An island located five miles from the island of S. Vicente, the island of Santa Luzia belongs to the group of the Windward Islands, and has an area of 35 km2, and the highest point is 395 meters above sea level. With a dry climate and frequent droughts, various attempts at settlement of the island ended in failure. The landscape consists of steep hills to the north and splendid white sand beaches and dunes to the south. The best way to reach the island is from "Calhau", on the eastern coast of S. Vicente, where you can rent a fishing boat during the day that will transport you to Santa Luzia. The crossing is approximately two hours in each direction. Santa Luzia is an uninhabited island of white sand dunes and beaches and crystal blue waters. It is considered an important conservation land of Cabo Verde and is the only island in the archipelago that is not inhabited. Water shortages hindered the success of several attempts to make it a reality but finally, the island came to be inhabited during the XVIII century when a small community that was dedicated to pastoralism, fishing and extraction of heath left the island. In the twentieth century, until the '60s, the island was inhabited by a couple, but is uninhabited since. Still, the human presence on the island is almost permanent as fishermen usually from S. Vicente, make rounds on the island.
With regard to the archipelago of Cabo Verde, a country of poor natural resources, there have been a solid concurrence to maintain Santa Luzia as a pristine natural destination and strong protection of its species.
The Conservation Land of Santa Luzia, comprising the island of Santa Luzia and the islets Branco and Razo off the coast of S Nicolau, represents an ecosystem of high ecological and economic value, having a high concentration of biodiversity of extreme ecological and scientific importance worldwide. Being located between the islands of S. Vicent and S Nicolau, the Conservation Land of Santa Luzia, presents some endemic plant species of scientific interest as well as rich flora and fauna, among which the Shearwater (Calonectris edwardsii) and the islet of Raso Lark (Alauda Razae), an endangered endemic species. They also have several migratory species like whales, dolphins, turtles, and other marine platform. Their refuge is a valuable reserve of economically important fish stocks, such as bottom fish and coastal lobsters. The marine fauna of the island of Santa Luzia is very rich and diverse. Besides being one of the best places for the leatherback turtle, the waters surrounding the island are home to many species of fish and shellfish of great quality.
Promoted recently to the category of Integral Natural Reserve, the island of Santa Luzia and his islets Branco and Razo, have restricted scientific purposes or possibly educational access. Currently access to the Integral Natural Reserve is subject to authorization from the Department of the Environment. As of 2014, the Management Plan is being finalized, in order to establish standards and identify which activities and forms of tourism can be compatible with environmental preservation and the conservation of endemic species found in Santa Luzia.
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