Cape Verde, officially the Republic of Cape Verde, is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa. The islands, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres, are of volcanic origin and while three of them (Sal, Boa Vista and Maio) are fairly flat, sandy and dry, the remaining ones are generally rockier and have more vegetation. The Cape Verde archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 570 kilometres (350 mi) off the coast of West Africa, near Mauritania and Senegal. The country is a horseshoe-shaped cluster of ten islands (nine inhabited) and eight islets. The Ilhas de Barlavento (Windward Islands): Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista; and The Ilhas de Sotavento (Leeward Islands): Maio, Santiago, Fogo, Brava.
The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago, which hosts the nation’s capital, Praia. The mappa map covers all the islands.
Cape Verde’s strategic location at the crossroads of mid-Atlantic air and sea lanes has been enhanced by significant improvements at Mindelo’s harbour (Porto Grande) and at Sal’s and Praia’s international airports. A new international airport was opened in Boa Vista, and on the island of Sao Vicente, the newest international airport (Sao Pedro Airport) in Cape Verde, was opened in late 2009. The major ports are Mindelo and Praia, but all other islands have smaller port facilities. In addition to the international airport on Sal, airports have been built on all of the inhabited islands. Tourism has increased in recent years. Large hotels have been built across the country in an effort to boost tourism. In particular, on the islands of Boa Vista (Club Hotel Riu Karamboa), and Sal (Club Hotel Riu Funana/Garopa – the largest hotel in all of West Africa). The Cape Verde islands have a relatively low crime rate and beautiful beaches, as well as having engaging local people. Tourists and leisure seekers from across Europe and the world are coming to the country in larger numbers.