Off the Beaten Path in Tarrafal: A Journey Through the Charming Fishing Town’s Best-Kept Secrets


Discover the hidden gems of Tarrafal, Cape Verde's charming fishing town on the northern coast of Santiago Island. From stunning beaches and cascading waterfalls to a former political prison turned museum, Tarrafal offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience that is hard to find in more touristy destinations.

Cape Verde, a volcanic archipelago off the coast of West Africa, is known for its pristine beaches, lively music, and vibrant culture. However, for those who want to venture off the beaten path, the small town of Tarrafal, located on the northern coast of Santiago Island, offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.

Tarrafal is a charming fishing town that boasts stunning natural beauty, rich history, and a laid-back atmosphere. With its colorful houses, cobblestone streets, and scenic ocean views, Tarrafal is a true gem that deserves more attention from travelers.

Here are some of the top sights and little-known places to explore in Tarrafal:

  1. Tarrafal Beach: One of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Verde, Tarrafal Beach is a long stretch of soft sand and turquoise waters. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing in the shade of palm trees. Visitors can also rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to explore the crystal-clear waters.

  2. Tarrafal Penal Colony Museum: The town of Tarrafal was once home to a notorious political prison, known as the Tarrafal Penal Colony. The prison operated from 1936 to 1954 and housed political prisoners from Portugal and other Portuguese colonies. Today, the prison has been turned into a museum that tells the story of the prison and the struggles of the prisoners.

  3. Ribeira da Prata: This stunning river valley is located just outside of Tarrafal and is a must-visit for nature lovers. The valley is home to lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear pools that are perfect for swimming. Visitors can also go on a hike through the valley and take in the breathtaking views.

  4. Monte Graciosa: This mountain peak offers some of the best views of Tarrafal and the surrounding area. Visitors can hike to the summit and take in the panoramic views of the ocean, the town, and the surrounding mountains.

  5. Cova: This small village is located just a few kilometers from Tarrafal and is home to some of the best traditional music in Cape Verde. Visitors can attend live music performances, try local food and drinks, and learn about the history and culture of the village.

Aside from these top sights, Tarrafal offers many hidden gems and little-known places that are worth exploring. From local markets to hidden beaches, there is always something new to discover in Tarrafal.

Travelers who visit Tarrafal will be rewarded with a unique and authentic travel experience that is hard to find in more touristy destinations. The town’s laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and stunning natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Cape Verde.

So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Tarrafal today and discover one of the most beautiful and underrated destinations in Cape Verde!