THE MOUNTAINS OF THE LAND OF “CHIQUINHO”
Founded on August 30, 1731, Vila da Ribeira Brava was, until 2005, the seat of the island of São Nicolau, at which time Tarrafal had its territory being elevated to municipality and gained autonomy. An agricultural island par excellence, São Nicolau is one of the ascending islands on Rural and Nature Tourism, in Cabo Verde. Every day, the island is getting more and more tourists wanting to climb “Monte Gordo”, to cross the green valley of Fajã, and to embark on the adventure that the numerous rails spread through the mountains have to offer.
The landscape and environmental richness, stretching from the mountains to the sea, is enhanced by the historical-cultural richness that also surrounds the whole island. Here was born Baltazar Lopes da Silva, the author of the celebrated novel “Chiquinho”.
For many, it is the “founding” work of Cape Verdean literature. Therefore, you will meet an imposing statue in his honor, in the heart of the village of Ribeira Brava. The musical tradition of this island is today an important cultural asset of the island.
Land of the origins of the great master Paulino Vieira, and of artists like Toy Vieira, Nish Wadada, Manu Soares, Nelson Freitas, Johnny Fonseca, Johnny Ramos and William Araújo, just to name a few. São Nicolau is also home to the first Concentration Camp of Cabo Verde. An important part of the country’s colonial history, of which only ruins remain. Land of a thousand charms, the island hosts two of the seven wonders of Cabo Verde: Monte Gordo Natural Park and Carbeirinho Beach. There are many reasons to discover the hidden charms of the mountains of the land of “Chiquinho”. Venture Yourself!
Land of Culture … and narrow streets
Elected National Heritage of Cabo Verde in 2010, Ribeira Brava is a nice town, although it continues to be called “Vila”, with many houses that keep the colonial heritage, and where its original architecture stands out.
For an adventure in the Historic Center of Ribeira Brava, the shoes, or trecking shoes, will be your biggest ally. A series of narrow streets and alleys await you, with steep climbs, some where cars can barely pass, but worth discovering.
São Nicolau already has several inn offers, and some guesthouses, either in Tarrafal, or Ribeira Brava. Within the island you can find some more rustic accommodations that provide unique experiences to visitors and allow the local population to take advantage of local potential linked to the Rural Tourism.
São Nicolau has a diverse menu to offer anyone visiting the island. From the local fish, including lobster, to the meat dishes, there are many options. In both towns, it is possible to find some restaurants, but especially at night, be sure not to dine very late. If you like goat, you got to try the chief delicacy of the cuisine of this island: the “Modje” of São Nicolau, but can also enjoy a good fish broth. Artisan sweets and traditional goat cheese complete the desserts menu.
WHERE TO BUY
Whether in Tarrafal or in Ribeira Brava, you will find some shops and local markets with traditional souvenirs. Tuna Cans of São Nicolau are great souvenirs, as well as local jam sweet or the grogue
of São Nicolau.