Boa Vista is Portuguese for 'good view' and is the easternmost island of Cape Verde located in the Barlovento (windward) group of the islands.
It is an island of sand dunes, long white beaches, and clear sea. Originally named Sao Cristovao when discovered in 1480, the name Boa Vista caught on after sailors cried from the crow's nest of sailing barques "Boa Vista" (meaning Beautiful View). Settled in 1620, by Captain Rodrigo Afonso who obtained a permit for farming cattle and goats, it also developed potteries and weaving. With an area of 620 sq km, it is the 3rd largest island after San Antao and Santiago. It is 455 km west of the coast of Africa.
Although nearly three times larger than Sal, Boavista is a much quieter island, with Sal Rei as its sleepy capital. Of a more uniform, somewhat pentagonal shape, Boavista measures approximately 31 kms by 29 kms at its longest and widest points. It boasts some 55 km of unspoilt beaches with Curralinho beach (better known as Santa Monica) being the largest and most beautiful in Cape Verde. The island is essentially flat, with a barren interior of volcanic formations interspersed with palm filled oases, something of a dramatic extreme. The highest point, Pico d'Estancia, rises 390m above the landscape. An abundance of sand dunes, together with a surface somewhat rusty in colour, gives the island a lunar appearance in places. However, like Sal, the crystal clear, unpolluted waters provide excellent conditions for all forms of water sports.