Santo Antao

Why Santo Antao Island?

Guided walking, hiking and trekking tours on Santo Antao is the best way to see this dramatically beautiful island; here at Walk Santo Antao we offer the most varied walking routes and trails in Cape Verde. Ponta do Sol (fishing town) and the Vale do Paul (a dazzlingly lush valley near Vila das Pombas) are on the North coast – it’s a scenically impressive drive west from Porto Nova ferry. Walk Santo Antao offers guided walks, hiking and trekking tours on Santo Antao which gives you the opportunity to explore and enjoy fantastic lush scenery.

Santo Antao Island, Cape Verde is a subtropical climate, rich in vegetation with high mountains, valleys, and a dramatic coastline. Extinct volcanic crater, great bird-watching and wildlife is just the start! Santo Antao offers authentic charm, peace and quiet, and of course, lots of culture – from steep agricultural terraces and villages to small local restaurants with music and above all, friendly local people.

In Santo Antao, our local economy depends on agriculture and limited tourism, we are happy to welcome you to Cape Verde!


Cape Verde History

Cape Verde is a group of 10 islands of volcanic origin about 400 miles off the western coast of Africa, divided into the ‘Barlavento’ (Windward) islands (including Santo Antao) and the ‘Sotavento’ (Leeward) islands. These once uninhabited islands were first discovered by the ancient Phoenicians, then in the 15th Century were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese. In the 16th century the islands became a trading centre for African slaves, and in 19th century, an important stopping point for transatlantic sea traffic. Portugal made Cape Verde an overseas province in 1951, then the islands gained their independence on July 5, 1975, and have remained a stable, safe democracy. Most of the indigenous population of Cape Verde (around 531,000) are descendants of these earlier people’s, and the although the official language is Portuguese, the everyday is ‘Crioulo’, a Creole dialect; around 50,000 live on Santa Antao.

Nature – Santo Antao Island

Santo Antão Island Natural protected areas include Moroços Natural Park, Cova/Ribeira Paúl/Torre Natural Park, Cruzinha Natural Reserve, Pombas Protected Landscape and Tope de Coroa Natural Park.

Wildlife species of Cape Verde have evolved over millions of years of isolation; one you are very likely to see is the grey-headed kingfisher and hear the Cape Verde swamp-warbler and Iago sparrow, which are endemic species. Seabirds breeding on the island include Fea’s petrel, Frigatebird, and the Red-tailed tropicbird. In the valleys and cultivated land you will see date and coconut palms, mango and carob trees, citrus, almond, papaya and orange trees. Maize, pineapples, coffee and manioc are cultivated on the steep mountainsides on terraced fields that consist partly of black lava soil and partly of white “pozzolana”; you can usually buy coffee beans here from local producers. The fragrance of eucalyptus, lavender and even lotus blossoms often hangs in the air. Acacia, wild figs and dragon trees line the roads in many places.