Travel to Santiago Island – African Island of Contrasts
From a jagged mountainous interior ideal for hiking to relaxing on a palm-lined white sand beach, or experiencing the vibrancy of a West African market, Santiago has it all – the largest Cape Verdean island with something for everyone. The progressive capital, Praia, is now the heart of Cape Verdean culture, with many traditions reflected in its vibrant music.
A predominately green and mountainous island, Santiago has, at its centre, two mountain ranges with lush ribeiras (valleys) supporting a variety of agriculture. A rugged coastline, inaccessible in many places, hides numerous coves and black sand beaches.
Almost half of Cape Verde’s population lives on the island. A good network of mainly paved and largely cobbled roads allows easy exploration into the lush and dramatic interior and down to picturesque coastal fishing villages.
For travellers short on time – a circular tour of the island can be completed in just a day (or at a more leisurely pace in two days). There are enough walks on the island to keep keen hikers busy for a week, culminating perhaps in an ascent of Pico da Antónia, the highest point on the island.
- Take a discovery tour and circumnavigate the island in a day or two
- Stay a few days and explore the mountains and valleys on foot
- Head north and unwind on the white sand beach at Tarrafal