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May 17, 2024

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May 10, 2024

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International Travel


Learn About Your Destination

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde
Republic of Cabo Verde
Exercise normal precautions in Cabo Verde. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Cabo Verde.  Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise Increased Caution in:

  • Praia due to crime.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Cabo Verde.

If you decide to travel to Cabo Verde:

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Cabo Verde.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Praia – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Violent crime, such as burglary, armed robbery, and assault, occurs in Praia.


Embassy Message


Quick Facts


Six months beyond the date of intended departure


One page required for entry stamp


Not required for tourist travel under 30 days




1 million Cabo Verdean escudos or equivalent


1 million Cabo Verdean escudos or equivalent

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Praia
Rua Abilio Macedo 6
C.P. 201
Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde
+(238) 260-8948
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (238) 991-3325
Fax: +(238) 261-1355

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry

  • Passport valid for at least six months beyond intended duration of visit
  • Visa – except if entering for tourism for less than 30 days 
  • International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) World Health Organization (WHO) card if arriving on flights from Senegal or other West African countries 

Visas:  Effective February 24, 2020, U.S. citizens entering Cabo Verde for tourism for less than 30 days do not require a tourist visa. For tourist visits longer than 30 days, two types of visas are available: a single-entry visa valid for up to 90 days or a multiple-entry visa valid for five years. Visit the  Embassy of Cabo Verde website for the most current visa information.

You may also apply for a visa upon arrival, valid for a single entry stay of 30 days, and pre-pay at least five days prior to traveling through, or apply and pay in cash (Euros, U.S. Dollars, or Cabo Verdean Escudos) or by Visa/Mastercard, upon arrival at one of the country’s four international airports:

  • Nelson Mandela International Airport 
  • Cesaria Evora Airport 
  • Amilcar Cabral International Airport 
  • Aristides Pereira International Airport 

Travel with Minors:  For both entrance to and exit from Cabo Verde, any parent traveling with a minor should carry the child’s birth certificate. If the child is not traveling with both parents, the non-accompanying parent(s) should provide a signed statement consenting to the child’s travel and naming the adult accompanying the child. 

Airport Security Fee:  All foreign citizens planning to travel to Cabo Verde are required to complete a pre-arrival registration and pay the Airport Security Fee (TSA) at the online electronic platform EASE at least five days prior to entering Cabo Verde.   

The following travelers are exempt from paying the TSA: 

  • Children under two years old; 
  • Passengers on official missions on aircrafts in the private service of Cabo Verde or foreign countries, on a reciprocity basis;   
  • Passengers on planes forced to return to the airport, due to technical or meteorological reasons or any other reasons beyond their control;   
  • Transfer passengers; 
  • Citizens holding a Cabo Verdean passport, their children under 18 years old, and their spouses, upon presentation of a valid ID card (Passport, Identity Card, or National Identification Card);   
  • Resident foreigners, upon presentation of the Residence Permit, Residence Visa, or other valid identification document. 

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Cabo Verde. 

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and Customs Information on our websites. 

Safety and Security

Exercise extreme caution when participating in water sports, such as swimming, boating, and fishing, as the tides and currents around the islands are very strong. Several small fishing boats have been lost at sea, and drownings have occurred on the beaches and along the coast in Santiago, Sal, and on other islands. 

The entire island of Fogo is an active volcano. Future eruptions remain a threat, as do earth tremors throughout the islands, especially on Fogo, Brava, and Santo Antão, and beneath the ocean channels that separate them. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available on our website.

Crime:  Petty crime and burglary are common in Cabo Verde, especially at marketplaces, festivals, street fairs, and public gatherings. Criminals target anyone perceived to be affluent, regardless of nationality. Avoid groups of children who appear to have no adult supervision, since the perpetrators of petty theft and pickpocketing are often groups of street children. Muggings occur often, particularly at night and in more isolated areas, and often involve violence. The perpetrators are predominantly males between the ages of 14 and 25 operating in groups of two or more. Due to inadequate lighting in many public areas, you should be especially vigilant after dark, carry a flashlight to illuminate your path, and never go out alone. You should also keep vehicle doors and windows locked and avoid isolated places. 

It is dangerous to use hillside stairways connecting neighborhoods in Praia and many other Cabo Verdean cities and towns, even in broad daylight. These stairways isolate users and make them vulnerable to assault. 

International Financial Scams:  See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information. 

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of crime are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. 

Report crimes to the local police at 132 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(238) 260-8900 or after hours at +(238) 991-3325. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating crime and prosecuting offenders. 

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas

We can: 

  • Help you find appropriate medical care. 
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police. 
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent. 
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion. 
  • Provide a list of local attorneys.
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution. 
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home. 
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport. 

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. 

Tourism:  The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities are not common. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment may not be readily available. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. There is no hyperbaric/decompression chamber in the country for scuba divers. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Cabo Verde are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.   

The Department of State warns all U.S. citizens against taking any firearms or ammunition into Cabo Verde. If you are caught entering Cabo Verde with firearms or ammunitions, you may face severe penalties, including prison time. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our website for further information.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in both Cabo Verde and the United States.  U.S. citizens who buy these goods are punishable under Cabo Verdean law. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Cabo Verde.

See our LGBTI page and our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: There are significant hardships in Cabo Verde for persons with limited mobility due to rugged terrain, widespread use of cobblestone streets and pathways, very limited number of elevators in buildings, and frequent power outages.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips page.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


For emergency services in Cabo Verde, dial 132

Medical facilities in Cabo Verde are limited, and some medications are in short supply or otherwise unavailable. The country’s largest hospitals are in Praia and Mindelo. There are smaller public health centers and private medical clinics, of variable quality in both personnel and equipment, throughout the country. Transportation between islands is difficult, and inter-island medevac options are limited. The islands of Brava and Santo Antão do not have operational airports, which makes air evacuation in the event of a medical emergency difficult. 

Those traveling to Cabo Verde for scuba diving should be aware that there is no hyperbaric/decompression facility on the islands. 

Ambulance services are: 

  • not widely available, and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.   
  • not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas.
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.   
  • not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment.   
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance. 

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. 

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance coverage overseas. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on types of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas. 

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.  

Vaccinations:   Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Further health information:  

Air Quality:  Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. embassies and consulates. 

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals.  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic. 

Health facilities in general:

  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.   
  • Most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment. 
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.  
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.  


  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States.  Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States.  Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.    

Water Quality:

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe.  Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.  

Adventure Travel:

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

General Health:

The following diseases are prevalent: 

Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets.  Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Cabo Verde.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Cabo Verde has an extensive road system. On the islands of Santiago, Sal, and São Vicente, many urban and rural roads are asphalt. On other islands, some roads are narrow, winding, and mostly cobblestone.

During the rainy season, cobblestone roads are especially slippery, and mud and rockslides are common on roads that cut through mountains. Roads and streets often are unlit and driving at night is hazardous.

Traffic Laws: Most accidents result from aggressive driving, speeding, passing on blind curves, and/or on inclines or declines in the rain.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious problem in Cabo Verde and U.S. citizens could face severe penalties, including prison time, for driving under the influence. You are most likely to encounter a drunk driver on Sundays and at night. Exercise extreme caution toward both pedestrians and other drivers after celebrations, festivals, and open-air concerts as well as during holiday periods, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Carnival.

Public Transportation: Praia has three principal modes of public transport: taxi, bus, and commuter vans. Using buses and vans is strongly discouraged. These vans may have a fixed, but flexible route and often contain more passengers than is safe. Licensed, registered taxis are clearly marked and tan/cream in color. While official taxis are considered safe and reliable, passengers should still exercise good common sense and avoid sharing a taxi with strangers.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Cabo Verde’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Cabo Verde’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to Cabo Verde should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

 For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: February 9, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Praia
Rua Abilio Macedo 6
C.P. 201
Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde
+(238) 260-8948
+ (238) 991-3325
+(238) 261-1355

Cabo Verde Map