is known more as the island's cultural heart. You will experience this first-hand at a handicraft exhibition and then at the esteemed Cultural Center, a historical colonial building that hosts different cultural activities such as a theater, one of the very rare book shops on Cape Verde, cultural events, and a changing exhibition of local art.

Continuing on, you'll notice the streets are lined with well-preserved colonial buildings and monuments commemorating key historical events. Mindelo even boasts a replica of Lisbon's famed Belem Tower, an homage to the Portuguese naming the island Sao Vicente after discovering it on Saint Vicente's Day in 1462. The Praca Estrela marketplace is another landmark, where the predominantly West African merchants display wares ranging from handmade crafts to fine jewelry. Even more cultural and architectural treasures await you in the historic quarter, ever deepening your understanding of life in Cape Verde.

The highlight though may well be watching a traditional dance performance, complemented by a glass of "pontche," an island cocktail made with sugar-cane molasses and "grogue," the national liqueur of Cape Verde. Both the dance and the beverage are presented with great pride, as they reflect the island's cultural diversity. Afterwards, you'll return to the pier.

Need to Know:

This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy to moderate walking/standing and includes uneven surfaces and stairs to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Transportation is usually via buses that do not have air-conditioning and which are used at other times as public transportation on the island. There are no restroom facilities available on this tour.

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Excursion Type:

Scenic & City Tours
Historical Landmarks

Activity Level:

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Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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