To locate most of the shops mentioned below please refer to the map of map of Sal Rei.
Contrary to popular belief it is possible to buy most basic foods, toiletries and medicines on Boa Vista so there is no need to pack these unless you have no intention of visiting the main town Sal Rei where all the best shops are located.
As a general rule shops tend to open around 9am and close at 12:30 reopening at 15:30 until 18:30. Saturday is a half day with most shops closing by 1pm and Sunday everywhere is closed. In the case of emergencies the shell garage on the road out of Sal Rei to the airport opens 7 days a week from 07:30 to 22:30 and has water, cigarettes, beer and a small range of food and non-food items.
The only shop on the island that provides a range of goods that would not look out of place in a UK supermarket is Boas Compras in Sal Rei (map ref:36). In addition to a full range of food and non-food items the 4 storey side extension offers a hairdresser and beauty salon with showers and a treatment table, a floor of electrical goods including white goods and a floor of household items such as kitchen and tableware. Boas Compras also provides a home delivery service.
The other food shops fall into 3 main categories. Mini markets, Chinese Lojas and the local Bars/Merceria.
These sell a range of food items including fresh produce and some basic chilled items along with basic toiletries. The 3 main shops in the centre of Sal Rei are:
Neves and Filhos on the main square next to the BCN bank (map ref:22).
Pinto & Pinto’s opposite the A Paz hotel just off the main square (map ref:50).
Djidji Mini Market at top of hill near the port (map ref:6).
The pharmacy is located in a side street off the main square behind the municipal library (map ref:23).
Newly opened Portuguese gift shop selling items of clothing and accessorise (map ref:53).
Boa Vista also has shops that can supply basic hardware and DIY products including tools, electrical supplies, key cutting services, curtain poles and many other necessary items. EMA (map ref: 44).
These are numerous and scattered around Sal Rei, they usually offer a range of cheap imported clothing including beachwear, but do not expect any high fashion! They also provide imported plastic wares and household goods along with some food items.
These are small shops usually the front rooms of houses that provide a range of canned and packet goods and some basic toiletries as well as alcohol and tobacco, they will usually have a counter or bar where you can order and consume alcoholic drinks. Outside of Sal Rei these are the only types of shop you will encounter.
There are also shops selling souvenirs and goods produced by local artists. The main souvenir shops in Sal Rei are:
A Baleia Azul:
The A Baleia Azul gift shop has recently relocated to the public pier opposite Temanche Bar (map ref:29).
In the main square next to Bar Cocoa (map ref:20). The shop sells various local curiosities and souvenirs of the island. Morena can also organise car hire, island tours and horse riding
Tel: 00238 2511445
On the west side of the main square (map ref:40). The shop again provides many local souvenirs and has a range of Cape Verdean music. Olitour can also arrange car hire and quad bike tours.
Tel: 00238 2511743
Mob: 00238 9923884
There are also a range of shops selling artefacts produced by local artists which you will see when you wander around the local streets.
Mario Costa is a local Cape Verdean photographer who displays and sells his pictures of Boa Vista in his gallery (location 17).
Tel: 00238 9924860
For the more adventurous shopper, close to the Touristic Harbour is the African Market (map ref:56) with goods of interest. Head there if you feel brave, don’t be taken in by a sob story with the intention of extracting money from you. If you are not interested, rather ignore them, once you enter into conversation, it would be difficult to get away. Whatever happens, NEVER let them put jewellery on you, they will get aggressive in getting you to pay for it! Although the problem is not nearly as bad as on neighboring Sal.
Fresh Local Produce:
For fresh fruit and vegetables can be bought at the Municipal Mercado in the main square (map ref:43) where the villagers from the towns of Norte travel in daily to Sal Rei to sell their produce.
Fish can be purchased directly form the fishermen as they arrive back at the public pier or on Praia Diante (map ref:21).
Freshly baked bread and rolls are available most days from early until late at the “Padaria Tuna” (location 9) at the top of the hill in Sal Rei, next to the Riba d’olte restaurant.
There is a new bakery (location 9) next to the Riba d’Olte Restaurant.
There is a launderette (Lavaria) at the entrance to town from Rabil (location 58). Laundry is charged by weight and is collectable the day after it is dropped off