Fogo Travel Guide

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A homestead at Chã das Caldeiras

A homestead at Chã das Caldeiras

Ingvar

Fogo is one of the Sotavento islands. It consists of the remnants of an exploded old volcano. This is a caldera in geological terminology, here called Chã das Caldeiras. Only the periphery of the old volcano remains but more recent eruptions have created a new cone-formed volcano, Pico de Fogo, which reaches 2829 m a.s.l. For many tourists this is the major attraction of Fogo and it dominates the landscape. Its latest eruption was in 1995, but also older lava flows are found in different parts of the caldera and on the eastern slopes of the island. The younger flows are black and with little or no vegetation; they look like moon landscapes.
However, the great majority of the 40,000 inhabitansts live outside the caldera, on the slopes of the old volcano. The island is of great interest also for the culturally inclined tourist, and there are many interesting walks all over the island, most of them also including beautiful sights.
Swimming is dangerous at most places. Small protected shores with black sand occur at Ponta da Salina and close to the harbour.
Fogo is the hottest of the Cape Verdian islands. The southwest is dry but north of the caldera, towards Mosteiros, the climate is wetter. Here are found plantations of coffee and various fruits, including grapes. The wine of Fogo is becoming famous and is to a large degree exported.
São Filipe is the main town on Fogo, founded already in the 16th century. The central parts of the town have maintained the colonial character with many old buildings, particularly so called sobrados, two-story buildings erected by the white landowners. Some of the buildings are under governmental protection.
São Filipe is a rather sleepy town, but it is growing rapidly in its periphery. It is the starting point for any visit to Fogo. The airport is just outside town.

Mosteiros is the secondmost important community. The oldest church (19th century) is found in São Lourenço.

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January 14, 2011 change by ingvar

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