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“The Beach”

Praia de Santa Maria
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Shark Watching from Santa Maria
Ranked #1 of 42 things to do in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The Beach”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

One of the best beaches in the world - uncrowded and soft sand. Temperatures in February are almost ideal and the ocean temperature is around 20c.

Visited February 2014
3 Thank Wayne O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Diksmuide, Belgium
Level Contributor
185 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“long no see such sea”
Reviewed 1 May 2014

a beach walk from the pier to the riu hotels is an unique experience.Especially at the egg where you see the to sides of the Atlantic ocean,sitting next to a dune out of tne wind.

Visited March 2014
3 Thank 250fredz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A quick guide to Santa Maria”
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Maybe this is more of a guide to Santa Maria, Cape Verde – but nonetheless, it’s a guide to a place where no one else seems to write how and what.

I was there with my girlfriend for about 10 days, I'm 30 years old – just so you have a reference to who I am.

Sal is a small Island. When arriving at the airport don’t worry – there will be taxies waiting. A taxi ride from the Airport to Santa Maria is around €10-15 depending on what time of the day we’re talking.

Santa Maria is indeed a small town, and you can walk almost everywhere in 15-20 minutes. From my perspective, the pier would be the centre of the city, and thus a reference point for this “guide”.

Where to stay?

To me it seems that east of the pier is the place to be. There are more small and fun restaurants, a little more life, ice cream shops etc. If I go again, this is where I would find a place to stay. I wouldn’t worry too much about finding a place that’s “right on the beach” as you can walk to the beach in less than 5 minutes no matter where you are in the city. I would recommend renting an apartment or something similar to crash in, and then spend the rest of the day on the beach. There are of course the all inclusive hotels, however that’s not the way I travel.

Things to do?

In terms of things to do on Sal, there aren’t tons of activities. Kite and wind surfing is really big here, and it seems like most of the people were interested in that – we just came for the sun. I took a few dives, and even though the Manta Diving centre did a really good job with arranging the dive, I didn’t see much when I was down there. Not their fault, but this is not a ‘diver’s paradise.’ There are many tours you can attend, but we opted to rent something, which was similar to a dune buggy, which was £40 for 4 hours, and a lot of fun – but prepare to get dirty if you drive off road. The rental place is located west of the pier close to Bailey’s.


There’s a lot of fishing going on, however in terms of food and restaurants, many were disappointing. We were expecting fresh fish, but many of the restaurants (operated by expats) couldn’t cook and served fish that had been frozen. The only place where I was really satisfied was the Odjo d Aqua, located east of the pier, right on the beach. It’s a little on the expensive side compared to the other restaurants, but in my opinion well worth it. A meal in general will roughly cost you €10 depending on what you order. A small little gem is Cape Fruit, located a little off the beach east of the pier (it’s not on that many local maps, but seek and you shall find). Also, there’s a restaurant many of the locals eat at. The have a BBQ on outside, and it’s located a little to the east for the pier maybe 4 or 5 block back from the street. It gets a lot of point for being what it is. Only serving kebab, chicken and fish on the BBQ, but with a really good vibe.

We tried to buy a few groceries in the local Supermarket, but it was just as expensive as dining on restaurants.


We were approached by many people who wanted to give us gifts, which the first time was sweet, but in the end it became ridiculous. The give you a gift and they want you to see their shop, nothing new there. However, the reasons for the gift vary from: 1) I am getting married tomorrow so I’m happy (In the end he needed money to feed his 200 guests). 2) I just had a baby today (in the end he needed money for milk to the baby) – This guy was obviously not aware of mother nature’s solution to this problem + why weren’t he with the mother…? 3) Where are you from? (Insert country), Oh my brother is living in your capital and so on.. There are not aggressive, but it’s every day, and they all just want you money. They do however respect a no, but will ask for their gifts back.

These is just my thoughts about Sal – It is indeed a very nice place and I would like to return. Next time I’ll do a Kite Surfing course, it looks like fun.

A small piece of advice. When transferring in Lisbon, you will have to go through security again, hence all liquids etc. have to be sealed or thrown away.

Hope this helps future visitors 

Visited April 2014
19 Thank Llamatheexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
159 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“wind and the beach”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

The minus is that if you like to be at the beach, there is a lot of wind, and the sand is pitching you but if you fancy the wild ocean this is a very nice place.
Windsurfers and kite surfers will have the best options here.
The local are polite and seems happy, and we did go fishing, with one of the local fishing boats and that was a very good day as they invited us to come and eat the fish together with them in the afternoon.

Visited April 2014
3 Thank ITJylland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Stunning Beaches”
Reviewed 4 April 2014

If sandy, deep uncrowded beaches are your thing then Praia de Santa Maria is for you. With zero-hassle from sellers when compared in particular to Caribbean climes this is a place to relax and watch the local fishmongers at work against the backdrop of kite surfers (it is windy but really quiet pleasant when the sun is beating down). Be sure to spend time on the pier watching the fish you'll dine on in the evening come in and the locals haggling for the prize catches, get involved yourself if you're feeling brave. Do head to Ponta Beach for unspoilt and deserted bliss. We've been lucky enough to visit many 'highly rated' beaches but this one really is up there. Lunch at the nearby Beach Bar over a bottle of Cape Verde Vinho do Fogo will be a cherished memory.

Visited April 2014
7 Thank Neil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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