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Santiago, Cape Verde’s Largest Island

15.0N 23.6W

October 5th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Cape Verde - September 6th, 2009

Cape Verde - September 6th, 2009

Santiago is the largest island of Cape Verde, its most important agricultural centre and home to half the nation’s population and its capital city of Praia. Santiago is located between the islands of Maio (40 km to the east, visible in the full image) and Fogo (50 km to the west) and is one of the Sotavento islands.

Santiago is the largest island of Cape Verde, with an area of 991 km². The island is mountainous, as can be observed in this orthorectified image, although slightly flatter in the southeast. The wetter climate of the interior and the eastern coast contrasts with the dryer one in the south-southwest coast.

Praia, located in the southeast coast, is the largest city of the island, and also the capital and largest city of the country. Other towns on the island include Cidade Velha, 15 km west of Praia, Cape Verde’s first capital; Assomada, 60 km north and Tarrafal in the northern part of the island 75 km from the capital.

The Cape Verde Archipelago – May 1st, 2009

May 1st, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Cape Verde - April 5th, 2009

Cape Verde - April 5th, 2009



The Republic of Cape Verde is an archipelagic nation located in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa.

On the African coast in this image, parts of Morocco and Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal and the Gambia can be seen (from North to South).

The previously uninhabited islands were colonized by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century, and attained independence from Portugal in 1975.

The Cape Verde archipelago is located approximately 375 miles (604 km) off the coast of West Africa. It is composed of ten islands (of which nine are inhabited) and eight islets.

The islands have a combined size of just over 4,000 square kilometers. The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago, where the capital of Praia is located.

The islands are divided into the Barlavento (windward) islands: Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista, and the Sotavento (leeward) islands: Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.

Though Cape Verde’s islands are all volcanic in origin, they vary widely in terrain. A still-active volcano on the island of Fogo is the highest point on the archipelago (elevation 2,829 meters). Extensive salt flats are found on Sal and Maio. On Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau, arid slopes give way in places to sugarcane fields or banana plantations spread along the base of towering mountains.