First a warning. You won't find 5-star hotels on the other islands beyond Sal and Boa Vista. But what you will find is a stimulating experience unlike many of the things you might experience in other vacation destinations.
It is the highest mountain in the Cape Verde islands and the third highest peak among islands in the Atlantic. The goal of your trip here is to get to the top of the volcano to a little village called Chã das Caldeiras. And you can do that via car (hire a guide to take you there, or you can drive up yourself). The view from up there is spectacular. Especially since you are looking straight into the ocean below. It's a magical journey.
|Chã das Caldeiras|
If you have the time and the desire, you can then climb up the peak of the cone that sits within the crater. But you should be as fit as a fiddle as this will take several additional hours to complete. You can read about one reporter's journey (the article covers all the islands including his experience climbing up the cone). The article appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, "Verde Vibes". There was also another great article - "Hiking Cape Verde's Mount Pico".
|Igreja Catolica, São Filipe|
Right behind the church and near the wall overlooking the ocean below, you will find a bakery that serves hot, fresh-baked break every day. Have it with butter. Simply delicious! They use an old-fashioned earthen oven. You can find the bakery with your nose, or just look for the small building with the smoke coming out of it. If you must, use your GPS and go to these coordinates: 14.53.595N, 24.30.057W.
Everywhere you go in Fogo will almost always involve either an uphill or downhill journey. Some of the climbs were so steep, I resorted to taking a taxi at times. LOL. But it's part of the charm of the place.
|Ocean-view Poolside at the Xaguate Hotel|
I you have the opportunity, try to reach Mosteiros, a quaint coastal town on the opposite side of the volcano from São Filipe. The best thing in Mosteiros is the fresh food at a restaurant called Chão de Cafe (15.02.067N, 24,19.596W). You drive around the base of the volcano in a semi circle to get from São Filipe to Mosteiros. You complete the full circle all the way back to São Filipe if you just keep on driving. The entire journey provides spectacular photo opportunities.
You have to take one of the inter-island TACV flights from Santiago to get to Fogo. I know with all the earlier talk about steep inclines, you're probably wondering if the plane lands uphill or downhill. Well, I guess there is at least one flat spot on the island because the airplane lands on a level runway. LOL.