I spent 5 days in Santo Antão and managed to do 4 hikes. I loved them so much that I’m already planning my next trip to Santo Antão. I will definitely need to train before as I turned out to be way less fit than I thought I was.
1. The first one was to Spanader de Neve, a beautiful waterfall hidden in the mountain valleys. For that, you need to head to Vila das Pombas and then I would simply ask the locals how to get to the waterfall. At some point you need climb down the stairs, it looks like climbing down the stairs to someone’s house so for sure I would never find it on my own had I not asked someone. Then, once you’re in the valley you will need to go straight ahead, passing by pigs, cows, goats, papaya trees until at some point you need to choose if you go on the right side or on the left side. Go on the left side! You should pass by containers with the water, pipes and then keep going. There is some kind of “path” that you should follow so look for it. Unfortunately, the first time I went on the right side, which was not easy at all. It involved proper climbing, it was difficult at times and crossing from there to the left side simply too dangerous (my friend tried it and certainly doesn’t recommend it, she couldn’t come back to where I was so we decided to come back on our own and meet half way where two sides meet). The views are spectacular. Our idea was to get back home by Aluguer (collective transport) but once we realized how close two towns were and how rarely Aluguers come, we decided to walk back home stopping by for a cheap dinner. Santo Antao is a bit more expensive than Sao Vicente, a dinner (my usual French fries, omelette and salad) was for 300 (3 Eur) while in Mindelo it would be 250 (2,50 eur). However, if you eat meat or fish you will find plenty of restaurants at different price points.
2. The second hike was to Antena, which is a village on the top of the mountain where there is an Antenna J. So as you can imagine, the village is quite high. I didn’t realize that when I started my walk which I think was a good thing. Otherwise, I would just give up. The hike was so beautiful. It was exactly how I imagined Santo Antao, beautiful green landscapes, plantations. It was definitely my favourite hike, even though the hardest one out of all the hikes I did in Santo Antao. If you stay at Lela D’Fermina Guest House you need to leave the guesthouse, turn right, look for a river and then just follow the river and climb up. There is a path you need to follow, a path that is simply used by people who live there. Almost no chance of getting lost. Once we got there, we had lunch. Claudio called Sandra, who has a restaurant there and she prepared vegan lentils and green pea stew. It was delicious. You don’t come across vegan food in Cabo Verde so I really appreciated I could have a proper meal. Next, we hiked down, stopping on our way to have a guava juice and after 1-2 hours we reached a road where we took a Aluguer to Sinagoga. We were exhausted so natural swimming pools in Sinagoga were perfect to chill.
3. Sinagoga to Villa. This hike was unintentional but turned out to be a nice one. We got hungry in Sinagoga and wanted to have lunch in a nearby village. Unfortunately, there was nothing to eat there so we decided to hike to another one as it was supposed to be an only 20 min hike. It turned out to be 20 Caboverdian minutes so after over an hour we reached our destination. The hike itself wasn’t the most spectacular one, we walked on the road but we had some nice views and found some nice spots for pictures 😀
4. Ponta do Sol to Fontainha. That was my last hike. Th first one that I did on my own. If you are a bit anxious hiking on your own but would like to try, I would recommend this one. It’s super easy, it’s impossible to get lost, it’s a short one (I’d say 1 hour one way and 30 min to come back). Fontainhas is a beautiful village set in the mountains. A lot of tourists love it, I’ve met a few groups hiking their way up the village. A nice hike to finish your trip or for a rest day.
Which was my favourite hike? Certainly Antena. And I’m motivated to train more so that when I come back to Santo Antão I will hike even more and get to know the island better. Have you been to Santo Antão ? What were your favourite places to hike?