Capital: Cidade de Porto Inglês (Vila do Maio)
Inhabitants: approximately 7,000 people; the majority lives in the capital.
In three words: tranquility, lonely beaches, marine wildlife
The beautiful island Maio, sometimes referred to as the forgotten island, is one of the three Sun Islands. Unlike Sal and Boa Vista there are not many touristic activities on the island. It offers the visitor quiet dunes, secret white-sand beaches in a calm, gentle and welcoming atmosphere.
Maio is an important nesting site for the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Their survival is threatened by the hunting of females for food, nest poaching and new beachfront development. If you want to experience Maio whilst also contributing to the protection of marine wildlife you might consider to join the organization Fundacão Maio Biodiversidade (FMB) as a volunteer. This organisation is working on various community-based conservation programs, e.g. a Community-based Sea Turtle Conservation Project that goes from June to October every year. Furthermore, it is possible to arrange a homestay with a local family through FMB, so you can experience the Cape Verdean lifestyle and culture whilst you contribute to nature conservation!
Recommended places to visit:
- Cidade de Porto Inglés (charming town with brightly painted houses and narrow cobbled streets)
- Bitcherocha-beach and Praia Ponta Preta (white beaches; Ponta Preta is not safe for swimming due to a strong current !)
- Salina de Porto Ingles (Maio’s biggest piece of heritage. As a wetland, it is visited by migrant waders)
Tip: Take a round trip on the island so you can see the 12 villages around Maio!
Source: Marco Polo Cape Verde
Bradt Travel Guide Cape Verde
FMB International Volunteer Program – Participants Guide 2015
Watch our video about Maio!
OUR EXPERIENCE WITH FMB!
OUR LOVE FOR GOAT CHEESE! (MAIO)
WHAT TO BRING TO MAIO!