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Fogo

“The Volcanic Island”

Fogo is the island that best represents the Cape Verdean archipelago’s volcanic origins. The cone that emerges from the island’s center – Pico do Fogo – is an extinct volcano and also the highest point in all the islands (9,281 ft/2,829 m). While that volcano is no longer active, a smaller cone at its base erupted as recently as 1995. From a geological standpoint, we should understand the entire island of Fogo (just like all the other Cape Verde Islands) to be the above-water areas of a much larger – and still volcanically active – underwater mountain range. Also because of its relatively recent geologic age as an island, you’ll notice that the sands of Fogo’s beaches are much blacker and coarser than those of, say, Maio, Boa Vista, or Sal. This is because the lava that originally formed the entire island is still in the process of being eroded down to fine, white sand like that of the much older islands.

Not surprisingly, the best and most unforgettable activities on Fogo are geologically themed: climbing to the very top of the Pico do Fogo, trekking along the much larger ridge of the humongous and ancient volcano that constitutes the island itself, and tasting the wine and other products that are a direct result of the island’s rich, volcanic soil.