The Island of Fogo is an immense volcano emerging from the depths of the Atlantic. According to documents from the XVth century, the island was initially named São Filipe but volcanic eruptions led its inhabitants from the fourteen hundreds to change its name to “Fogo” (fire).
Mount Fogo, Fogo Island, Cape Verde
The greatest spectacle of all and a sight not to be missed when visiting Cape Verde is the great crater of Chã das Caldeiras with its black volcanic moonscape, monstrously contorted lava flows, and great Peak of Fogo do Pico (2829m). Mount Fogo (Pico) is an active stratovolcano rising 2829m above sea level, surrounded by V3000-m-deep oceanic waters. Its most recent eruption dates back to 1995. On the night of April 2, lava started flowing from the base of the pico cone, within the caldera. The lava smothered a village and destroyed the farmland. Fogo reclaimed the caldera.
The mountain’s slopes are used to grow coffee, while its lava is used as building material. Near its peak is a caldera, in which sits the Pico do Fogo ash cone. A small village, Chã das Caldeiras, is inside this caldera. The best way to start the climb to Pico de Fogo is from the little town of Chã das Caldeiras. The path takes about five hours from here – after all, there is a 1000-metre difference in elevation to climb. Good footwear is absolutely necessary due to sections of the route that are steep and others that pass through fine scree (volcanic ash).
After the climb, reward yourself with a good meal and have a taste of the local wine: red or white Cha wine. When nighttime comes, go to Casa das Ramiro in Bangaeira, and drink a glass of Manecon, a very special local wine, and enjoy the live music !