Cabo Santa Maria

Atalanta beach also known as cabo santa maria due to the Spanish freighter Cabo Santa Maria trapped 50 years ago in the sands of Atalanta beach in Boa Vista.

Built in 1957, in the large shipyards of Cartagena by the Empresa Nacional Bazán de Construcciones Navales, it was a fast, very maneuverable freighter that easily reached 17 knots while cruising a modern ship, equipped with advanced electronic navigation and a very experienced crew on the Mediterranean- South America. It sank in September 1968, captained by the experienced Fernando De Solis, with a crew of 38 and 5 passengers. It carried food, gifts for General Franco and his supporters, and machines.

They left Genoa for Buenos Aires, making stops at various ports in the Mediterranean, as well as in the Canaries and a stop in Porto De Santos, Brazil. The very fact that the ship was stranded on a sandbar next to the beach, without any breach, or structural damage, reveals that the accident was not of technical origin. Human error remains. The reason for the accident was never revealed.

The wreckage of Cabo Santa Maria has become a symbol of Boa Vista and Cape Verde. A source of inspiration for painters and photographers, they often illustrated postcards, books and magazines and a visit is a must for tourists.

Today, there is little left of the large ship’s structure due to corrosion, wave lashes, and weathering in various storms. The shipwreck looks like the skeleton of a majestic animal that has not yet finished its journey. After 50 years, it is time to celebrate not so much the accident, but the gift of the sea that in a time of famine fed the people of Boa Vista.



4 hours

The departure is in Sal-Rei, with 4-wheel vehicles for 2 people. Driving the quad is pure fun, very stable, and it gives the impression of flying. After passing through Rabil, a small town, you arrive at the dunes of the Viana desert, magnificent sand walls that move with the wind and offer a breathtaking view.

Near the desert, there is a bar where you can stop and take a walk on foot. During the tour, you travel in the queue, to avoid ending up in chasms or dangerous points. The dunes are soft, silent and the sand does not burn because it is very clear. Once you leave the desert, you will go north to visit the Cabo Santa Maria, one of the last shipwrecks of Boavista. Here the terrain is more impervious, but doesn’t worry because the expert guides know perfectly every path!

The excursion is also suitable for children, from 7 years. No special technical knowledge is required, and the excursion ends where it started.

– Bravo Praia Chave: 08:15 / 13:15
– Riu Touareg: 08:00 / 13:30
– Riu Palace: 08:30 / 13.30
– Royal Horizon: 08:20 / 13:20
– Marine Club: 08:30 / 13:30
– Riu Karamboa: 08:45 / 13:45
– Chave: 08:20 / 13:20
– Sal Rei: 08:30 / 13:30

RETURN: Expected after about 5h.

TRANSPORT INCLUDED: Pick-up or bus directly at the hotel or in the city. Further details will be provided after booking.

€ 100 double motorbike (2 people)
€ 85 single motorbike (1 person)


2 hours

This excursion consists mainly of sandy rock paths that lead to the north side of the island, where you will find an old wreck of an ancient merchant ship completely emerged from the sea that has existed since the 70s, and which still gives a mysterious and fascinating feeling.

From the beach of Santa Maria, which takes its name from the wreck, the tour heads south again, on paths characterized by black earth and volcanic rock typical of the area; you will pass in the middle of a forest of acacia trees, called Floresta Clotilde, and then take the picturesque road (an ancient cobblestone road), in the middle of an oasis of palm trees, to return to Rabil.

The excursion is also suitable for children, from 7 years. No special technical knowledge is required, and the excursion ends where it started.

DEPARTURES (every day):
– Bravo Praia Chave: 14:15
– Riu Touareg / Riu Palace: 14:30
– Royal Horizon: 14:20
– Marine Club / Sal-Rei: 14:30
– Riu Karamboa: 14:45
– Chaves: 14:20

RETURN: Expected after about 3h.

TRANSPORT INCLUDED: Pick-up or bus directly at the hotel or in the city. Further details will be provided after booking.

€80 double motorbike (2 people)
€70 single motorbike (1 person)


4 hours

Starting from Sal Rei or from the hotels, the first stop is in Rabil, the nice village 1 km near the airport, where you can admire the ancient pottery processing at the “ollaria”, one of the few forms of local craftsmanship. Leaving from Rabil you cross the small palm-lined oasis and immediately after you arrive at the Viana Desert. The desert has been formed over the years, from the Alisei winds coming from North Africa, loaded with sand from the Sahara. Viana changes continuously over time, stretches, widens, and every time the landscape offers different beauties.

It’s beautiful walking barefoot on the sand and rolling off the dunes, in front of the curious gaze of the goats that live there. Leaving the desert, it proceeds towards Cabo Santa Maria, in order to admire an old wreck and the sea eagles.

Proceeding towards Sal Rei, a stop at the Church of Fatima, recently renovated, which offers a breathtaking view of the sandy coves in the middle of the volcanic rocks. To end the trip, a walk in Sal Rei, the main town of Boavista.

From all hotels and Sal Rei:
Morning: 09:00 AM
Afternoon: 2:00 PM

RETURN: Expected return after about 4h.

Pick-up directly at the hotel or at your accommodation. Further details will be provided after booking.

EXCURSION PRICE (for the car)
1-2 pax € 90; 3-4 pax 120€

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