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Trip Planner Africa  /  Cape Verde  /  Santiago  /  Tarrafal


Beaches · Churches · Scuba & Snorkeling
Tarrafal is a town in the northern part of the island of Santiago, Cape Verde. Its 2010 population was 6,656 making it the fourth most largest place on the island and the second largest town. The town is sometimes known as Mangui or Mangue as its second name, its etymology is the area dominated by mango groves. It is a fishing port situated on the northwestern coast. It constitutes the seat of the Tarrafal Municipality.The city boasts a beautiful soft-sand and palm-tree lined beach in the shadow of Monte Graciosa, a distinctive mountain just north of the settlement and is situated by Baía de Tarrafal. It is a popular vacation and tourism spot for people on the island.Tarrafal is the northern anchor of two roads, one leading through Assomada to Praia (the Cape Verdean capital) and the other through Calheta de São Miguel and Pedra Badejo. There is also a small road that leads to the northernmost point of the island of Santiago named Ponta Preta.There are several other settlements in Cape Verde with the same name, notably Tarrafal on the island of São Nicolau; however, Tarrafal on the island of Santiago is the largest and most populous. The town is named after a flowering plant Tamarix senegalensis (another one being Tamarix africana, Portuguese: tarafes, the African tamarisk) which is abundant in the area, of the two tamarisks, the Senegalese tamarisk (locally as the Cape Verde tamarisk) is the dominant kind, it is a flower that grows on sandy areas.
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