Our most recommended things to do in Praia

From Praia: Santiago Island Tour, Workshop & Tarrafal Beach

1. From Praia: Santiago Island Tour, Workshop & Tarrafal Beach

Get picked up at your hotel in Praia, then depart toward the interior of the island. Make your first stop at Mrs. Luisa's house. There, sample cuscuz (a traditional cake made from corn flour) and fidjós (fried banana), the typical breakfast for Cape Verdean families. After breakfast, continue to the city of Assomada. Visit its famous market, and admire the vibrant colors of the local fruits and vegetables. Move on to the Serra Malagueta natural park and marvel at the incredible views from 1000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level. Next, discover Santiago's most beautiful beach at Tarrafal, known for its white sand and crystal clear waters. Take a break for lunch (at your own expense), then return along the east coast of the island. Visit the Rabelados religious community, the only community that still lives in thatched houses and preserves the oldest customs and beliefs of Cape Verde. The tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel in Praia.

From Praia: Santiago Day Trip - Discover the Island in 1 Day

2. From Praia: Santiago Day Trip - Discover the Island in 1 Day

Stop 1 - Assomada Beside a view point with a wonderful panaroma over the second largest city of the island, still on Saturday and Wednesday you can also visit the vegetable market which is a great tourist attraction. Stop 2 - Natural Park of Serra Malagueta Here you will see some varieties of fauna and flora of the island on a plateau located 800 m altitude with the best view of the island.  Stop 3 - Tarrafal In Tarrafal you will enjoy a free time to have your lunch or chill on the beach bar or just walk on the beach. Obs: the lunch is not included but we can help you to organize some. Stop 4 - East Coast Along the east coast of the island you will find some small fishing villages next to the immense atlantic ocean, and you will pass by the largest banana plantation and coconut trees of the island on the way back to the praia.

From Praia: Santiago Island Highlights Tour

3. From Praia: Santiago Island Highlights Tour

Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from the Port of Praia. Find your driver easily as they will be holding a sign board with your name on it. Sit back and relax in a comfortable and spacious van. Choose between a private or a group tour. Take in the mountain scenery and stop for photos in the charming villages of São Domingos, São Laurenço dos Órgãos, and Assomada. Capture pictures of lush rolling landscapes in the Serra Malagueta Natural Park. Admire views of the island from 1000 meters above sea level before arriving at Tarrafal beach. Swim in the crystal clear water and lie back on the sandy beach which is surrounded by hills and palm trees. Have the option to purchase a local lunch. Head down a coastal road on the east side of the island and stop at the largest coconut plantation in the country where you can buy a fresh coconut water. Return to the Port of Praia at the end of the tour.

From Praia: Banana Plantation Tour and Cuscuz Workshop

4. From Praia: Banana Plantation Tour and Cuscuz Workshop

After being picked up from your accommodation in the city of Praia, you will drive inland to Santa Cruz. Upon arrival at the largest banana and coconut plantation in the country, you'll take a walk inside the agricultural fields while your local tour guide explains the varieties of fruits and plants that are on the plantation. If available, at your own expense, you can refresh yourself with fresh coconut water and organically grown local bananas. Next, you will head to the nearby city of Orgãos, where you will be warmly greeted by a friendly local family, embracing unmatched island hospitality. You will have the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine and unveil Cape Verdean gastronomic secrets while savouring La Morabeza creole. Learn how to cook the local Cuscuz, a traditional cake made from cornmeal, and Fidjós, a delicious treat made from banana mixed with wheat. Following the workshop, you will embark on a scenic drive through rocks and valleys, as your guide narrates local history and captures the beauty of the surroundings, before returning to your accommodation.

Praia: City Tour with Cidade Velha Visit

5. Praia: City Tour with Cidade Velha Visit

Get picked up at your accommodation in Praia, then depart towards the historical centre of Plateau. Start the walking tour through the colonial buildings of the Presidential Palace, the Main Square, the Municipal Market (closed on Sundays) and find a diversity of local fruits and vegetables. Afterwards, explore Cape Verde's largest souvenir market, the Sucupira Market, and experience the daily life of the Cape Verdean family. Move on to Cidade Velha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first city built by Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa. Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour of the São Filipe Fortress, explore the ruins of the first Cathedral built by Europeans in Sub-Saharan Africa, the former slave market and the famous Banana Street with its thatched houses. Travel back in time, learn the history from your expert, walk on a black sand beach and meet local fishermen before a short trip back to Praia. After a memorable day, your tour ends with a drop-off at your accommodation.

Santiago Island: Highlights of Cidade Velha with Local Guide

6. Santiago Island: Highlights of Cidade Velha with Local Guide

Discover the essence of Cape Verdean culture at the historic Cidade Velha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on this enlightening 3-hour tour. Enjoy convenient pickup from your accommodation before venturing into a captivating guided walking tour of Cidade Velha's historical treasures. Upon arrival, marvel at the ancient São Filipe Fortress, once a vital defence against pirate attacks. Explore the ruins of the first Cathedral in Sub-Saharan Africa and take in the panoramic views of colonial buildings from Calhau fishing bay. Unveil the poignant history of slavery at the former slave market in Pillory and meet local fishermen. The journey continues to the enchanting Banana Street, adorned with traditional thatched houses, leading you to the remarkable Convent of São Francisco. Travel back in time, learn the history from your expert, walk on a black sand beach and meet local fishermen before a short trip back to Praia. After a memorable day, the tour finishes with a drop-off at your accommodation.

Praia: Guided City Sightseeing Tour

7. Praia: Guided City Sightseeing Tour

One of the "must to do" by visiting Santiago island and you can't miss it. A very pleasant tour that starts at Cruzeiro (cross) located at the old fortress just behind the main Catholic church in city center of Plateau. - Independence Painting Cape Verde suffered for almost 500 years of colonization and slavery until 1975, learn here about the main political and social factors that marked the independence of this nation. - Jaime Mota military barracks One of the oldest buildings in Plateau, located next to Cruzeiro and presidential palace, it represents the political and military influence of the colonial time that governed the city, and even today the military barracks witness the national military system. - Diogo Gomes statue The history of the discoveries of Cape Verde and its characters are summarized in this statue of Diogo Gomes located in a prominent place in the city. - President's Palace One of the most significant symbols of the political power of the colonial era that stands out for its architecture and design. This construction dates back to medieval European times. - Main Church The entire history of the faith of the people of Cape Verde and their beliefs are represented by central church located in the city center, even today about 77% of the Cape Verdean nation attends the Catholic religion. - African Market For sure you cannot miss the fruit and vegetable market, with its bright and attractive colors, a typical African market where city dwellers look for their ingredients to make their traditional Cape Verde dishes.

Santiago Island: Serra Malagueta & Tarrafal Beach Trek Tour

8. Santiago Island: Serra Malagueta & Tarrafal Beach Trek Tour

Get picked up at your accommodation and embark on a scenic drive through the majestic mountains, heading towards the renowned Serra Malagueta Natural Park, where your thrilling hiking adventure awaits. As you start your hike through fertile areas at an altitude of 850 metres above sea level, you'll be accompanied by an expert guide who will lead you through the lush landscapes of the park, spanning an impressive 774 hectares. Keep your eyes peeled for the incredible diversity of flora and fauna found here, including more than 124 species of plants and 19 species of birds. Your guide will share fascinating insights about the local ecosystem, highlighting the unique species that can only be found in this protected area. Take a break for a delightful picnic amidst the stunning natural surroundings. While you enjoy your meal, your knowledgeable guide will also share information about the sustainable initiatives that have been implemented to ensure the preservation of this precious ecosystem for generations to come. After a rewarding hike, you'll make your way back to the starting point and then head to the picturesque Tarrafal Beach, the most beautiful beach on Santiago Island. Here, you can unwind and relax on the shore, or take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters. Finally, with cherished memories of a day filled with adventure, natural beauty, and insights into sustainable practices, you'll be comfortably driven back to your accommodation in Praia.

Serra Malagueta: Principal Valley Hike & Lunch with Locals

9. Serra Malagueta: Principal Valley Hike & Lunch with Locals

Your trek runs through the Natural Park of Serra Malagueta to the Principal valley. From the second highest point of the island, with a mild climate, you'll start your walk breathing in the fresh mountain air. Enjoy panoramic views of small traditional house groups scattered on the slopes with water streams flowing between vegetable patches and fruit trees. About an hour into the hike, you'll have a chance to explore the early settlements which is a great place to connect with the locals and learn more about the experiences of the rural lifestyle and local traditions. Then your path continues along another stream surrounded by mango trees, and banana and sugar cane plantations before you arrive at the locality of Mato Dento where you will enjoy a delicious lunch with a local family and experience the warm welcome of the local Morabeza people. At the end of the route you'll pass by the Principal Dam that was built to help local families with irrigation. Your tour ends at your hotel after an hour's drive along on the east side of the island with more amazing panoramic sea-land views.

From Praia: Boat Trip, Snorkeling, Cave & BBQ on the Beach

10. From Praia: Boat Trip, Snorkeling, Cave & BBQ on the Beach

Experience a remarkable day on the serene waters, immersing yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of Cape Verde. Your adventure begins with a hotel pickup, followed by a journey to the western part of the island. Along the way, capture picturesque moments during photo stops in the charming town of Assomada. Upon reaching the idyllic bay of Ribeira da Barca Village, embark on a 30-minute voyage aboard a traditional fishing boat. Take in the awe-inspiring sights of the volcanic crust, a testament to the island's geological history. Your next stop is the renowned Pilon de Achada Leite, where you'll marvel at the Cape's astonishing natural wonder – rare rocks surrounded by small crabs. Moving forward, venture to Águas Belas, aptly named "beautiful waters." If the sea conditions permit, seize the chance to swim and snorkel within its enchanting caves. While you acquaint yourself with the local marine life, our team prepares a delicious seaside barbecue for you. Unwind on the tranquil black-sand beach as you savour your meal. After a satisfying lunch, it will be time to return to Ribeira da Barca, concluding your tour with a drop-off back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Praia

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 112 reviews

I initially booked the Serra Malgueta Natural park hike, but as I was the only one signed up for the tour on that day, the agency proposed the Calabaceira Valley Trek and Visit to Cidade Velha instead. The hike was a lot easier than the one I wanted to take, but it was great. Beautiful views and an introduction to the local fauna by a knowledgeable (and super fun) guide Ailton who also gave us lots of interesting insights into local culture, life and history. Although I have visited Cidade Velha before on my own, it was totally worth it, because Ailton provided a ton of interesting info. As it was still a bit early in the day, we skipped the tasting of grogue at the super authentic local distillery, but we have tasted (and bought) some ponche later on at Banana street - delish! All in all, a very entertaining and informative half day experience which I would definitely recommend.

My sister and I had a great time. This tour is a must to discover Santiago island. Our guides Alton and Djebre where fantastic, the driver also who accompanied us trough out the adventure. Eating, dancing and laughter at Mama Luisa’s. The whole tour was filled with joy, new discoveries and making new connections Do not hesitate to book.

I was the only one to book this tour for the day, so the agency recommended a slightly different one - it included a boat trip on top of everything else, so I also got to snorkel a bit and join the fish bbq on the beach. It was a great day full of fun experiences and Maria and Ricardo were excellent guides.

Great experience, amazing landscape views on the way, beautiful beach. Guide arrived on my time and was nice and helpful.

It was amazing. Nice guide, good driver, fantastic views around