Santo Antão: A Hiker's Paradise

mindelo, cape verde, cap vert, marina, boat, visit, tourism, restuarant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar

I found paradise! A land full of tropical fruits, coffee and foreign vegetables. With people so easy-going that you think that you know them since forever. A land where hard physical work pays off and nobody will ask you for a handout. And if children will approach you, they'll not ask you for food or escudos, all they'll ask for are pencils. This is Santo Antão, the lush green yard and lung of Cape Verde.

[Versión española abajo]

Every visitor arrives in Porto Novo: the harbour of Santo Antão is the arrival point of the ferry connecting the island to Mindelo, São Vicente. There used to be an airport, but they shut it down due to its short landing strip. Porto Novo only offers a small foretaste of what the island holds for you. From here you have 2 options: or you head West to the island's only beach area, Tarrafal, or you get an aluguer direction Ponta do Sol (4€ per person) and discover mountainous landscapes of a lifetime. We'll drive East, stay there without ever seeing the beach area and extending our stay twice.

 

What is it that makes every visitor fall in love with this island? Maybe the breathtaking views, the staggering hights, the kindness of its people, its large variety of fruits? After Mindelo, sometimes a bit stifling, Santo Antão comes like a fresh breeze full of green oxygen. Except the Azores, no landscape impacted me so much. Every morning I woke up full of joyful anticipation to discover new hiking trails through this imposant natural setting. And there are plenty of hikes to do. We stayed 10 days and didn't have the time to do them all. The most famous ones are Cova - Valle de Paúl and Ponta do Sol - Cha de Igreja. (A detailed post about hiking trails in prep.)

 

During the hikes you'll see the hard but simple life of the habitants of Santo Antão. The intensive agricultural use of the land made them construct terraces in the most isolated and dizzying corners of the mountains. Throughout the year, nature is very generous: most houses are surrounded by banana, coconut and papaya trees, coffee plants and depending on the season mangos, avocados and oranges. I discovered vegetables I never heard of before: igname, fruta do pão (breadfruit), manioc, sweet potatoes and a sheer endless pumpkin variety.

 

Many restaurants reflect this variety of fruits and vegetables on their menu cards. Fresh fruit juices can be found everywhere and the catch of the day comes with a wide selection of vegetables as a side. We loved "Casa Maracuja" for all its dishes prepared with love and passion fruit. Another very special place is "Amor do Dia" next to the Cova crater. It serves the best breakfast on the island: home-made bread, fresh milk, self-made goyaba jam... and then you're ready to start St. Antão's most spectacular hike from Cova to Vila das Pombas!

 

Santo Antão's impact on me is hard to put in words. The greatly contrasting landscapes triggered so many profound sensations that make it difficult for me to put them to paper. The effects of its staggering hights still resonate in my memories. With this in mind, this post is only a first humble attempt to express the unique beauty of Santo Antão. 

 

For practical information about Santo Antao, please visit: TodoCaboVerde.com


Some restaurants, especially those who are located in very isolated villages just have a day menu (prato do dia). The freshness of the products and the unbeatable cost (~2,50€ per menu) make them an interesting option for those who travel on a budget. We loved Bar Tchú in Fontainhas, probaby the most picturesque village of Santo Antão, if not Cape Verde. The amiable nature of its owner will make you feel like at home from the moment you step in. His daily menu will give you the strength to master one of the most popular hikes form Ponta do Sol to Chã de Igreja.


santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Hiking to Coculi - De ruta a Coculi

¡He encontrado el paraíso! Un paisaje lleno de frutas tropicales, café y verduras desconocidas. Con gente tan relajada, que me sentía como si la conociera desde siempre. Un país en el que el duro trabajo físico es rentable y nadie te viene pedir limosna. Y si los niños se te acercan, no van a pedir comida o dinero, pedirán que les des lapices. Estás en Santo Antão, el jardín tropical de Cabo Verde.

 

Cada visitante llega primero a Porto Novo: el puerto de Santo Antão es la única forma con la que la isla está conectada a Mindelo, São Vicente. Había un aeropuerto pero lo cerraron por su pista de aterrizaje demasiada corta. Porto Novo solo ofrece un preludio a lo que la isla tiene guardado para ti. Desde aquí tienes 2 opciones: o tiras para el oeste en dirección de la única playa de la isla, Tarrafal, o coges un aluguer direction Ponta do Sol (4€ por persona) y descubrirás el paisaje montanoso de tu vida. Nosotros iremos dirección este, sin ver nunca la zona de playa, pero prolongando nuestra visita 2 veces.

 

¿Qué es lo que enamora a cada visitante de esta isla? ¿Tal vez las vistas deslumbrantes, las alturas vertiginosas, la amabilidad de su gente o su gran variedad de frutas? Después de Mindelo, a veces un poco agobiante, Santo Antão viene como una brisa fresca llena de oxígeno. Salvo los Azores, ningún paisaje me ha impresionado más. Cada mañana me levanté llena de alegre anticipación para descubrir nuevas rutas de senderismo en este impresionante entorno natural. ¡Y hay mil rutas! Nos quedamos 10 días y no tuvimos tiempo para hacerlas todas. Las más conocidas son Cova-Valle de Paúl y Ponta do Sol - Chã de Igreja. (Un post detallado sobre trekking está en preparación)

 

Durante las rutas verás la dura pero simple vida de los habitantes de Santo Antão. El uso agrario intensivo les hizo construir terrazas en los rincones más altos y vertiginosos de las montañas. La naturaleza es muy generosa: muchas casas están rodeadas por plataneros, cocoteros, papayos, planta de café y, en función de la temporada, mangos, aguacate y naranjas. Descubrí verduras que nunca ví antes: ñame, fruta del pan, manioca, batata dulce y una variedad casi infinita de calabazas.

 

Los menús de muchos restaurantes reflejan esta variedad. Zumos naturales se pueden tomar por doquier y la pesca del día viene acompanada de una gran selección de verduras. Nos encantó "Casa Maracuja" por sus platos preparados con amor y fruta de la pasión. Otro lugar muy especial es "Amor do Dia" justo al lado del cráter de Cova. Sirve el mejor desayuno de la isla: pan casero, leche fresca, mermelada casera. Te da un mogollón de energía para la ruta más espectacular de Santo Antão desde Cova a Vila das Pombas.

 

El impacto de Santo Antão resulta difícil de resumir. Sus paisajes majestuosos causaban tantas sensaciones que me faltan palabras para describirlas. Los efectos de sus alturas deslumbrantes todavía suenan en mis recuerdos. Teniendo esto en cuenta, este post es solamente un primer humilde intento de expresar la belleza única de Santo Antão.

 

Para información práctica sobre Santo Antao, os recomiendo la siguiente página: TodoCaboVerde.com

mindelo, cape verde, cap vert, marina, boat, visit, tourism, restuarant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar
Local Delicacies - Delicias locales

Algunos restaurantes, sobre todo en los pueblos más aislados, solo ofrecen un menú del día (prato do día). Por su calidad de los productos y su precio inmejorable (~2,50€ por menú) son atractivos sobre todo para los que viajan con poco presupuesto. Nos encantó Bar Tchú en Fontainhas, probablemente el más pintoresco de Santo Antao, sino de Cabo Verde. Te sentirás como en casa nada más al pisar el bar. El dueno es simplemente un encanto. Su menú del dia os dará toda la energía para hacer una de las rutas más populares de Ponta do Sol a Cha de Igreja.


santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Urban Art in Ribeira Grande - Arte urbano en Ribeira Grande
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Santo Antao is 100% Nature! - Santo Antao es 100% naturaleza!
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Breathtaking Views! - VIstas deslumbrantes!
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
The spectacular setting of Fontainhas - El entorno impresionante de Fontainhas
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Fontainhas, aka Cape Verde's most picturesque village - Fontainhas: el pueblo más pintoresco de Cabo Verde
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Scene in Fontainhas - Escena en Fontainhas
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
In deep awe for the hard working people of Santo Antao - Mi respeto para la gente trabajadora de Santo Antao
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Terraces shape the island's landscape - Terrazas condicionan los paisajes de la isla
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Daily Grind near Coculi - Vida Cotidiana cerca de Coculi
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
The impressive setting of Sinagoga - El entorno impresionante de Sinagoga
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Tasting the local liquors - Probando los licores de la isla
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
One of my favorites: Valle de Paúl - Uno de mis lugares preferidos: Valle de Paúl
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Landscapes that leave you speechless - Paisajes que te dejan sin palabras
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Hidden Gems - Joyas Escondidas
santo antao, sint antao, cape verde, cap vert, hiking, trekking, visit, tourism, restaurant, eat, beach, excursion, sal, sao vicente, ferry, hiking, city trip, streetstyle, morabeza, no stress, morna, cesaria evora, cabo verde, travel, viajar, paul, ponta
Sunset in Sinagoga - Puesta del Sol en Sinagoga

We stayed in Cantinho de Amizade, an apparthotel situated above a same named restaurant. It's food is delicious, but at our surprise, they took the kitchen out of the apartment.

 

 For more information about tourism on Santo Antão, Cape Verde I recommend the following webpage: Tourism of Santo Antao, Cape Verde.

 ***

Nos quedamos en el Cantinho de Amizade, un appart-hotel situado encima de un restaurante con el mismo nombre. Su comida es deliciosa, sin embargo a nuestra sorpresa habían sacado la cocina de los apartamentos.

 

 Para más información sobre turismo en Santo Antão, Cabo Verde, os recomiendo la página siguiente: Turismo en Santo Antao, Cabo Verde


You might also like...

Tenerife, spain, traditional dress, traje tipico, maga, orotava, artesania, hand craft, espana, tradiciones, traditions, folclore, folklore, islas canarias, canary islands
Read more...
azores, san miguel, sete cidades, hiking
Read more...
expats, packing lst
Read more...