In 1680 a violent volcano eruption left a visible summit in the Atlantic Ocean and it gave its name to an island formerly known as São Filipe. Thus was born the myth of Fogo, an island in the Cape Verde archipelago, in the Sotavento group of islands, with an altitude of nearly 3,000 m above sea level, culminating in the Pico do Fogo. The near entirety of the island is made up by this active volcano, the latest eruption taking place in 2014. The volcano’s caldera measures 9 km across and it has walls that are 1 km high. The caldera has a fracture on the eastern side, a huge peak in the center and its lava flowed down to the east coastline in ancient times.
At the foot of the volcano is the small town of Chã das Caldeiras, where the residents have to be evacuated from time to time when the eruptions begin. Together with the city of São Filipe, it is the neuralgic point for a rising tourist activity focusing on the volcano as its main feature. The island, connected to the rest of the country via the São Filipe Airdrome and the Port of Vale Cavaleiros, is made up by three municipalities: São Filipe, Mosteiros and Santa Catarina do Fogo. It has a population of 37,000 and the economy is based on tourism, agriculture and fishing, coffee and wine being the most important products.
The largest area of interest on the island is the Fogo Natural Park, consisting of 8,469 hectares comprising the area around the volcano and its caldera. The rugged, black lunar landscapes enhance the magnetism and mystical qualities of a unique island. This destination, besides its spectacular surroundings, features a great cultural wealth and the friendly, welcoming nature of its people. The plantations, the handmade products using lava and the rich folklore and musical heritage allow visitors to get to know the idiosyncrasy of these oceanic peoples. Food in Cape Verde presents an interesting combination of African and Portuguese dishes. The national dish is the cachupa, a bean-based dish made using corn, bacon and sausages—simple yet with great flavor. The diet is based on fish, pork, rice and a number of vegetables.
In summary, the singular orographic layout of Fogo makes it the ideal destination for adventure and excursion lovers. Everything on this island is beautiful and exciting, from the small port city of São Filipe, with the splendid colonial buildings, to the volcanic beach of Salina. It is a place where nature shows off its power, giving us the incomparable feeling halfway between attraction and fear.
One of the greatest pleasures of Fogo, something not to be missed, is the excellent grilled lobster washed down with the famous local wine.
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