Sta Luzia, the smallest island

Santa Luzia is the smallest island of the windward island group of the Capeverdean archipelago. It is 13 km long, 5 km wide, and has a highest altitude of 395 m. The highest point is located in the North-most island, while the south of the island is flatter, with dunes and white sand beaches. Now uninhabited, Santa Luzia was home to a small livestock breeding and orchil lichen picking community in the XVIII century, with a population reaching its maximum of 20 people living from meat, milk and leather obtained from goat breeding in the XIX century.

With the cyclic draughts and the scarcity of water, inhabitants gradually left the island, which is now uninhabited.

Administratively, Santa Luzia belongs to the municipality of Sao Vicente, in the island of the same name.

Since 1990, the island of Santa Luzia and neighboring islets (Branco and Raso) have been declared Public Heritage by the state, based on their rich fauna. The fauna is composed of are species of mainly birds, fish, and gastropods that have adapted to the ecosystem though time, and nowadays make this group of islands a true nature reserve.

Interestingly, though many of the Capeverdean islands carry names of saint men, mostly corresponding to the day they were discovered, Santa Luzia is the only one named after a saint woman.

Back to Morabitur Cape Verde