Santo Antão – The island of mountains, wind and water. Many names could be given to the second-largest island of Cape Verde. With its hugely contrasting landscape and soil structures, it forms the northwestern border of the island group with a size of 779 square kilometres. Although the south and west area appear desolate and barren, the subtropical climate will surprise you with its rich vegetation. Forests of fir and pine turn the Ribeira green. You will also see the date and coconut palms, mango and carob trees, as well as citrus, almond, papaya and orange trees. Maize, pineapples, coffee and manioc are cultivated in the mountains on terraced fields that consist partly of black lava soil and partly of white "pozzolana". The fragrance of eucalyptus, lavender and even lotus blossoms hangs in the air. Acacia, wild figs and dragon trees line the roads in many places.
The nearly 50,000 inhabitants of the island mainly live in the cities of Porto Novo, Ponta do Sol, Paúl and Ribeira Grande. However, the residents of Santo Antão are a mountain people: Despite all of their Cape Verdean joy in life, they also have something raw and heavy to them. This is where the music style and dance of colá are at home.
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