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Ribeira São Miguel (circular hike)

This hike makes use of old paths used only by locals since the new unpaved road was completed.

The paths cut across fields of beans and corn, passing hamlets and farms. The guide spent years shoring up escarpments as a stonemason, and his face is well known in these parts. His job now is to guide hikers down the rear section of the valley to a spring before traversing the opposite slope; you then pick up the line of an irrigation channel for some distance and pass through more hamlets before finally heading back down the valley to the coast.

The route offers panoramic views over the island, with Assomada visible on one side and the sea on the other. When the air is clear, you can see as far as Maio island. This hiking tour will give you a whole new impression of Santiago.


Eventful hike across varying terrain; 3–5 hours.


By organising this tour independently and taking a GPS device and a good map of the walking trails, you could spare yourself the expense of our local guide. However, that would mean missing out on the company of a fun-loving 50-year-old Cape Verdean, a natural communicator who will chat with you in Creole and introduce you to his friends and acquaintances along the way.


Starting in Pilão Cão, you head through Varanda, Fundo and Pedra Larga before returning via Ponta Verde to Calheta.