Palmeira (Sal) - General Info

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Palmeira lies on the western side of the island of Sal, on the north shore of a large bay. Sal is 40nm north of Boa Vista and is one of the most tourist-orientated of the Cape Verde islands. It is a small, friendly town.

Due to the prevailing winds, the Palmeira anchorage is generally very sheltered. It has been reported to be a very hospitable harbor, however, dinghy and outboard theft have been a problem here in the past.

Entrance Notes and Cautions:

It is not advisable to enter at night here because of the various wrecks, and also the lighthouse might not be working. Most of the lighthouses in this area of the Cape Verdes are dilapidated and don’t work.

A boat was boarded and burgled while the owners were ashore here in October 2022. See comments. Be sure to lock up when leaving your boat unattended.


16° 45.19’N, 22° 58.79’W (anchorage)

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Palmeira (Sal) was last updated 1 year ago.

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  1. April 3, 2023 at 9:37 AM
    Clara Di Prima says:

    Hey fellow sailors! We have been in Palmeira last year for a couple weeks. We are currently in the Gambia debating whether to leave the boat in Lamin Lodge or in Palmeira whilst we go back to Europe to work for the summer. Any thoughts/experiences about leaving your sailboat in Palmeira for a couple months? Thank you!

  2. December 3, 2019 at 6:14 PM
    sofiene says:

    We entered the country at Palmeira Late November. We raised the Q flag until we got our passports stamped. We did the formalities at the police station a blue building few minutes walking from the fishers harbor. We were asked to pay 5€ for the country entry fee and we received a receipt. Police officers are friendly. Police told us that is was not necessary to go to the custom office. Passport were stamped by the Maritime police officer in the police office. We did the check in as well in Sal and left a copy of our boat papers. Before you leave any location in Cape Verde you need to check out and go back to the police office to get your boat document and a paper from the police for the next Island where again you need to check in and to check out. Only the Captain was necessary for all the papers to be done and passport to be stamped. For some others Island like Boa Vista all the crew was requested with all passport.
    You can find blue Gas bottle near by in a shop managed by a very. Orange bottles in another shop. Both Butane and same adapter.
    There is very few food shops. the two main ones are: one managed by a Chinese and near by the second managed by Cape Verde person. We found vegetable expensive +/- 3 € per kilo
    For fuel you can go to the near by Petrol station.

  3. April 12, 2019 at 9:25 PM
    Lynda Lim says:

    My 2 cents on Jay (mentioned in the docking section): At first sight this man indeed appeared to be friendly and helpful, but my further experience with him has been quite different:
    – he claims to be the only one that is allowed to sell water to the boats, which is clearly a lie … fact is that he charges at least 3 times more than other people (6€ per 100 liters – I got 250 liters for 3.5€ from John, mentioned below);
    – when he returned my laundry, a belt was missing, and it was only after pointing this out to him that he returned the belt;
    – when I sold my diving compressor through him, he first came with an envelope that didn’t contain the amount of money we agreed upon (I counted the contents). He then took the envelope with him, came back
    later with the same envelope and the missing amount separately, telling me “this you already counted, and this is the additional amount” … when I recounted the envelope (which he obviously hadn’t expected), it contained 2000 Escudo’s (about 20 EURO) less than before.
    – for these reasons I decided to hire somebody else to watch my boat while I returned to Belgium for a couple of weeks, and his reaction confirmed my decision: he called me, calling me stupid for not hiring
    him and threatening me that people would be stealing stuff from my boat. I thought it would be sufficient to not leave anything on deck to avoid this, but four days after I had left, I got a call from the guy looking after my boat (a man I can really recommend: John, or João), telling me that Jay had been seen
    diving close to my boat the day before (something that he had never done before) and when John went to check, he found that the anchor line of the second anchor I had put out had been cut close to the anchor (so that it wasn’t obvious that it had been cut). He replaced the line with a stronger rope and we thought that would be the end of it. One week later, this new rope was also cut. This kind of vandalism hasn’t happened on any other boat and I don’t see any reason why someone would be doing this kind of stuff … my only suspect for this is this Jay person. Finally, 3 days later, my anchor completely disappeared (a 16kg CQR), a first for Palmeira according to e.g. the local police (where I filed a complaint). Only one suspect again: Jay.
    So on the whole I would say this Jay isn’t exactly a good person to befriend, but rather a person to steer clear of: first impressions can be extremely deceiving.
    BTW: his ‘taxi-boat’ is called ‘Denis’, not ‘Jay’
    Frank Van Camp – Smoke

  4. June 14, 2018 at 1:25 PM
    Lynda Lim says:

    As an update and addition to Stan Luyten’s very helpful comments:
    We cleared in as described – police are around all day, immigration only in the morning – but only had to visit the police to get our boat papers back. We did not need an exit stamp, as we sailed onwards to Mindelo, where we will clear out at immigration.
    For a local sim-card, you don’t have to go to Espargos, but you can get it at a small shop in the “main road” (asphalt road) in Palmeira. Euros and escudos are used as equal means of payment (at a rate of 1:100) on the entire island.
    We found the town friendly and the anchorage safe. The local boys are eager to watch your dinghy or kayak for a small fee.
    One should not anchor in the bay of Mordeira, as it is a marine protected area.

  5. February 12, 2017 at 8:13 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    It’s no longer necessary to go to the airport for formalities. Both harbour police and immigration formalities can now be completed in the village. Both offices are located in the same building in the centre of town (Policia Marítima).

    However, immigration officials aren’t there full-time; they still spend a few hours at the airport too. If you want to leave before opening hours, you can get the exit stamp the day before.

    The bay can be windy, but holding seems to be good. Don’t trust moorings unless you’ve inspected them by diving. Some of them consist of a heave rope on one end and a heavy chain on the other, but only a double sheet in the middle. There’s a full-time water taxi available. Locals are used to catering to boats, so water and fuel can be delivered to the boat.

    The locals are very friendly. Many townspeople are happy to mingle with visiting yachtsmen. There are a few very pleasant little restaurants and bars. Weekend nights are lively. There are a few shops in the town.

    There’s a cash dispenser at the entrance to the industrial port, inside the building just left of the gate (indicated by a signpost on the outside of the building). There’s another one next to the large white warehouse at the edge of the town.

    Espargos, the capital is nearby and has more shops. Minibuses (alugueres) leave frequently ($50 to Espargos).

    The Internet is free at the central square in Espargos. The municipal library of Palmeira also has computers with internet, but no wifi. If you plan to spend some time in CV, just get a local SIM card + 500MB for $600 in a Unitel shop at Espargos.

    In Espargos there’s a very good restaurant serving local food close to the bus terminal (called Li Ke Terra).

    When you leave Sal for the western islands, be aware that lighthouses aren’t working, some of them dilapidated even.

    Stan Luyten – SY Noctiluca

  6. November 22, 2014 at 11:08 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    We entered the harbour Palmeira (Sal) at night (Nov 2014), in good weather. The lights of the bouys were all working and it was not a difficult entrance. For stamping the passports we had to go with the whole crew towards the airport although the local harbour police in Palmeira said that the skipper could go alone.

    We had to wait more than three hours at the airport because passengers for the airport had higher priority. After that, they helped us very friendly. The tip is to go in the morning when it is still quiet in the airport or after 14:00 when most flights have gone.

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