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Levels of difficulty:

1 = Easy cheesy
2 = Easy
3 = Difficult in some places
4 = Intense
5 = Do not even think of it
* = Only with a guide

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The Azure

Trek without guide


Although it benefits from a slightly more humble media coverage than its smaller sister Santo Antão, the island of Santiago is an pure gem that remains to be discovered, with its amazing landscapes, rich history and a strong cultural identity. This tour aims to pay tribute to those elements and some easy hikes will make you discover, then love this island with a temper of its own.

STAY
INFO
PRICES

Type of stay :
Trek without guide

Island(s) :
Santiago

Localities visited :
Praia, Cidade Velha, Fortaleza, Calabaceira, Rui Vaz, Gazela, São Jorge

Length : 3 days
(included 2 of walking)

Maximum difficulty : 3

Why the Azure? Because Santiago is the island of the sky, a clear and spotless sky of deep blue colour, in close terms with Mount Malagueta and with Peak Antonia (1400m).

Startling blue as the delicate feathers of the Passarinha, this tiny Kingfisher emblematic of Santiago's countryside. Cyan blue as the wide bay of Tarrafal, encircled by a splendid beach of fine sand, shaded by coconut trees.

Sapphire blue as the bluebells or elephantopus flowers growing in the botanical garden of São Jorge. Navy blue to allude to the privateer Cassard who overcame the Portuguese and plundered Santiago.

Beaming blue as the friendliness of the inhabitants of the islands and the sincerity of their smiles - be it in the hustling city of Praia or in one of the many secluded rural villages.

Cobalt blue, finally, as those traditional woven cloths that used to be the currency within West-Africa, which made the fame of Cidade Velha, the former capital, now considered as the cradle of the Cape Verdean identity.

With this tour out of the ordinary, you'll be able to discern all those vibrant shades of blue.
Regions covered : click

Level
2-3

Day 1
Welcome to Santiago, the biggest island of Cape Verde; its culture, atmosphere or lifestyle are more African than the rest of the Archipelago, because of geographic and historic circumstances. Closer to the mainland, the island was the first to be discovered, then colonised - it was later used as a huge slaves warehouse, as the slave ships called at the port before they dared the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
We spend the night in Cidade Velha, the former capital of the country. Remnants of the times where the city grew to the pace of slavery trade are still found today; the UNESCO recently listed the small city as a World Heritage Site.

Day 2 (hike: 3 h / +200m (+650ft)/ -200m (-650ft) / 9km (5, 6 miles) / level 2)
This first hike leads us to a huge canyon that we first follow before sinking into the dense vegetation covering its valley, down to the dry river bed where we discover countless baobabs and mango trees. The scent of sugar cane becomes stronger by the minute - an unmistakable sign that we're approaching a distillery producing the famous grogue, the local rum. But let us not get distracted: we scan the trees in order to spot a Passarinha. We don't want to miss the sight of this tiny Kingfisher with amazing blue wings. Night in a lodge at the feet of Santiago's peak.

Day 3 (hike: 2 h / -500m (-1640ft) / 5, 5km (3, 4 miles) / level 2-3)
On today's to-do list: discover new scents while walking through a eucalyptus forest, in the shade of the island's highest mountain. This rural region of traditional agriculture will allow us to discover the botanical diversity that Cape Verde has to offer - including a good amount of endemic species. Later, we return to Praia through the greenest regions of the island.
Day 4
Transfer from our hotel to the airport.

Included
All transfers on the ground
Luggage transfer for the hike on Day 3
2 roadbooks for the hikes
2 picnics
1 dinner
Accommodation for 3 nights
Tourist tax

Price per person

341 € per person, based on two people

318 € per person, based on four people

Price info

Single room (3 nights) extra charge: 92 EUR per person

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