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Visit the villages

Things do to in São Vicente, Cape Verde

Mindelo, São Vicente

With 90% of the population of São Vicente living in the city of Mindelo, you would almost forget about the villages outside Cape Verde's second biggest city. When visiting São Vicente, you should definitely have one of the villages on your 'list'.

Places like Salamansa, São Pedro, Baia das Gatas and Calhau are where you can get a good sense of traditional Cape Verdean life in villages where the fishing industry plays a fundamental part. This is where you can get away from city life with big buildings, loud traffic and wifi. It's only you, the mountains, the sea and the locals.

São Pedro

For many people visiting the island of São Vicente, the view of São Pedro is the first real thing they see when looking out the window of an airplane. A great first impression because São Pedro is one of Cape Verde's most beautiful beaches.

The amazing beach of São Pedro, São Vicente

A place where you'll feel as if you own the beach and where you can spend the day in absolute peace.

Try the hike to the lighthouse of São Pedro.

Time to get there: About 15 minutes

Price: CVE 100 by van, CVE 1000 by taxi


The beach of Salamansa is popular among kitesurfers and windsurfers because of the perfect weather conditions.

It is possible to walk from Salamansa to Baia das Gatas, by following a trail that starts along the beach of Salamansa.

It takes about 45 minutes to get to 'Baia'.

Time to get there: About 15 minutes

Price: CVE 120 by van, CVE 1000 by taxi

Baia das Gatas

This village is famous for having two things: The Baia das Gatas music festvial and a beautiful, calm bay in an amazing surrounding. 'Baia', as it's called by the locals is located in the northeastern part of the island of São Vicente.

Norte Baia

Time to get there: About 20 minutes

Price: CVE 120 by van, CVE 1000 by taxi

The Beach of Baia das Gatas


The drive to the village of Calhau might be the best one on the island of São Vicente. Very beautiful in its own distinct way, with rough shaped mountainpeaks and tiny villages where life looks nothing like it does in the 'bic city' nearby. On a clear day you can see the uninhabited island of Santa Luzia from Calhau.

Swimming in Calhau can be done at the small stone beaches, or at the spot towards the end called 'Salto'. Another option is to walk up to Praia Grande, which can be reached from the roundabout.

Time to get there: About 20 minutes

Price: CVE 120 by van, CVE 1000 by taxi

Fishermen go out to sea in Calhau, São Vicente

Go local, head out to Praça Estrela to catch a 'Hiace' (van) and don't be afraid to get lost :) If you rahter go by taxi be sure to confirm the price before getting in, and have the driver pick you up again at a certain time and place. Make time to spend at least half a day at one of the villages. Swim in the ocean that provides life to so many Cape Verdeans (be aware of the current). Have some fresh fish (like 'moreia') at one of the local bars with a nice cold kriola beer. Enjoy! Read more about Mindelo on Mindelocaboverde.

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