Santiago Travel Guide

  • The black sand beach in Pedra Badejo
    The black sand beach in Pedra Badejo
    by ValbyDK
  • Local fishing boats at Tarrafal
    Local fishing boats at Tarrafal
    by ValbyDK
  • Praia Lighthouse (Farol D. Maria Pia)
    Praia Lighthouse (Farol D. Maria Pia)
    by ValbyDK

Santiago Things to Do

  • TARRAFAL: Museu da Resistencia

    Museu da Resistencia, an old prison camp, is located just outside Tarrafal. The prison camp was built in 1936 to house opponents of dictator Salazar’s regime in Portugal, but later it was also used for the independence fighters from Angola, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau. The prison was closed on May 1st, 1974 – a few days after the Carnation...


    Sao Jorge Dos Orgaos - about 25 kilometres north of Praia - is a small picturesque village located between the mountains on the island of Santiago. The main attraction is the national botanical garden (Jardim Botanico Nacional). Well kept and a very nice place for a walk, some of the flowers are amazingly colourful and beautiful. Going to and from...

  • CIDADE VELHA: Fort Real do Sao Filipe

    Fort Real do Sao Filipe is strategically located on a hilltop just outside Cidade Velha, and from the top there is a nice view of the town and the canyon of Ribeira Grande...Fort Real do Sao Filipe itself… In the end of the 16th century Cidade Velha was attacked by Francis Drake, and soon after the fort was built to protect the town against further...

  • PRAIA: Prainha area

    Prainha is the noblest area of Praia; it is here where the two best hotels (Oasis Atlantico Praiamar Hotel and Hotel Tropico), the international embassies, and the more expensive residential houses are located.I stayed at the Oasis Atlantico Praiamar Hotel and had a couple of walks around the area. If you follow Rua do Mar to the end you’ll find...


    Tarrafal is much more than the old prison camp just outside town… OK - I only visited the town on a daytrip from Praia, but found the place to be nice and relaxing. I had dinner at restaurant “Baia Verde”. Good food and a great view of the sea and beach from the terrace. I went for a walk along the beach. To the right of the restaurant the beach...

  • ASSOMADA: Local market

    Every Wednesday and Sunday there is a local market in the small town of Assomada, about 35 kilometres north of Praia. Vegetables, meat, clothes, household goods, and anything else you can think about...We went for a long walk around the market place. It was very crowded, but there was a nice atmosphere. No pushy vendors or aggressive salespersons,...

  • CIDADE VELHA: Rua Banana

    Rua Banana (Banana Street) is a small cosy alley in the centre of Cidade Velha. Actually it was the first ‘European’ street in Africa. Some of the houses date back to the 15th century and have recently been rebuilt with their original stone.Nice place for a short walk.

  • CIDADE VELHA: Convento de Sao Francisco

    Convento de Sao Francisco was built around 1640, and for nearly 75 years it functioned as a church, a residence of a few Franciscan friars, and a educational training centre. However, it all came to an end in 1712 when French pirate Jacques Cassard almost destroyed the whole place.Today, a part of the old convent is restored and now used for...

  • CIDADE VELHA: Igreja de Nossa Senhor do...

    Igreja de Nossa Senhor do Rosario was built in the end of the 15th century. It was before the cathedral was built and at that time it served as the main church for Cidade Velha. Today, it is again the main church and is always full on Sundays. The church has a simple interior and altarpiece, but there are a few tombstones laid in the floor and the...

  • CIDADE VELHA: Se Catedral

    The cathedral of Cidade Velha was begun by the third Bishop of Cape Verde, Francisco da Cruz, in 1556, but changes in building plans – and changes of bishops – meant that the cathedral wasn’t completed until 1693.Unfortunately, the life of the cathedral was not very long! It was destroyed by French pirate Jacques Cassard in 1712 - and now only the...

  • CIDADE VELHA: Pelourinho

    Cidade Velha was once an important port for trading slaves from Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone to Brazil and the Caribbean.Today, you can still find a reminder of the inhumanity of slavery! The pelourinho, a 16th century pillory which was used for the punishment of slaves, is standing in the centre of Cidade Velha. You might be met by some souvenir...

  • PRAIA: Centro de Restauracao e...

    Gold coins, bronze items, cannons, guns, a bottle of French cognac, and much more retrieved from shipwrecks around Cape Verde. I spotted a few objects from the Danish vessel, ‘Ernest Schimmelmann’, which was reported lost in 1781 - but there are also objects from ships from Portugal, Spain, Holland, France, and England. Centro de Restauracao e...

  • PRAIA: Museu Etnografico da Praia

    Museu Etnografico da Praia is located on the main street at the Plateau, not far from Praca Alexandre de Albuquerque.The museum displays exhibitions of Cape Verde’s historical, social and cultural past. Most of the artefacts are objects and tools used in daily work, for instance pottery, gourds used as containers, mortars, and baskets…The museum is...

  • PRAIA: Praca Alexandre de Albuquerque

    Praca Alexandre de Albuquerque is a good place to start a sightseeing-tour of the old part of Praia. The square is surrounded by some interesting buildings; Igreja Nossa Senhora da Graca (the cathedral) from 1900, the old city hall built in the 1920s, the Presidential Palace constructed in the end of the 19th century to house the Portuguese...

  • Fishermen at Tarrafal

    Early in the morning at sunrise you can see the boats sailing out from the bay for fishing at sea.It's nice to go at the port at the moment the fishermen come back and look at all the activities.

  • Tarrafal, fresh fish

    It's nice to go to the beach in the morning when the women buy the fish from the fishermen for the market.

  • Tarrafal, beachlife at weekends

    In the weekend many Capeverdians will visit the beach of Tarrafal.It's pleasant,lifely and a lot of business.Many sellers of drinks and snacks appear.During the week you have the beach nearly for yourself.

  • Beachlife

    The most important thing to do in Tarrafal is going to the scenic beach.In the late afternoon it is always very pleasant and lifely with many Capverdians.


Santiago Restaurants

  • Big view from the restaurant

    In Tarrafal the restaurant of Baia Verde on a rock at the beach was our favourite. It has a good panorama of the beach and the bay. You can sit on the terrace in the open air.On the picture: it is the white building at the leftside. Good seafood and local dishes.

  • Every day fresh seafood

    Everywhere at Cape Verde you can eat fresh sea-food every day.Our favourite restaurant at Tarrafal was the restaurant of Baia Verde, high upon the rock with a good panorama of the beach and the bay.

  • Santiago Hotels

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Santiago Transportation

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Bus to Tarrafal.

    by sachara Updated Jun 30, 2003

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    From the airport: take a taxi to the market Sucupira in Praia.
    From there small buses will leave to all places on the island.
    To Tarrafal there are two routes, through the mountains, passing Assomada. Sometimes you have to change bus in Assomada, the driver will arrange this for you.
    The other route is along the east coast.
    Both are very scenic.

    If you ask the busdriver, he brings you to the entrance of your hotel, in our case Baia Verde at the beach.

    Entrance Baia Verde at Tarrafal

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Santiago Favorites

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Santiago map

    by sachara Updated Jun 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Santiago is the biggest island of the
    Capeverdian archipelago ( 991 km2).
    Praia in the south of Santiago is the capital of Cape Verde.

    Things to do:
    Visit to/stay in Praia ( with a Museu Ethnografica).
    Visit Cidade Velha (with the pillar of Pelourinho from 1533).
    Walk in the mountains.
    Visit the market in Assomada.
    Go to the beaches (Tarrafal in the north is nice).

    Map Santiago

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