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“kite Beach or Shark Bay, THE PERFECT SPOT” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Praia de Santa Maria

Praia de Santa Maria
Strand von Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde
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Ranked #1 of 22 things to do in Santa Maria
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Madrid, Spain
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“kite Beach or Shark Bay, THE PERFECT SPOT”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

MITU & DJO.
When we went to Kite Beach last year or the year before, we thought it was a wonderful kitesurfing spot but quite unfriendly for non kitesurfers. This year everything has changed. Mitu Monteiro and Djo Silva, two of the bests if no simply the best wave kitesurf riders in the world and their beautiful wives, had build a wooden bar/school and kitesurf board rental just on the beach. Extremely convenient for the non riders as well as for the ones going to practice this sport. Mitu & Djo are always on the beach if they are not at Punta Preta enjoying themselves. They and the rest of the staff, will help you with anything you need. You may be able, if you are lucky, to find a place as professional and well run as this, but not better, anywhere in the world

Visited February 2013
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Stockholm, Sweden
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15 reviews 15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“The sand beach is excellent!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Water very clean and warm even in February. Sand is also nice and the beach is very clean. It is windy, but it was expected.

Visited February 2013
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
180 reviews 180 reviews
114 attraction reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Good beach”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

The Cape Verde Islands are not developed to cater for typical tourists. The beaches are spectacular but apart from one or two where you can find a local cafe there is nothing there and it is windy all the time. That said if you want isolation this is the place to get it. There is wealth here because of the fishing although it is not immediately apparent and like everywhere else there is extreme poverty too.
The charm of these islands is their unspoilt nature and surprisingly good roads to all the lovely beaches. You will be very lucky to see any sort of wildlife here apart from the black kites which are plentiful.

Visited January 2013
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Staffordshire, England
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13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Very good value 3 star hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Very clean hotel. Excellent staff. Quiet location. Short walks to Beach and nearby small town of Santa Maria.

Visited December 2012
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Menai bridge
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Fantastic beach, no safety support, grubby poor threatening town”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

We start with the best bits, and then go downhill- rapidly. The beach at Santa Maria is exceptional. The sand is white, clean and interesting, in that it is completely unabrasive and sorted into more or less uniform grains! However I should add an important caveat- I did find a few broken beer glasses on the beach, or rather my feet did- ouch! nice!
For poor swimmers, a cautionary and entirely relevant note: The North-Easterly trade winds develop some pretty large waves- upto 3m at times. We didn't find this a problem, being strong swimmers, but this beach is certainly one you wouldn't take under 5's or poor swimmers when the trade winds are blowing. Obviously, for kite and wind surfers this location is some sort of Nirvana, but we should add that despite the observer towers showing consistently yellow and red flags during our stay, there wasn't any evidence at all of anyone actually manning these, or observing the water, which isn't entirely encouraging- given that a NE trade wind could carry a kite- or wind- surfer over the horizon and off in the direction of Brazil in less than 20 minutes! I have lived next to the sea in the UK for thirty years, and respect it. I sea kayak, fish and scuba dive, so I am entirely qualified to make these criticisms. So, sea safety is poor to non-existent.
At night. Jeezus- Ha ha! what an experience.Walk what we called the "Green Mile" (the green concrete track by the side of the road leading to Santa Maria). You will be harassed by street hawkers trying to sell you useless tat. Later, after a meal, upon your return, you will be yet again harassed by semi-pubescent prostitutes. The Island has all the worst features of grubby, poor Western Africa, and we are pretty well travelled.......
Finally, if you want to be really depressed, go to the "pier". On this magnificent edifice you can see the really bloody hateful bits of Sal. Women trying to sell small inedible fish, mainly sea bream species, some I identified as a species of Serrana, are faintly toxic...., coral trout and some wrasse type things- although I couldn't be sure regarding the latter, , such was the state of their decomposition!, that have been steeping in luke warm water for many hours, possibly days. These will then be flogged off to the "restaurants" which have a fairly unique inability to prepare anything faintly edible in this gastronomic desert, and then turn it into something that might make you stare at the toilet ceiling for a few days!! Occasionally, bits of large sharks (including fins...) will be available- this is really shocking and depressing. Then there are a few poor buggers selling snail shells they have just dived for around the pier and eviscerated. Sorry, but its a FAIL. Oh yes, beware the dodgy taxi drivers! Always ask the price first- you have been warned 50 euro from airport! an official taxi- it really costs 10 Euro, and if yoiu argue, tthe rivers are a bit leery. In essence, I would suggest that you all go somewhere else. This was an expensive holiday, to a very poor location. Save your money, avoid Cape Verde.

Visited January 2013
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