Cape Verde consists of nine volcanic islands off the western coast of Africa. Most are rugged and mountainous; Sal, Maio, and Boa Vista are flat, desert islands with sand beaches. While the tourist industry is bringing ever-growing numbers of tourists, facilities on many islands remain limited, and yacht charter remains the best way to discover the islands. Cape Verde enjoys a stable, democratic government. The scenic diversity of Cape Verde is ideal sailing conditions all year round in open Atlantic waters. In the north-west you will find the dry islands with jagged mountains of Santo Antao, Sao Vicente and Sao Nicolau; in the east the desert like islands of Sal, Boavista and Maio with their white beaches, in the south the volcano islands with their deep valleys and breathtaking landscapes of Brava, Santiago and Fogo.