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The archipelago’s unofficial party capital Mindelo also excels at faster-paced Cape Verde nightlife. Its O’Astro (Chã de Cemitério) and Hi-Step (Fonte Inês) clubs lure large weekend crowds.
The other hotspot for revelry is the capital, Praia, on the island of Santiago. Some of its best and busiest watering holes occupy the waterfront, while Zero Hora (Zona Industrial de Achada Grande Frente) throws DJ-led parties that last into the early hours. Music-wise, expect to hear pop, dance and R&B in these venues, often with a Latin or African tinge.
The cost of shaking your booty on Cape Verde nights out varies, but it’s rare to pay beyond 500 escudos (£4) for club entry. Local Strela beers cost 150 escudos (£1) per pint. And they’re cheaper still during happy hour, which is usually 4-6pm.
For the most raucous Cape Verde nightlife, time your visit to coincide with a local fiesta. May’s Gamboa Festival turns Praia’s beach into a massive dancefloor, while São Vicente’s Carnaval in February/March turns Mindelo into a string of raucous street parties. Less-populous islands such as Santo Antão tend to be much quieter, with just a sprinkling of bars.
However, during archipelago-wide celebrations such as the Festival of São João, parties are common. These events are an especially good time to sample grogue, a lethal sugar cane spirit synonymous with Cape Verde entertainment.
If you’re staying on Sal or Boa Vista, the best bet for Cape Verde nightlife tends to be the resorts themselves. Local musicians regularly perform sets, with imported drinks and high-quality cocktails available to quaff in beachside bars.
Alternatively, choose a surf shack at sunset, order a ponche (grogue, – a rum type liquor distilled from sugar cane – lime and molasses), clink glasses with some new friends and gawp at the stars above the Atlantic.