São Vicente, Cape Verde

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São Vicente (Portuguese for "Saint Vincent"), also Son Visent or Son Sent in Cape Verdean Creole, is one of the Barlavento islands of Cape Verde. It is located between the islands of Santo Antão and Santa Luzia, with the Canal de São Vicente separating it from Santo Antão.



The island is roughly rectangular in shape with a surface area of ca. 227 km2 (88 sq mi). From east to west it measures 24 km (15 mi) and from north to south no more than 16 km (9.9 mi). The terrain includes mountains in the west, the southwest, the south, the east-central and the north. The area is flat in the north-central, the central part, the eastern part south of Calhau and the northern part in the Baía das Gatas area. The urban area of Mindelo is in the northern part. Much of the island is deforested.

Although volcanic in origin, the island is quite flat. Its highest point is Monte Verde (Portuguese for green mountain) located in the northeast-central part with an altitude of 725 metres (2,379 ft). Although a great amount of erosion has taken place, some craters still remain — in particular near the bay of Mindelo. Other mountaintops include Monte Cara and Topona.


The climate is mainly tropical and dry with the temperature around 24 °C (75 °F) all year round. The ocean water temperature every year is between 22 °C (72 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F). There are two seasons: November through July are mainly dry and windy, while August through October is the "rainy season".

Geographical features

In clockwise order:

  • Ponta de Doca, in the northern part of the island
  • Ponta Marigou, north, the northernmost point on the island
  • Ponta da Fregata, in the northeastern part of the island
  • Praia Grande (meaning large beach), northeast
  • Ponta do Calhau, located in the east
  • Ponta da Vianna, located in the east
  • Ponta de Saragaça, located in the east southeast
  • Ponta da Várzea, located in the southeast
  • Ponta do Matadouro, located in the south southeast
  • Ponta da Calheta Grande, located in the east southeast
  • Ponta do Sul, located in the south
  • Ponta Araújo, in the south-southwestern part of the island
  • Ponta da Ribeira da Caixa, in the southwestern part of the island
  • Ribeira Julião tributary

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