Cape Verde has gorgeous beaches. From white sandy beaches to black volcanic sandy beaches. They are located in small bays orthere are very long stretches. According to the Lonely Planet travel guide, Cape Verde is ranked among the top 10 best destinations for beautiful beaches and small islands. On almost every Cape Verde island you will find elongated beaches. And on the island of Sal is the most famous beach: Santa Maria. The turquoise water, the soft white sandy beach in combination with the beach facilities make this beach a perfect beach.
The Santa Maria beach is in a large bay and is up to 3 – 4 kilometers long. It consists of a white / yellow and wide sandy beach with no rocks. The water is usually fairly flat with a minimal current. The beach stretches into the sea and because there are practically no stones, rocks and shells, you can enjoy the sea with your bare feet. In the months of more wind there are waves, which is very nice to jump into. The sea is also perfect for watersport. The sea temperature at Santa Maria is highest at the end of September. Then it is around 26-28 degrees Celsius. The sea is the least warm in February with a temperature of 21-24 degrees Celsius. Thus, all year round wonderful sea temperatures.
The fine sandy beach of Santa Maria is well maintained and clean. The beach has optimal facilities that add to the comfort and pleasure of your stay at the beach. At the foot of the beach is a car free promenade. There are several hotels and beach pavilions at this promenade where you can enjoy a cold drink.
The beach pavilions are easily accessible from the promenade. At some beach pavilions there are wooden plankings to reach the beach easily. Very useful if you have problems with walking on a sandy underground. Beach beds and beach umbrellas are available for rent. There is a lot of space, also for just laying on your towel on the beach. For security, there are beach guards who supervise the swimmers. Active holidaymakers can also enjoy themselves. From beach soccer or volleyball to various water sports. For example, surfing, suppen, diving and going on a water scooter.
Santa Maria pier to Ponta Preta
Starting from Santa Maria Pier you can take a beautiful walk to the other side of the beach. The distance is about 3 – 4 kilometers. The pier is located at the center of Santa Maria village. At this pier, the locals are always busy catching and selling fresh fish. Certainly in the early morning. From the pier you follow the beach towards the west. The first part of the beach is the most crowded. Here are the most hotels and beach tents. You will also see many local people busy with their fishing boats or enjoying the delicious seawater. The sea is also the most quiet here. The further you get from the pier, the quieter it becomes.
Halfway the walk you are at Ponta Sino. You can recognize it by the blend of the bay. The waves of the sea are higher and there is some more current. On the beach you will also find some small sand dunes and here is the only lighthouse of Sal. The beach is very wide here and usually you are here (almost always) alone. Wonderful if you love a private beach. This area is also a nature reserve.
If walk on you will reach the Rui hotel. From here you can also easily take a taxi back to the village or walk down the normal road. Just beyond the Rui hotel are some impressive high sand dunes. The white tops of the sand dunes are splendorous.However, if you continue you will come to Ponta Preta. This is one of the best surfing spots of the Cape Verde Islands. Here various matches for the World Cup and World Championship were held. Following the rocks of Ponta Preta begins the 3 kilometer long sandy beach of Ponta Preta. In the video below you will find a quick impression of surfing at Ponta Preta.
The Caretta Caretta (loggerhead) turle puts its eggs on the beaches of Sal. The Santa Maria beach is one of the favorite places for the Caretta Caretta turtle. If you are lucky you will see a turtle swim in the sea or come to the beach in the evening. The turtles are protected by nature organizations. When the young turtles come out of their eggs they are released set free. On the beach next to the Rui hotel (just beyond Ponta Sino) you can experience this yourself in the season.
How do I get to the Santa Maria beach?
You can hardly miss the Santa Maria beach. The beach is located at the village of Santa Maria in the south of Sal island. The beach is 16 kilometers from Amilcar Cabral International Airport. And 20 kilometers from Espargos, the capital of Sal. Santa Maria is originally a fishing village, but today it focuses more on tourists. You will find many accommodations and hotels so if you stay at Sal you are likely to be close to the Santa Maria beach.