HOME » S. Maria Village Life
READ THIS IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE ON SAL
1. Whilst tempting to only enjoy the fantastic and luxurious comforts of your hotel, do venture into the laid back village of Santa Maria or you just might altogether miss the true experience of Sal.
2. Do speak to the locals, black, brown or white, we truly welcome all visitors. In fact we love a good tourist to sit and share stories and experiences with whilst having a beer or two. You can watch the kids jump off the historic Santa Maria pier, play football on the beach as they aspire to be the next Nani or the men perform the artistery of Capoeira.
3. IT is safe TO GO INTO SANTA MARIA ON YOUR OWN, but like anywhere in the world, be vigilant. In fact, escape from the shackles of those who insist on showing you around. It is more fun seeing the true life of the town on your own, with a friend, family etc.
4. Be inquisitive, explore ,walk around, question locals and take in the history before you decide what to do on the island. There is much to do and more fun to be had when not a planned and rehearsed excursion……saying that, those are fun too.
5. As part of your, HOW to make the most on a desert island in the middle of the Atlantic experience, we suggest the following
a. DO A WATER SPORT! You are in the middle of the ocean with massive amounts of open space. There is no better feeling than cruising along on a wind surf or a kite surf in the ocean. Except when you are cruising and see a turtle, flying fish, and or dolphins
a1. Okay granted not all of you are water sports people, if not, plan to visit another island. Cape Verde is soooooooooo diverse. Some of the other islands are hilly, and green and great for hiking. To know more about the other islands go to www.capeverde.com, there is loads of information there.
b. Come into town by yourself or with some friends and buy some Italian home made fresh ice cream while you wander through the craft and food markets
c. When approached my our multi lingual and highly skilled street hawkers with all their show watches, sun glasses and beads, be warned to exchange in conversation means an unplanned purchase or an unwanted friend. If the street buying does not work for you, go into the markets and try out your haggling skills. Best to look for a 50% reduction as an opening bid.
d. Walk down to the beach caravans and have a drink and a snack in a very chilled and local environment.
e. Taste the local restaurants; there are so many and all good. Some may look a little run down on the outside but inside it is all heart and home cooked cape verdian food. The main cuisine on the island is Sea Food or Italian. Some popular restaurants are: Baracuda on the beach, Relax in town, Leonardo's, Cultural Cafe in the main square, Cafe Creole, Restaurant in front of Porto Antigo development, Angela's on the beach, beside the pier, Punta Preta restaurant at punta preta. There is also Baronda at the top of town, Zuma Fisherman, and the new ice cream cafe on first main road into town.
If you are more of the explorer eater, head deeper into Santa Maria. There are a lot of little places with BBQ's, where you can get a meal for 5euros. There are also lots of little bars, with some passionate locals.
f. Wander down to the pier and jump off it, go snorkling, or along the Bay. If you go to the pier before mid day when all the fisher men come in, you will be accosted with a rainbow of colours from the fish they bring in. If you get lucky you will see a shark as well. *Do not worry, these beauties live far from the beaches.
a. Hire some bikes and cycle into the back of the town to the little local bars and pop in for a drink. Be streetwise on this venture. The tales you will have to tell! Or bike along the coast towards the east side of the island, sometimes up at the point you can see whales or dolphins
The main bars are on the 2 main streets of Santa Maria. The most popular with tourists are mainly along the street that has the main square. Most bars start to get busy around 10-11pm. Calema is calema. It starts at around 11pm, sucks you in and then spits you out at the early hours of the morning. Interesting experience. There is also a new bar off the square call Ocean Azul, great bar. As you enter Santa Maria there is one main night club. Its name is Club One and I think it only operates on weekends, during the day it is a school, go figure. Lastly, there is Ahuru. Ahuru is a roof top bar, that plays good reggae music and is home to an interesting group of Africans and Rastas.
For those wanting a more cape verdian experience, we recommend you go out in espargos, the main town in sal. Here you will find some great Cape Verdian bars and restaurants, that play local music.
b. Hire a local pick up to take you around the island. They will tour the island at your pace. Some may even take you home, introduce you to their families and offer you a lovely meal. Such is the Cape Verdean hospitality.
c. The island accepts visa and euros. Master card is BACK! However the fee for using this cards is 3.5%. If you pay in cash when you are in town, pay in local funny money escudos. Although the rate is 1euro to 110ecv, if you pay in euros they will give you change back in Escdos at a rate of 1euro = 100ecv.
d. If you want little wind and hot! Come between June and November. If you want WIND and still hot, but a little cooler in the evenings, come December to end of May.
e. The island is very informal, no need for fancy clothing.
I came here on holiday 7 years ago and never left. For me I felt i had finally reached paradise. Recently i have begun to realize that people visiting the island often miss so much of its beauty. It is because of this, i wanted to share with you the reader, the things that truely make this, a great place to live and visit. Once you have truely experienced sal, through its residents, you too will be hooked.