Fogo Cape Verde (Fogo is Portuguese for “fire”) is the most prominent island of the Sotavento group of Cape Verde: it rises to nearly 3,000 m above sea level at its summit, Pico do Fogo. From sea level it drops another 5,300 m at a distance of only 5 km from the shoreline making it nearly twice the height of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It last erupted 2014, forming a new crater called Pico Pequeno, the “little peak”. The largest volcanic feature is a 9 km wide caldera, which has walls 1 km high. Lava from the volcano has reached the eastern coast of the island within historical times.
The largest city of the island, São Filipe, is located to the west of Fogo. With about 20,000 inhabitants, it’s the fourth-largest city of Cape Verde after Praia, Mindelo and Assomada. The island is becoming progressively more popular with tourists looking for something a little out of the ordinary for their holiday. The beaches, which are black from the volcanic lava, may not be as stunning as those on other Cape Verde islands but the landscape throughout is quite spectacular and a trek up to the top of Pico de Fogo makes for a highly memorable trip. What’s more, the island produces its very own delightful and highly intoxicating wine from grapes grown inside the volcano’s crater.