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Cape Verde > Pictures and travelogues > Trek to Ribeira Grande in Santiago Island

Pictures from the trek from Aguas Verdes to Ribeira Grande (Cidade Velha) in the south of Santiago Island, Cape Verde.

Trek through Ribeira Grande to Cidade Velha
Hiking trail through Ribeira Grande to Aguas Verdes from Cidade Velha in the south of Santiago Island, Cape Verde.

Cidade Velha, the first capital of Cape Verde, is located in the south of Santiago Island, about 15 km from Praia, the current capital of the country. Aluguers are available between Praia and Citade Velha. Besides the visit of the ruins of the ancient city, Cidade Velha offers the nice opportunity of a trek in Ribeira Grande through lush vegetation.

The ribeira stretches from the source of Aguas Verdes to the mouth in Cidade Velha. It takes the form of a very lush rift between the villages of Salineiros and Calabaceira which lie in a completely barren landscape. You can hike either from Cidade Velha to Aguas Verdes or in the opposite way or both ways. The rift is deep and its edges are abrupt. However, the slope to Aguas Verdes to Citade Velha is not particularly strong.

If hikers do the hike within the ribeira and return out of the rift, they discover the sharp contrast between the fertility of the ribeira and the aridity of the rest of the area. This contrast is particularly strong in Aguas Verdes, where the rift is much narrower than in Cidade Velha. If the hike starts in Aguas Verdes, hikers can take a taxi/aluguer from Citade Velha. In Citade Velha, there are some seafront restaurants at a stone's throw from the Pelourinho.
Lush vegetation in Ribeira Grande in Santiago Island
Lush vegetation in Ribeira Grande to Aguas Verdes in Santiago Island (Cape Verde). An oasis in a desert.

 Ribeira Grande Valley in Cidade Velha
Ribeira Grande valley in Cidade Velha near the mouth of the ribeira in Santiago Island (Cape Verde)
The picture has been taken from
the Fort of São Felipe at the top of the valley. On the left side of the picture: the ruins of the Convent of St. Francis, which is under restoration.


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Pictures from the trek from Aguas Verdes to Ribeira Grande (Cidade Velha) in the south of Santiago Island, Cape Verde