Scuba Diving in Maio
Due to its geographic position Cape Verde’s waters are rich with sea life. Therefore main activities have marine connections. 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.
Snorkeling in Maio
Experience Maio’s abundant marine 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. Please contact us for pricing if you would like to hire equipment.
An organised tour of the island is the best way to see Maio. Such a tour can take in the salinas (salt pan), the sand dunes at Morrinho, some of the numerous little villages and the acacia forests. The sand dunes are designated a wildlife area. There is also a pottery in Morro, which is worth a visit.
An alternative for seeing the island or just the main town of Vila do Maio (also known as Porto Inglês) and the surrounding areas is total walking tour. Vila do Maio is an attractive little town on multiple levels sloping down to the sea. The centre being the newly remodelled town square and the pretty church that lookout to sea. The nearby salinas (salt pan) and the surrounding sand dunes are home to many birds and the sand dunes provide nesting grounds for turtles. There are many unspoilt areas on the island for hiking further afield.
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 locally. 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.
Maio Diversity Foundation (Fundação Maio Biodiversidade) aims to protect the island’s plants and animals. This includes the loggerhead turtles found in the waters around Maio and that nest in the sand dunes. It was established in 2010. It is possible to view the turtles when they nest and when the babies go into the sea (between July and October). The work can be supported by making donations and also by adopting a turtle nest. Sustainable tourism is one of their objectives.
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. One of the best companies is Maio Fishing Club.
Observing the fish
If seeing the fish rather than catching them is more your thing, then the Maio Fishing Club can also arrange trips, when you might see whales, flying fish, turtles and dolphins.
It is possible to arrange a boat trip, the details can be discussed with the boat owner, but could include a trip out to see the fish or a tour around the island.
Hire mountain bikes and go up into the mountains or along deserted beach tracks. 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.