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The island of FOGO, located to the west of Santiago, is almost round in shape and looks as if it is just a volcanic mountain; in fact, it is - the island itself is one enormous and ancient volcano. Its surface area is 476 Km2 and, although only the fourth biggest island of the archipelago, it is the highest, the top of its newer volcanic peak reaching a height of 2829 m. This volcano, Pico do Fogo, is in fact the main tourist attraction of the island. The volcanic cone rises from a plateau about 8 km in diameter, called CHÃ DAS CALDEIRAS. The walls on the western side of this valley reach almost 1000 m and end in a crater 500 meters in diameter and 180 meters deep. This is truly some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of the archipelago. The original volcanic cone must, at one time, have reached a height of 3500 meters.

The volcano was active right up to the 18th century, when the main cone ceased activity and all that remained were the volcanic vapors and deposits of sulphur. There have since then been sporadic eruptions, the last severe of which was in 1951, when lava poured out of one of the two openings on the southern side of the volcano.

Recommended Hotels:

Xaguate. 281.1222. This modern hotel has a magnificent position on the headland in the upper part of São Filipe.

Recommended Restaurants:

Seafood Restaurant. 281.2623. Great seafood and a great view of the water. Run by a Cape Verdean family. Small but comfortable rooms are also available upstairs from the restaurant.

Fogo Lounge
. 281.1900. This restaurant is in the heart of São Filipe and run by a husband and wife team. They serve a variety of foods, from seafood to pizza.

Tropical Club. 281.1188. Excellent traditional Cape Verdean food with a large selection of drinks and cocktails.

Recommended Places to See:

São FILIPE. Its predominant characteristic is the politicians' "sobrados", witnesses to the power held by the great land owners of yesteryear. The Historic Centre of the City of S. Filipe, with precise architectonic lines, invites us on an interesting and rich trip to the bygone days of the island. Looking out across the pleasantly arranged squares, we can easily see the "Cemitério Velho", a constant reminder of the old slave-based society. Known as the cemetery for the whites, only the wealthy landowners of European descent could be buried there.

PICO DO VULCÃO (do Fogo) (Volcano Peak). Leaving S.FILIPE or MOSTEIROS, take the road to CHÃ DAS CALDEIRAS, and for those who are feeling fit, a hike up the peak is well worth the effort. In CHÃ DAS CALDEIRAS, there is a magnificent natural park called MONTE VELHO, where there are some marvellous and truly enormous trees, which contrast greatly with the aridness of the rest of the island.

SALINAS DE S.JORGE, north of S.FILIPE, is a magnificent black sand beach with a number of beautiful grottos and reefs.

- Here there are three craters to be seen. NOSSA SENHORA DO SOCORRO is a small chapel overlooking the sea. The Church of S.LOURENÇO and PONTA VERDE, about 15 km from S. FILIPE, are also points of interest.