In 1968, a transport ship called Cabo Santa Maria ran aground on the coast of Boa Esperança, to the north of the island. This was a godsend for the locals, who were able to seize all of the goods while the crew, unhurt, quickly fled the island. More than 4 decades later, the ship's wreckage has become one of the island's attractions. Practically in the middle of nowhere, the site offers a striking view of the steel ship, its remains assailed by the constant waves.
You can reach it with a 4x4 via a torturous cobblestone road built by the Portuguese, followed by a track in the middle of palm and acacia trees which grows worse with every passing minute. You will see a few goats and donkeys grazing among the rocks and the odd patches of grass. You can also get there on foot from Sal Rei, where you can choose from the various trail options (it will take between an hour and a half and two hours to get there).
Boa Vista's north coast is just as deserted as its southeast coast. Between the sea, the sand and the rocks, vegetation is nearly non-existent.© Patrice Hauser / EASYVOYAGE
Although the wreck has become the main sightseeing destination on Boa Vista, accessing it is still difficult and the facilities are very basic.© Patrice Hauser / EASYVOYAGE
Over time, the wreck split into two and now a wide hole separates the bow from the stern.© Patrice Hauser / EASYVOYAGE
Whether it comes from the sea or the tourists passing by, there is unfortunately a lot of rubbish to be seen on the beach.© Patrice Hauser / EASYVOYAGE
The wreck offers a striking sight of a metallic structure besieged by waves in the middle of nowhere.© Patrice Hauser / EASYVOYAGE