This island was an old volcano. It has been recorded that tests on marine sediments found on the island are deemed to be 190million years old.
Before Maio started trading in salt, the island was suitable for grazing cattle and goats, but as the vegetation slowly disappeared and numbers of cattle and goats on the island began to dwindle.
There are two large salt-pans, one in the northwest the other in the southwest. When the trade in salt and lime started, donkeys carried sacks of salt to boats that could ferry the salt to the bigger ships anchored out at sea. These ships in the early years transported this cargo to Europe, America, West Indies and Africa.
Some areas in the east have agricultural land and there are other areas of reforestation.
The small boat that brings fruit, vegetables and other cargo from Santiago is not the most reliable way to reach Maio.
The best way to travel to the island of Maio is by plane from Praia, Santiago. The flight only takes 10 minutes
to reach this lovely island.
It's a short journey from the airport to reach the main town of Vila do Maio. The town rests on some cliffs which overlook
a wonderful beach. The towns people are very friendly as are the islanders. The fishing boats along the beach, fishermen,
families and children all merge together in this quaint town to make it a lovely place to visit. There are some restaurants
and bars but don't expect much other then friendliness, hospitality, simple food and vast open spaces with some greenery in
pockets here and there.
The village people live a simple life, some relying on fishing others on farming. Fresh groceries arrive and are distributed
between villages, the further away from the boat the driver delivers then the more expensive the produce becomes.
The beaches are some of the best beaches you will see, totally unspoilt as yet. You will need a 4x4 to reach some of them
and I would suggest a guide should take you to show you the best places to see.
Winter - at least one long trousers and a jumper
Comfortable walking shoes (flat), thick soled flip flops or sandals
Sun lotions, after sun and Mosquito repellent (can be expensive)
Hygiene wash gel/wipes.
Unlocked phone if wanting to use local sim