The island of Santo Antao is divided dramatically in two by a mountain range with peaks rearing up to 4,921ft (1,500m), making it attractive for trekking, particularly through the tropical vegetation of the deep green valleys which encase the 16th-century town of Povoacao. Hiking is the most popular activity for tourists on Santo Antao, and the sparse human development ensures a special experience of nature. Canyoning and biking are also fun activities on this beautiful, volcanic island.
A walk around the small town of Ponta do Sol is recommended to enjoy the old buildings and colonial heritage, and the main site of historic interest is a mysterious inscribed rock near Janela, dating from the 1400s, when the islands were believed to be uninhabited and undiscovered.
In contrast to the mountainous interior, the island's coast is rugged and bare, but sugar cane, bananas and coffee are grown by the locals. Sugar cane is the raw material for the famed Cape Verde rum, called , which is produced here and enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.
Visitors can reach Santo Antao by ferry from the port of Mindelo on the more populated island of Sao Vicente, arriving at Santo Antao's small port of Porto Novo.