Santo Antão

Photo © Marie-Jose

Travel Guide Africa Cape Verde Santo Antão

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Introduction

Santo Antão is the westernmost and largest of the Barlavento islands of Cape Verde. The nearest main island is São Vicente to the southeast, separated by a channel named Canal de São Vicente. It is the westernmost large island in Cape Verde and the continent of Africa, and the second largest in Cape Verde.

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Geography

The island is entirely made up of volcanic material. The tallest mountain is Tope de Coroa, reaching a height of 1,979 metres. The second tallest is Pico da Cruz at 1,585 metres. The island is divided into north and south by a mountain range long considered impenetrable but now are crossed by two paved roads, one with mountain curves, another one opened in 2009 runs in the easternmost predominantly next to the sea. The island’s main town is Ponta do Sol on the north coast, home to the closed Agostinho Neto Airport, while its ferry port is Porto Novo on the south coast. A part of the island in the southeast has an arid climate, while the northwest receives relatively normal precipitation. Its valleys are suffering heavy erosion.

Canal de São Vicente lies to the southeast of Porto Novo and separates with the island of São Vicente. Bathing beaches and fishing areas are found in near Tarrafal de Monte Trigo. During the rainy season, some creek beds across the island are temporarily filled with water.

The island is considered one of the most mountainous of Cape Verde. Its mountains are composed of basalt. Many of its volcanoes are young, especially its calderas. Since 1999, vulcanologists have observed continuous rising of the water temperature of the sea in the area of Ponta do Sol which may indicate the risk of a new eruption in the area.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

  • Farol de Boi (Farol Fontes Pereira de Mela), Pontinha de Janela. The biggest and the oldest lighthouse of Cape Verde. Built 1886, now abandoned.
  • Statue of Santo Antonio, Vila das Pombas.
  • Cova (between Porto Novo and Ribeira Grande) - A valley in a crater of an extinct volcano.

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

Being basically made of several stratovolcanoes and so extremely mountainous this island has quite diverse climate and many various microclimates due to its deep ravines. Santo Antão island has moderately dry tropical climate (As according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system) along the coast and semi-arid mild tropical climate Bsh with very balanced temperatures year round higher on the slopes (800 metres ASL) to cool highland subtropical steppe climate BskL above 1,000 metres above ASL. The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23 °C, decreasing to some 11 to 15 °C on the highest grounds. There can be remarkably cool weather in the interior with warmer wet season starting in July and ending in December-January with colder dry season starting in December-January and ending in June. The major climate risk, similarly to other Cape Verdean islands, yet much less pronounced in the higher altitudes due to better ability in gaining moisture from clouds, is drought.

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Getting There

There are 2 or 3 ferries per day between Porto Novo, Santo Antão and Mindelo, São Vicente. The journey takes 60 minutes.

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Getting Around

You can rent a car in Porto Novo starting for about €50 a day.

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Eat

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Drink

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Sleep

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Santo Antão Travel Helpers

This is version 1. Last edited at 11:33 on Aug 7, 17 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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