Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Cabo Verde International Travel Information
Rua Abilio Macedo 6
Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde
Telephone: +(238) 260-8948
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (238) 991-3325
Fax: +(238) 261-1355
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Cabo Verde for information on U.S. – Cabo Verde relations.
Requirements for Entry:
Visas: Two types of visas are available: a single-entry visa valid for up to 90 days or a multiple-entry visa valid for five years. You can apply for a visa at the Cabo Verdean Embassy in Washington, D.C. Please see their website for the most up-to-date visa requirements. You may also apply for a visa upon arrival, valid for a single entry stay of 30 days, and pre-pay at least five days prior to traveling through www.ease.gov.cv, or apply and pay, in cash (Euros, U.S. Dollars, or Cabo Verdean Escudos) or by Visa/Mastercard credit card, upon arrival at one of the country’s four international airports:
Airport Security Fee: All non-exempt travelers (see exemption list below) must pay an international airport security fee each time they enter Cabo Verde. For faster processing upon arrival, it is recommended that you pre-register and pre-pay (via Visa/Mastercard credit card) through www.ease.gov.cv, at least five days prior to traveling. You should print out the confirmation email and present this document to the customs officials. You may also pay the airport security fee and visa-upon-arrival fee when you land in Cabo Verde, but processing is slower and you will pay a small surcharge. The airport security fee may be paid at the airport in cash (Euros, U.S. Dollars or Cabo Verdean Escudos) or by Visa/Mastercard credit card. The below individuals are exempt from the airport security fee:
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Cabo Verde.
Travel with Minors: For both entrance to and exit from Cabo Verde, any parent traveling with a minor should carry the child’s birth certificate . If the child is not traveling with both parents, the non-accompanying parent(s) should provide a signed statement consenting to the child’s travel and naming the adult accompanying the child.
Exercise extreme caution when participating in water sports, such as swimming, boating, and fishing, as the tides and currents around the islands are very strong. Several small fishing boats have been lost at sea in recent years and drownings have occurred on the beaches and along the coast in Praia, Sal, and on other islands.
The entire island of Fogo is considered to be an active volcano. Future eruptions remain a threat, as do earth tremors throughout the islands, especially on Fogo, Brava, and Santo Antão, and beneath the ocean channels that separate them. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the Ready initiative.
Petty crime and burglary are common in Cabo Verde, especially at marketplaces, festivals, street fairs, and public gatherings. Criminals target anyone perceived to be affluent, regardless of nationality. Avoid groups of children who appear to have no adult supervision; the perpetrators of petty theft and pickpocketing are often groups of street children. Muggings occur often, particularly at night and in more isolated areas, and ofteninvolve violence. The perpetrators are predominantly male between the ages of 14 and 25 operating in groups of two or more. Due to inadequate lighting in many public areas, often caused by rolling power cuts in urban neighborhoods, you should be especially vigilant after dark, carry a small flashlight to illuminate your path, never go out alone, keep vehicle doors and windows locked, and avoid isolated places.
It is dangerous to use hillside stairways connecting neighborhoods in Praia and many other Cabo Verdean cities and towns, even in broad daylight. These stairways isolate users and make them vulnerable to assault.
Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in both Cabo Verde and the United States. U.S. citizens who buy these goods are punishable under Cabo Verdean law.
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 132 (the local equivalent of 911) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(238) 260-8948 or after hours at + (238) 991-3325.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities are not common. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. Medical facilities in Cabo Verde are limited. The country’s two largest hospitals are in Praia and Mindelo, and there are smaller hospitals, public health centers, and private medical clinics throughout the country. Transportation between islands is difficult and inter-island medevac options are limited. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment may not be readily available. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. There is no hyperbaric/decompression chamber in the country for scuba divers. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Cabo Verde are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Cabo Verde.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: There are significant hardships in Cabo Verde for persons with limited mobility due to rugged terrain, widespread use of cobblestone streets and pathways, very limited number of elevators in buildings, and frequent power outages.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical facilities in Cabo Verde are limited, and some medications are in short supply or otherwise unavailable. The country’s largest hospitals are in Praia and Mindelo. There are smaller public health centers and private medical clinics, of variable quality in both personnel and equipment, throughout the country. The islands of Brava and Santo Antão do not have airports which makes air evacuation in the event of a medical emergency impossible.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
There is a risk of the following diseases in Cabo Verde:
Those traveling to Cabo Verde for scuba diving should be aware that there is no hyperbaric/decompression facility on the islands.
If you need a doctor in Cabo Verde, a list of medical providers and hospitals is available on the U.S. Embassy Praia website.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: Cabo Verde has an extensive road system. On the islands of Santiago, Sal, and São Vicente, many urban and rural roads are asphalt. On the other islands, some roads are narrow, winding, and mostly cobblestone.
During the rainy season, cobblestone roads are especially slippery, and mud and rockslides are common on roads that cut through mountains. Roads and streets often are unlit and driving at night is hazardous.
Traffic Laws: Most accidents result from aggressive driving, speeding, passing in blind curves, and/or on inclines or declines in the rain.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a problem in Cabo Verde. The peak times for drunk drivers are on Sundays and at night. Exercise extreme caution toward both pedestrians and other drivers after celebrations, festivals, and open-air concerts as well as during holiday periods, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Carnival.
Public Transportation: Praia has three principal modes of public transport: taxi, bus, and commuter vans. Using buses and vans is strongly discouraged. These vans may have a fixed, but flexible route and often contain more passengersthan is safe.Licensed, registered taxis are clearly marked and tan/cream in color. While official taxis are considered safe and reliable, passengers should still exercise good common sense and avoid sharing a taxi with strangers.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Cabo Verde’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Cabo Verde’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Cabo Verde should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website select “broadcast warnings.”