SANTA LUZIA Island
Santa Luzia (Portuguese for Saint Lucy) is an island of the Barlavento archipelago in Cape Verde located between São Nicolau and São Vicente. The area is 35 km² (some reads 34 km²). The highest point is Monte Grande elevating 395 m. Home to a small agricultural population in the eighteenth century, desertification led to its abandonment, while it later acted as a hermitage. It was formerly home to a unique lizard. In the 20th century, a meteorology station was built.
With a surface of 35 Km², it is in fact the only permanently uninhabited island in the archipelago. In the past it had inhabitants who did not resist the lack of water and severe drought on the island. Legally, Santa Luzia is a Natural Reserve, in spite of the fact that, daily, it receives fishermen from the neighboring Island of São Vicente, who practice their craft along its coast. Also many excursions are arranged for people to pay a visit, ususally for the day.
It is relatively high for its small size and has two extensive beaches, on the south center and on the northeast, where an important field of dunes is located.
The creation of the Natural Reserve is intended to protect the island as a common patrimony and to preserve the natural processes on a volcanic island in an arid region. Aside from weak vegetation it has a substantial variety of endemic reptiles and also birds. The island’s principal natural resources are related to the diversity of sub-aquatic species in its coastal waters.
The uninhabited Santa Luzia nature reserve has amazing white sandy beaches with crystal water. With no regular public transport to the island the beautiful landscapes can be explored in total tranquillity.