Cape Verde – Sotavento (Southern islands)
Inhabitants: ca. 275.00, about 135.000 of them in the capital Praia
Surface: 991 km²
Discovery of Santiago
The Island of Santiago was discovered in 1460 by António da Noli, a Portuguese sailor, and populated from 1462 as the first Cape Verdean Island by mainly Portuguese slaveholders with their african slaves.
Praia, the capital of Cape Verde
Praia is the capital of Cape Verde. It is situated in the south of Santiago Island, close to the international airport “Nelson Mandela”. Praia actually means “beach”. The government as well as many consulates and embassies are based in Praia.
The cityscape of Praia cannot keep up with the colonial-romantic harbor town of Mindelo in Sao Vicente.
Kriol Jazz Festival in Praia is an important music event with capeverdean and international musicians and becomes more famous every year. It takes place in the capeverdean capital every year in April since 2009.
If you are not in Praia at festival time, you can experience the different capeverdean music stiles that developped in Santiago island in various music places in the capital.
Cidade Velha and Ribeira Grande
The small coastal town “Cidade Velha” – now again “Ribeira Grande” – was founded 1462 and was until 1858 the capital of the then Portuguese Cape Verde. As early as 1466, the village became the main hub for slaves, who then came from West Africa. As a “rich” city, Cidade Velha was also a popular destination for pirate raids. Cidade Velha is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tarrfal de Santiago
is a little town in the north of the island where you can enjoy a nice little beach.
Caution: We recommend to visit remote areas in Santiago only with a local guide. Attacks have been reported.
Always use a taxi in Praia capital at nighttime.
Capeverde roundtrip “SODADE”
Discovery tour across 5 Cape Verde islands in Barlavento and Sotavento.