Home Maio Island Geography


Area 265Km2
Population 7.967
Largest urban centerTown of Porto Inglês
Highest Point436m, Monte Penoso
Parish Nossa Senhora Da Luz

Morro, Calheta, Morrinho, Ribeira D. João, Pai António, Praia Gonçalo, Figueira da Horta, Barreiro, Alcatraz e Pilão Cão, Cascabulho, Figueira Seca, Lagoa, Monte Branco, Pedro Vaz, Porto Cais

Coordinates15° 06′ N e 15° 20′ N
23° 05′ W e 23° 14′ W

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Português (Brasil)English (United Kingdom)



The Island of Maio has specific general characteristics. The island is the southernmost  of the archipelago’s eastern islands with an elliptical shape and a land area of 269 km2  - 24 km long from North to South and 16 km wide from East to West. The island is characterized by extensive flat surfaces, with a small mountain range at the center and surrounding dunes. 

The Island of Maio has the largest forest area in the country.

In addition to the Vila do Porto Inglês, the main towns are: Morro, Calheta, Morrinho, Ribeira D. João, Pai António, Praia Gonçalo, Figueira da Horta, Barreiro, Alcatraz and Pilão Cão. The most populous town is the Villa do Porto Inglês, followed by Barreiro and towns on the west coast: Morro, Calheta and Morrinho.

Between Maio and Boa Vista lies the largest portion of the country’s continental shelf, about 66%.  After Boa Vista, Maio is the island with the highest concentration of marine species in Cape Verde.

The island is endowed with extensive beautiful beaches, especially on the West and South /Southwest coasts. Along with their crystal waters, they are one of the potentials to exploit in the tourism development projected for the island.



The population is estimated at about 7.967 inhabitants (2008), of which 54.6% are female.  A significant part of the island's population is made up of immigrants from other islands, especially Santiago. The population aged between 15 and 64 years represents 59.7% of the total, while children under 15 years of age make up 31.8% of inhabitants.

The activity rate is 57.4% and unemployment at the end of 2007 was at 16.1%.


Tourism potential and aptitudes


The Island of Maio has very good conditions for beach tourism, and the best beach fronts are located in the south and southeast coasts, along with land for the development of tourism facilities.  Thus, out of a total of 2,054 hectares of ZDTI, 1830 hectares are adjacent to these areas: ZDTI of Sul da Vila of Maio and ZDTI of Ribeira D. João. On the west coast is the ZDTI of Pau Seco, in the bay with the same name, an area of great beauty and environmental wealth. There are also other areas with potential for environmental tourism.



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