Praia de Santa Maria
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Top ways to experience Praia de Santa Maria and nearby attractions

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
3,974 reviews
Excellent
2,447
Very good
1,161
Average
273
Poor
70
Terrible
24

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD8,444 contributions
Nov 2022
Our walk began at the town pier, active with fishnet mending, tourists departing on day cruises and pleasure boat dinghies arriving for supplies. Walking westward from here the sand is soft and ideal for swimming and sunbeds as we pass 3 large resorts. Our walking pace increases as the sand becomes flat and hard reaching Google’s Ponta Sino, Kite Beach.
The beach widens, passing the uncompleted 75 bungalows of the New Horizons Ponta Sino Resort to the 30’ Ponta do Sinó Lighthouse. This white concrete structure, built in 1892(rebuilt in 2014), marks the most southerly point of Sal Is. We diverted through the huge new 1000 room Riv Palace, out the lobby and down to the 2014 Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort. After seeing its lobby’s replica of Magellan’s “La Victoria”, we picked up the lovely new beach promenade and returned to the pier.
All in all, a ~5 mile hike giving us a proper overview of the Santa Maria Beach.
Written November 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

suntan47
Chelmsford, UK867 contributions
Jan 2022
Visited as part of a day tour group . Kite beach just goes on and on , soft sand , just great . The day we visited there was no wind , so no kites . Still good to see though .

The beach at Santa Maria is again soft white sand . Really worth a visit , the boats come into the jetty , land the catch and it’s sold there & then. It’s daily life , not something staged for the tourist . People didn’t hassle you , most just smiled & said Hello . Nice , laid back place .
Lots of restaurants & bars , local shops in the new area . Felt perfectly safe walking around the area where the local people live too. It is so tidy & clean , with no litter & brightly painted houses .
Worth a visit or a walk in from your hotel if staying nearby.
Written February 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SpaldingUKTraveller
Spalding, UK118 contributions
Oct 2021
Absolutely beautiful and very clean beach. We had only yellow and red flags during our stay which was'nt great for the youngest members of our family but we all visited the beach several times and really enjoyed our stay. I also enjoyed horse riding on the beach from the hotel and was lucky enough to experience turtles hatching from an unprotected nest as the sun dipped on the horizon.
Written November 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rob R
Tredegar, UK1,316 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
A beautiful beach which is the heart of the community. On this fabulous pristine beach you will find fishermen bringing in their catch on the jetty, locals working out at the beach gym. Plenty of bars and cafes to people watch or just watch the world go by. A very unpretentious beach with character in abundance, I enjoyed every visit morning run, afternoon stroll and sunset drinks.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bianca C
London, UK26 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
Easy spot for any traveller, locals are very friendly and easy going.
Strolling along the beach so easy no stress.
Unfortunately some traders from other countries are pushy. Watch out for those who say they are from your hotel they have seen you, they probably recognise your hotel wristband.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

42carl
Seminyak, Indonesia1,845 contributions
Apr 2022 • Friends
Perfect beach with thinn wide powdery sand. and deep blue turquoise clear water. Here you can relax, swim or do water activities or just walk through the water along the coast side. Not far from the village with its bars, restaurants and many local ( souvenir) no stress shop.
Written April 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

treeviewmark
Stroud, UK18 contributions
Mar 2020
A couple of simple shack bars and a small shop for bits and pieces, endless golden fine sand and hardly anyone around, this was a busy day. It’s a short walk from both sets of hotel groupings- edge and outside town. A place for a drink and unwind - breath in what life should be.
Written March 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DJT
1 contribution
Oct 2021 • Couples
Visited for a sailing trip. It seemed a vibrant town with a lovely beach. The big problem for me was the amount of stray dogs everywhere. The island is over-run with the poor things. Although not aggressive many roam in packs and for Western tourists it's quite upsetting to see so many unwanted dogs everywhere trying to survive.
Written October 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Llamatheexplorer
Copenhagen, Denmark160 contributions
Apr 2014 • Couples
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.

Food

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.

Annoyances

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 
Written April 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

traceycv
santa maria, cape verde116 contributions
Aug 2015 • Couples
Beach of Santa Maria is well worth the walk from the hotels into Santa Maria but reading some of the more negative comments I feel I must respond.

1. You are in Cape Verde, which is just off West Africa so do not be surprised or put off if you are approached by West Africans. They are trying to earn an honest living selling 'African' handicrafts so they can send money back to their families in places such as Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau etc as their countries are far poorer than Cape Verde. If you are not interested, a polite but firm no. If not just ignore them. May seem rude but you have to be as thick skinned as they are. If you are going to the shops, barter and do not be afraid to walk away. The price will drop when you are almost out of the door. In the same instance do not think you can pick up something what you could pay a couple of quid for back in the UK. As mentioned previously they are trying to make a living.

2. Bogus excursion agents- You may get approached by someone offering to sell you a trip cheaper than what your rep or a reputable agency is charging. They are neither covered by insurance, official licenses or paying taxes like the legitimate agents are. Also if you get ripped off or stolen from, it's a case of 'tough luck' as neither the police or your insurance company will be interested. ASK TO SEE THEIR LICENSE (all registered sellers have this)

3. Taxis- people get ripped off the world over. ASK price before getting in a taxi and Top Tip-Have loose change as another ploy is that they have no change. The majority are honest but you will always get one who will try it on especially as people are usually naive regarding the local currency. Prices are Airport to Santa Maria €10 day/€12 euro night. Riu hotels €3/€4, central Santa Maria €1.50/€2

4. Swimming is safer on the left side of the pier as it doesn't have stones or strong currents like in front of the Riu or Tortuga Beach. There are no life guards but you can generally see straight away if their are big waves. Local kids as young as 2 are in it every day and they love it!

5. Litter-Tourists are just as much to blame for litter on the beach so should not complain when there is rubbish left. Please take empty bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags etc to the nearest bin or ask nearest bar to put in their rubbish bin.

6. Beach front restaurants- obviously more expensive if you eat & drink at places such as Morabeza, Barracuda, The Villa etc as these are in prime locations and rents are high accordingly. A cheaper way to have the same view but at a fraction of the cost is to go to the local Brazilian bar (white plastic hut on beach next to Morabeza), Angela's (local Cape Verdean restaurant-cheap food & drinks, next to Porto Antigo 2) or Sal Beach Club directly on the beach of Santa Maria.

My top tip would be to get yourself some sandwiches, some cool beers from the supermarket and have yourself a picnic on the beach on an afternoon and just relax and enjoy yourself.
Written August 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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