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Santiago, Cape Verde Islands

Santiago is the largest Island in the Cape Verde Archipelago with an area of 991km², its highest peak is the Pico d'Antónia (392 metres) and the Island is roughly 55km long and 29km wide.

Santiago was the first of the islands to be settled by the Portuguese Colonists (in 1462) and today is home to more than half the country's population. The name Santiago means "Saint James" in Spanish (rather than Portuguese).

The Island became an important slave trading post and is said to be the most "African" of the Cape Verde Islands, perhaps due to the many Rebelados - the slaves that managed to escape from their masters to live in the Island's rugged interior.

Agriculture plays an important role in the economy and even though the Island is often adversely affected by drought, there are several lush green valleys in the Island's mountainous interior. Local produce includes Maize, Sugar Cane, Bananas, Mangos, Coffee and Lime as well as Pork.

The new Airport (RAI), which opened in 2005, is located 3km from the Island's capital, Praia.

Santiago, Cape Verde Islands