Category: Why Cape Verde Published on Sunday, 23 October 2011 15:05 Written by Super User Hits: 794
Climb the ultimate peak in Cape Verde, the enormous volcano Pico de Fogo (2829m), and stay inside the crater it emerges from for 2 nights. The stars at night are wonderful here and the 2 walks up and round the peaks in the crater are truly memorable. You then head to the coast for a stay in the pretty town of Sao Filipe and a relax at a comfortable hotel with swimming pool and a gentle walk from the mountains down to the coast through strawberry and pineapple plantations! A visit to Fogo is a must for all keen walkers.
Fogo Island is sandwiched between the islands of Santiago and Brava. It is one of Southern most islands in Cape Verde. The population of the island is approximately 38,000.
The capital of Fogo is the town of São Filipe. Mosteiros in the North-East is the island's second most important town.
Most of the island is an active volcano. It last erupted in 1995, forming a new crater called Pico Pequeno.
A violent eruption took place in 1680 that lasted for a few years. The cloud of smoke was visible hundreds of kilometres away. It was during this eruption that the island earned its name.
Its largest feature is a 9 km wide caldera, which has walls 1 km high. The caldera has a breach in its Eastern rim and a large peak rises in the centre. The central cone Pico de Fogo forms the highest point of Fogo island at 2,829 meters. Its summit is about 100m higher than the surrounding wall of the caldera.
Lava from the volcano has reached the Eastern coast of the island within historical times. A small village, called Chã das Caldeiras, exists at the base of the volcano, and the residents are periodically evacuated during eruptions.
Fogo has an area of 476 km². The entire island is a seamount, called the Cadamosto Seamount. The surrounding ocean can be as deep as 5,300m within a distance of 5 km from the shoreline.
The slopes on the North-Eastern part of Fogo are green and grassy all year round. The rest of the mountain is dry and barren.
Fogo receives a lot of precipitation due to its height above sea level.
History of Fogo Island Cape Verde
Fogo was discovered in 1460 by a Genovese captain António Noli and was first called São Filipe meaning Saint Philip in Portuguese.
It was first settled in the 1480s and is largely an agricultural island.
The Portuguese settled the island in 1500 and it was initially used for the slave trade.
The 1910 civil revolution in Portugal drew aristocracy and large landowners back to Portugal and left civilians behind. A small museum on Fogo explains many of these connections.
Over the years residents of the Fogo left the island searching for a better life elsewhere. Emigration started in the 1850s and many ended up in North America.
Infrastructure and Development on Fogo Island
São Filipe's buildings have classic Portuguese colonial architecture.
Fogo has an airport for internal domestic flights. The island also has schools, a gymnasium, banks, a post office and some hotels.
Property Investment and Developments on Fogo Island Cape Verde
Property investment on Fogo Island has been quite limited to date. Prices are very cheap and it is possible to buy old colonial style houses that need renovation.
Developers may be attracted to Fogo as time goes by and the infrastructure improves.
Economy and Agriculture on Fogo Island
The economy of the island is based on agriculture and fishing. Fogo has very fertile land on the South-Western slopes. Coffee and wine are among the main products.
Fsogo wine is very famous
Many households in Fogo live off money sent back from emigrants in the US and other countries. Emigrants send some money to their relatives in the island even if the senders and receivers no longer know each other.
Tourism on Fogo
Tourism is steadily becoming popular. The volcano is the island's major attraction but many visitors also come to see relatives.
The historic town of São Filipe and Chã das Caldeiras in the volcanic crater receive the bulk of visitors.
Culture and People
Fogo islanders are extremely friendly and welcome foreign visitors.
The people of Fogo speak 'Fogo Creole'. It belongs to the Sotavento Creoles branch of the Cape Verdean dialect.