Get ready for the ultimate Cape Verdean adventure! During this fun packed 2 weeks you will visit the highlights of Santiago island. We will take part in adventurous activities such as hiking, trekking, visiting traditional villages and even exploring a rum factory! Not only does this island have active outdoor adventures, it also has some of the best beaches, with blue waters and golden sands. It’s also an excellent spot for diving and snorkelling.
Program Duration & Availability
Min duration (weeks):2
Max duration (weeks):2
Aims & Objectives
To gain an introduction to Cape Verdean culture and become immersed in the local lifestyle. To experience the best of the island, explore local areas and enquire a deeper understanding of the local culture.
Day 1: Sunday
Arrival and transfer to your accommodation.
Day 2: Monday
Northern part of Santiago island
Today is when the adventure begins! We will be visiting the lush green valleys of the North part of Santiago island, admiring the beautiful landscapes and interacting with local people in the villages. Here, we will have the chance to visit a local rum distillery, including a rum tasting!
Later on, we will explore the island’s oldest and largest water dam. After lunch at a local restaurant, we take a trip to the famous black beaches.
Day 3: Tuesday
Serra Malagueta to Mato Brasil Trek
Today, you will take a scenic walking trail from Serra Malagueta to Achada Lagoa and to Mato Brasil. This hiking trail has some remarkable views over the Northern part of the island.
Day 4: Wednesday
Hiking with Lunch at local farmer’s house
Today we will walk the mountains of Serra Malagueta, having lunch at an organic farm. In the valley of Lagoa, you will get the chance to see a traditional Cape Verdean village. Along the trail you’ll see agricultural landscapes and a small oasis. You will meet a local farming family, interact with them and have a tour of their home. Lunch will be served at the farmer’s house.
During this 2 hour hiking trail you may even spot monkeys along the way.
Day 5: Thursday
Gon-Gon – the “King-Track”
Named after the Bird Gon-Gon, the valley of Gon-gon consists of an incredibly beautiful landscape in which we will be hiking through, taking in the stunning views along the way. This hike may be challenging and is classified for accustomed hikers, because of the height and duration of the trek.
We will begin from the nature park of Serra Malagueta, venture down into the Gon-gon valley and then back up, over a ridge. Then it’s downhill all the way through the valley of Principal, until we reach the ocean. The trek is very diverse, with beautiful views throughout- it’s been named the King of Tracks!
*Duration: About 6 hours, Difficulty level: Level 4 (Accustomed hikers)
Day 6: Friday
Mountain Cycling Trip
Today, we will go on a 6 hour cycling tour around the beautiful Tarrafal area, taking in the natural surroundings of the island.
Day 7: Saturday
Free time to relax.
Day 8: Sunday
Free time to relax.
Day 9: Monday
Tarrafal has some incredible snorkelling, so today we will go on an underwater adventure on a 2 hour snorkelling trip. The trip will leave from Ponta Atum or at another beach. Your snorkelling guide will advise you on the best spots in Tarrafal and show you some of most exciting marine life.
Day 10: Tuesday
Snorkelling with a fishing boat
Today, we will take part in more snorkelling- this time further out in the ocean around Tarrafal. Venturing further out from the cliffs of Tarrafal, we will have the opportunity to spot a diverse number of fish and if you’re lucky you may even get the chance to swim with the sea turtles!
The day will begin first at the snorkelling centre in Tarrafal, where you will be taught basic technical skills before heading out to sea for a 2 hour trip.
Day 11: Wednesday
Today, we hop into sea kayaks and paddle out to explore the pristine waters surrounding Tarrafal. You will first receive a short briefing on basic paddling techniques before we start. You will also get to visit a nearby lighthouse, enjoying fascinating views of the ocean.
Day 12: Thursday
Kayaking, Fishing Trip and BBQ
Head out into the blue ocean with a local fisherman and catch your own fresh fish! On this boat trip you will catch your dinner, which will be put on the grill a few hours later.
We will leave in the morning-midday (depending on the weather conditions) to catch some fresh fish, the local fishermen knows the best spots and where to find them.
Once returning from the fishing trip, we will have a BBQ with grilled fish caught by YOU!
Day 13: Friday
Island of Santiago
On your last day on Santiago island we will explore some of the off the beaten paths and local areas. We will visit a pottery craft workshop and explore around the Northern areas of Santiago, where we visit an old Lighthouse and an ancient village. Later, we also discover the Tsunami Boulders, which were left by a mega tsunami thousands of years ago.
Day 14: Saturday
This is your last day and we say farewell to the local team and fellow travellers.
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Refillable water bottle
Tarrafal (also named Mangui or Mangu), gets its name from the indigenous plant Tarrafe (Tamarix senegalensis). It is located on the Northern part of Santiago island. It is also a municipality (government town) and a fishing town.
Accommodation & Food
About the Accommodation
You will share a room on a single gender basis. The bathrooms areas shared, with western toilets available.
Available Room Types
|All meals included||Yes *|
|Free beverages||Yes **|
|Persons per room||4 – 8|
|Wifi in public areas||Yes|
* Three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the week and two meals (breakfast, dinner) during weekends
** Tea, Coffee and Drinking water
Local food is a mix of West African, European and Portuguese cuisine. Typical is fresh seafood, corns, beans, rice, potatoes, stews and vegetables. Your daily meals will contain a mix of local and various types of Western food.
There are ATMs, small supermarkets and some shops and restaurants available in the city centre.