The Portuguese found Boa Vista in 1480, shortly after the same sailors came across Maio, Santiago and Fogo's neighboring islands.
It was originally called São Cristovão and was undeveloped except for a few chickens and cattle that Captain Rodrigo Afonso first introduced to the island in 1497.
It is thought that the first human residents were a band of English fishermen who settled in 1620 on the island's southwestern point after finding salt in the arid soil. The tiny city of Povoação Velha was eventually established and there quickly emerged in the small community other sectors such as fabric weaving and pottery.
The island was so thriving that it even had its own priest in 1677.
In an age that rarely saw prosperity, news of Boa Vista's wealth started to spread and the island endured two significant pirate assaults in 1815 and 1817.
The villagers constructed a dramatic fort–the Duque de Branganca Fort–on an islet close Sal Rei, which had become the most significant city on the island to safeguard the island from further assaults.
Boa Vista started to thrive once again under the safety of the amazing fort, which is still a notable sight even today. It became a major cultural center and the birthplace for Cape Verdean music's most popular genre–the' Morna'–a combination of Portuguese ' fado' mournful rhythms with constant African and Brazilian rhythms.
However, its prosperity was again brief lived, and many of the island's inhabitants had immigrated after a sequence of droughts by the mid-19th century. They also went looking for work on islands like São Vicente, which owing to its busy port had become an financial center.
A century later, the inhabitants of Boa Vista became citizens of the Republic of Cape Verde in 1975, along with the population of the other inhabited islands.
Now it offers one of the most secure democratic regimes in Africa.
The government's proposals for Cape Verde, and Boa Vista in specific, are also ambitious. In 2007, as part of the government's strategic program, an global airport was launched on the island to improve local transport and tourism sector availability.
And the strategic program was very efficient, as the recent INE statistics demonstrate.