This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Santiago Island. To help you make friends with Santiago Island before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Santiago Island, Cape Verde, is the biggest island in Cape Verde and home to approximately half of the country’s population. Santiago Island is also home to Cape Verde’s capital, Praia. Most people that come to Cape Verde do so to spend most time on the beaches, with possibly some excursions to natural sites. Santiago Island, however, is not the best island on which to spend a lot of time if that is your main goal. There are, however, flights bringing in tourists from West Africa, Portugal, and the Netherlands, but most move on quickly to other islands in Cape Verde.
For the slightly more adventurous, Santiago Island is one of the more interesting islands on which to spend time. Santiago Island has the most "African vibe" in the country, but still it is fairly easy to travel around compared to other countries in (particularly) West Africa. The best way to experience the African vibe is by leaving capital Praia for smaller towns with bustling markets. Fishermen’s village Tarrafal is one of the more interesting places to visit on the island and so is colourful Assomada. If you fancy hiking in the mountains, Santiago Island is also the right island for you.
It is technically possible to visit each end of the island on a day trip from anywhere in the country. However, as in other developing countries, public transport only departs when all seats are sold, which can cost valuable time. Therefore it is recommended to book a hostel in one of several towns on the island and make day trips from there. There is no lack of choice for hostels in Santiago Island, Cape Verde, especially in the bigger towns. Most Santiago Island, Cape Verde hostels are concentrated in the capital Praia (in the very south) and in Tarrafal (in the very north), but you can also find Santiago Island, Cape Verde hostels or cheap private accommodation in other parts of the island.
Written by local enthusiast for Santiago Island hostelsMartin Straatman