Santa Maria is located at the southern tip of the island, which you will reach by taking a beautiful asphalt road that crosses this desert adorned with a few dunes and some acacias and stunted palm trees lying on the wind. On either side of the road you can see the sea, the main attraction of the island. Around the beach of Santa Maria there is nowadays the most important tourist infrastructure in the country. The beach, 8 km long, is simply sublime, bathed by the warm waves of a sea sometimes turquoise, sometimes emerald. Its climate is mild and the air is clean and healthy. With Boa Vista and Maio, it's the perfect place to relax and perfect your tan. The view on arrival in Santa Maria can be disappointing: cranes, hotels under construction, the entrance to the city looks like a construction site. You have to venture into the streets of the village to appreciate the real charm of this place. Due to the development of tourism, the island of Sal has become a privileged destination for sun-sick tourists as well as for surfers, thus favouring the appearance of numerous hotel complexes, souvenir shops and boutiques dedicated to surfing. Even though the World Windsurfing Championship event has not been held here since 2009, the strong wind on some well-oriented beaches attracts windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts from all over the world; water sports enthusiasts will find the ideal conditions here to indulge their passion. In the village, the people are very friendly and the old colonial style houses in pastel colours blend cheerfully with the new villas facing the sea. Walking in Santa Maria, especially at the end of the day, is really very pleasant; don't hesitate to push the walk a little further towards the saltworks about 1.5 km to the north-east. The beaches in this area are beautiful, wild and rarely visited.
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