FOGO Island with an area of 476 km² and a population of 38,000 is one of islands belonging to the Sotavento (Leeward) group of the Cape Verde Islands. The island is volcanic and is the most prominent of the group, due to the altitude of the volcano called Pico do Fogo.
The volcano has been historically very active since the island was discovered, burning almost continuously from 1500 to 1760 and serving as a beacon to the many mariners that passed by the Cape Verde Islands. It’s last eruption was in 1995, even though it didn’t disturb the vineyards and French restaurant that nestle inside its crater. You can see the video of the eruption at the bottom of this page.
The volcano crater is Fogo’s most spectacular feature, with 9km in diameter. The crater has a slit in its eastern wall, and a large peak that rises in its center. The central cone peak is the highest point of the island (2 829 m) and its peak is about 100 m higher than the lining of the crater that surrounds it. Lava flow from the volcano has reached the eastern coast of the island in historic times.
At Chã das Caldeiras, a small village located inside the crater, the smell of sulphur is still present since the last eruption. The 2.829 meter-high Pico do Fogo volcano is not only the highest point in the island, but also in the Cape Verde Archipelago.
Vineyards are grown inside the crater, while coffee is grown in the valleys. On the exterior slope there is a small forest of eucalyptus, jacaranda and acacia trees called Monte Velha Natural Park. Escalating the Pico do Fogo volcano from Chã das Caldeiras is an unforgettable experience.
Due to it’s very active volcano the beaches in Fogo Island are of black sand, no different to white or yellow beaches except for the color as can be seen from the picture on the left.
São Filipe is the island’s capital and biggest city. With a population of approximately 8.000 inhabitants it is located in the southwestern part of the island, is known for its black sandy beach, abundant gardens, trees, flowers, flora and its historic architecture.