Cova crater in Santo Antão

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Posted on Thu, Nov 06 2014 18:11:38

cova craterSanto Antão is a small tropical island of Cape Verde archipelago, dominated by an extinct volcano in the middle of it. Its crater, Cova, is a fertile valley serving as farmlands of the island, from rim to rim. This place looks prehistoric with its volcanic ridges and clouds flowing over their edges into the crater  -  almost like a Jurassic park experience.

The road to the crater up from Porto Novo, down to Ribiera Grande and then onto Paul twists in between the mountains, letting you experience both the dry desert and the lush pine forests on the way. You can hike down to the bottom of the crater and explore its floor, then go up to its rim, stand above the clouds and watch them spill into the caldera with ant-sized villagers working in the fields. When the clouds flow into the crater, it is impossible to stop watching – every day there is a different behavior pattern to them. The pine forested sides of the crater are the only part of the island that has woody vegetation – they create an amazing ambience of peace and tranquility, providing shade from the blazing sun.

Most of the harvest of Cape Verde comes from Cova crater and Santo Antão's fields. The island also produces the largest quantity of sugar cane.

Santo Antão is a hiker's and photographer's dream, undisturbed by tourists and untouched by the modern pace of life. It is considered by many as the most beautiful island of Cape Verde. Besides exploring Cova, there are amazing lanscapes, you can stay in a pension in the Paul area, try the traditional food and share the local drink Grogue, still manufactured in the old-fashioned way.

To get to the place, you can fly to São Vicente and then take a ferry to Santo Antão.

Gallery: Cova crater in Santo Antão

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Read more about Cape Verde off the beaten path

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