Scuba Diving in Maio
Due to its geographic position Cape Verde’s waters are rich with sea life. It has been said that the archipelago is one of the last uncontaminated paradises of our planet. Maio has two marine reserves so you will see a large range of fish in an unspoilt ecosystem. In the marine reserve at Ponta Preta there are a range of dives featuring walls and caves. You will see corals, sharks, mantas and many more species. Maio is a year round dive destination, that offers unspoilt diving away from the crowds. Please contact us for pricing.
Island Sight Seeing
Maio Island Sight Seeing Tour. The best way to get to see the whole island is to take an organised tour. Tour Maio and see the historic protected heritage site of the Salinas and traditional salt workings, visit the island’s numerous villages, the Centro Ceramico in Morro (Pottery), forest of acacias, mountains, as well as sand dunes of Morrinho that is a designated wildlife area. The tours take 4-5 hours. Please contact us for details.
Walking tour – Visit the capital and surroundings
Vila do Maio, also known as Porto Inglês, is the main town on the island of Maio. The population has doubled in recent years. The town is on multiple levels that step down to the main prominade through a plethora of little cobbled streets. There are some really interesting things to see, such as open bread ovens, natural yogurt making and the fishermen landing different fish. The main square (recently revamped) is full of plants and is just below a pretty church that looks out to sea.
Walking tour – Rocky areas and salt pans
In the south-west of the island there is a large salt flat. The Salina in Vila do Maio and the surrounding sand dunes and semi-desert areas are home to many birds including migratory shorebirds and wading birds. It provides nesting grounds for marine turtles, geckos and skylarks, an endemic subspecies of the cream-colored courser and the largest breeding Kentish plover population in the Atlantic Oceanic Islands.
Island tour – Desert landscape with high sand dunes and beaches
The sand dunes of Morrinho are worth a visit. This area of the island is now a protected zone thanks to the the efforts of Tamas Szekely who started the Maio Biodiversity Foundation. There is no development allowed in this area as it contains a number of rare and interesting species. These beaches have very few people (usually none), all you will see is the sand, ocean and wild life. Your will travel by road to the outside of the zone and then a walk through the dunes to the ocean on the other side.
See the turtles laying eggs and the baby turtles going happily to the ocean (during the months of June to September). Or why not go the whole night and take a tent and sleep under the stars on the warm dunes. The lack of street lighting means that the stars are easy to see. If you are diving, trekking or bird watching and are interested in the endemic plants and animals of Cape Verde you will find Arkive really useful. It has a comprehensive list of all things Cape Verde with photos and descriptions.
Visit to see local arts and craft
The islanders are very talented with their hands. They have to be because it is not possible to buy everything as in Europe. Most things have to be made. A tour will take you to some of the arts and crafts of Maio. Close to the Forte de São José in Vila do Maio, there is a shop selling some of the local crafts, which make great souvenirs. Items on sale include pictures made with drift wood and items off the beach.
Snorkeling in Maio
Experience Maio’s abundant fish life from the surface. Take your own equipment or you can hire it locally. There are many species that can be seen from the surface especially around the rocky headlands and little coves. One of the best locations is just below the villa entering the water by the small beach. If you are brave enough you can swim to one of the other little beaches that are only accessible by sea. Please contact us for pricing if you would like to hire equipment.
Fishing in Maio
The island of Maio offers really great fishing. You have the opportunity to fish with the most innovative techniques, both from a boat and from the beach. Deep sea fishing, troll, vertical jigging, casting, bottom fishing etc. You have the chance to catch blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado, wahoo, grouper, amberjacks and more. Also surf casting from the beach can offer you the opportunities to catch trevally, bonitos, bream, red mullet and sharks. One of the best companies is Maio Fishing Club
Take some of the latest mountain bikes up into the mountains or along deserted beach tracks. If you hire the bicycles for a few days it is possible to visit some of the lovely little fishing villages and deserted beaches. If you are fit enough we highly recommend cycling north west to the town of Riberia Dom Joao ‘Don John’s Creek’. You will find a little oasis of palm trees where you can take a shady break. Its an ideal spot for bird watching where beautiful species come to nest. Please contact us for details.
Quad Bike Hire
Quad bikes can be hired, giving you the opportunity of seeing some of the island yourself. Some areas are restricted because of potential damage to the turtle nests. Quad bikes are great fun, but be prepared to get rather dusty, so don’t wear smart clothes.