SÃO VICENTE with 75.000 inhabitants forms part of the Barlavento (Windward) group of islands. Located in the northwest it is the second most populous island of Cape Verde. The São Vicente canal separates it from the neighboring island of Santo Antão. São Pedro Airport is located south of the city of Mindelo (63.000 population), which is often considered the unofficial cultural capital of Cape Verde, is the main town of the island and the second largest city of the Archipelago,
The island of São Vicente which is dry and arid in aspect, has in the fishing and tourism industry as well as the exploration of its busy seaport, Porto Grande, the main source of revenue. It has an area of 227 km² spanning 24 km from east to west and 16 km from north to south, making it the seventh largest island of Cape Verde.
São Vicente is the party island with the town square and the labyrinth of side streets in the capital Mindelo as the focal points. It is also known for the music festival of Baía das Gatas, held on the first weekend of a full moon in the month of August that goes on for three days and nights. It is also the birthplace of the celebrated singer Cesária Évora, Cape Verde’s most famous citizen. Cape Verde Food has lots of varieties of dishes, most of them being seafood based, with the most famous being the “cachupa” and “arroz de cabidela de marisco à Dadal” which translated means “chicken giblets rice with seafood a la Dadal”.
Although São Vicente is volcanic in origin, it is relatively flat, especially the central area, the area east of the Calhau and the area north of Baía das Gatas. The highest peak in the island is the majestic Monte Verde at 774 m in altitude. Other significant peaks are; Topona (699 m), Madeiral (675m), Fateixa (571 m), Tope de Caixa (535 m) and Monte Cara at 488 meters.
São Vicente was the last of the islands to be populated, starting in 1838.