Things to do in
Santa Maria, Cape Verde

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Our most recommended things to do in Santa Maria, Cape Verde

Sal: 6-Hour Experience Tour with a Local Certified Guide

1. Sal: 6-Hour Experience Tour with a Local Certified Guide

After being collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to Santa Maria. Once there you can get to know the history of this city, which has transformed from the extraction of its salt to the biggest tourist city in Cape Verde. You will then make your way to Kite Beach, which is one of the best places in the world to practice kite surfing and is usually chosen to hold the world kite surfing championships. Next you will visit Porto Palmeira, which is a simple place where people take their sustenance from fishing and working in the port. You will be able to see the arrival of the crafts, as well as all the activity around the sale of fish. Next up, your tour progresses to Pedra de Lume Beach, Pedra de Lume, and Ilha do Sal. There you can visit the first village in Sal island, which was founded in 1804, to learn about the history and development of the local economy based on the export of salt. You will then progress towards Miragem, where you will see the effects of water illusions in the desert. Following this you will travel to Buracona, where you will see "Blue Eye" (one of the 7 wonders of the country) and its natural pool. Following the pool, you will explore the Pedra Lume Salt Crater, where you will learn all about the nourishing benefits this salt center has to the locals. You will then experience Shark Bay, where you will have the experience to see lemon sharks in their natural environment very closely. Towards the end of your tour you will visit Murdeira Village, a natural reserve of the bay of Murdeira which has a great diversity of coral and fish. Finally, you will visit Espargos, the economic center of the city.

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Sal: Private Airport Transfer to Santa Maria or Espargos

2. Sal: Private Airport Transfer to Santa Maria or Espargos

Avoid the hassle of navigating a foreign public transportation system or the expense of a taxi and enjoy a clean, safe, and reliable transfer between your hotel in Santa Maria and Amilcar Cabral International Airport. All transfers are available 24/7. Save time by booking your pickup service according to your flight times. Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall with a sign with Sal Experience written on it. Relax and kick off your holiday in style, knowing that you are traveling in the company of a fully licensed and insured driver who will be happy to help you with your luggage or any other issues. So sit back, relax and let your driver take care of you.

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From Santa Maria: Two-Hour 4WD Buggy Desert Adventure

3. From Santa Maria: Two-Hour 4WD Buggy Desert Adventure

Begin the tour with pickup from your hotel in Santa Maria. Transfer to the local partner's main office where you will be required to show your driver's license. Get kitted out and board your 4x4 to begin your adventure.  On the two-hour tour, discover the salt flats of Santa Maria, surrounded by beautiful sand dunes. Zip past Kite Beach, the favorite beach of kite surfers, before cruising along to Serra Negra, Sal's natural reserve. Stop at the viewpoint here, where you'll be rewarded with an amazing panorama of the entire south part of the island and out to Boavista Island (weather permitting) Buzz across the desert and then stop at the Palha Verde Oasis. Finally, end the tour with a stop at Ponta Preta, the most beautiful beach on the island. Return to the main office and then to your hotel in Santa Maria.

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Sal: Full-Day Guided Sightseeing Trip Around the Island

4. Sal: Full-Day Guided Sightseeing Trip Around the Island

Meeting at the front desk of your hotel at 9:15 AM, then make your way to the first destination, Ponta Preta (Black Edge). Witness a contrast between white natural sand dunes and dark-colored volcanic rocks entering the sea. This amazing combination creates huge and beautiful waves, making this location the stage for world-famous water sports competitions like surfing and windsurfing. While in Ponta Preta, you'll be introduced to the itinerary and provided with a brief history of Cape Verde. Next, head to Murdeira, located at the center of the island. Snorkel in the bay's crystal clear, coral-filled waters, and catch a glimpse of Monte Leão, one of the island's most prominent landmarks. From Murdeira, go north to the capital of the island, Espargos. Enjoy a local tour of the city ending in a panoramic view through the belvedere. Make your next stop at the fishing village of Palmeira, the only port on the island and an industrialized zone extremely important to the local economy. To the east of Palmeira, spot Buracona, a place with natural pools and an incredible rocky landscape of volcanic origin. This combination creates a wonderful phenomenon called "Blue Eye". From 10:30 AM–1 PM, the sun shines inside a 25-meter (82-foot) deep cave, allowing you to glimpse the image of a shiny blue eye staring at the majestic sky. More to the west of the island is Terra Boa, the only land for growing crops where you can enjoy another spectacle of nature, a mirage in the middle of the desert. On the way back to Espargos, pass the peripheral area of the island and visit some social institutions, such as kindergartens and schools. In Espargos, take a break for lunch in a local restaurant and taste a typical dish or savor one of the best pizzas in town. After lunch, continue to Pedra de Lume, where the famous Salinas (salt pans) are found inside of an extinct volcano crater. Bathe in the therapeutic waters before heading to the Baia de Parda around 4 PM to catch sight of lemon sharks. You'll return to your hotel around 5 PM.

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Frequently asked questions about Santa Maria, Cape Verde

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What people are saying about Santa Maria, Cape Verde

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 115 reviews

Fantastic day - with guide showing us the sights. We rescued baby turtles - our eagle eyed driver saw them. Would deffinatly do this again - can't recommend enough

This tour is a must see during your stay in Sal. You get a tour over the entire island.

Lovely experience, pleasant guide, chan, only eatery was very expensive and cold.

Very nice driver gave us tips on the way to the hotel. Very comfortable truck.

Friendly helpful people and well organised. Very nice to do once