Santo Antão is the island to visit for mountaineering and trekking. One of the most beautiful places is Cova in the area of Ribeira Grande, an ancient volcano crater where today agricultural farmers work. Serious trekkers can descend the crater, settle down there for the night and the following morning climb the mountain to arrive at the natural beauty spot, Paul's valley. At the top of the mountain, at the small village of Corda, a microclimate enables a pine forest to flourish. Stay in a small friendly hotel, enjoy nature at its best and breathe in the wonderful aroma of the pines. Other places to visit on Santo Antão are Lajedos, a centre for traditional handicrafts, and Porto Novo with its ferry port connecting to neighbouring island São Vicente. The people of Santo Antão are very hospitable and welcome visitors to join them for a dip in the small refreshing waterfalls dotted all over the island. They live in the valleys and mountains and cultivate the land for a living. Planting and harvesting can be challenging but the farmers have created an oasis amongst the arid mountain terrain. A MUST on your visit to Santo Antao is a grogue tasting, trust us when we say you will never have had anything quite like this before!
As with the rest of Cape Verde, Santo Antao is good to visit all year round. If you go in the rainy season you will see more flora and fauna but you hiking/trekking may be hampered at times.
The most common way to get to Santo Antao is by ferry from Mindelo, Sao Vicente. The ferry departs and returns twice a day so it is possible to do a day trip and base yourself in Mindelo if you wish.
Santo Antao's climate is typically tropical and mostly dry with temperatures averaging 24°C all year round. November to July is dry whilst August to October is the "rainy season".
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