A day out at Pedra de Lume salt flats, Sal, Cape Verde

Updated on Feb 09, 2024 by Ella Brundle

Blog > A day out at Pedra de Lume salt flats, Sal, Cape Verde

An out-of-this-world, moon-like landscape, find out more about this brilliant attraction on the island of Sal.

From the 1700s through to 1985, Pedra de Lume town was an established salt producer, today, the mines are no longer in operation, but tourists can spend time exploring the lunar-like landscape. 

Salt flats

Here you can see the colours of the salt pans, where whites and pinks pop, bringing the dessert landscape alive, and creating a beautiful photo opportunity with the backdrop of a beautiful blue sky.

View down to the salt flats at Pedra de Lume atop the crater.

The crater in which you’ll find the salt pans is an extinct volcano, adding to the spectacle of the day. The crater is below sea level and is the lowest point across the Cape Verde archipelago. The salt lakes naturally form in the crater by the infiltration of seawater. When salt production was in place the salt lake was divided into different pans to allow the sun to evaporate the water, eventually leaving the natural salt ready to be collected. 

During your visit you will notice that there are the remains of many structures of ways to transport the salt from the pans to the top of the crater. Initially, animals were used, until 1921 when a cable car was built and solved the issue, moving 25 tons of salt per hour!  You will also spot a tunnel that was excavated to allow access to the salt pans. 

Today there is still production on a very small scale, mainly to produce beauty products and therapeutic purposes. There are a few ways to explore the salt mine for a fun day out for all the family!

Float in the saltwater

This is a popular activity when visiting the salt flats, due to the high concentration of salt in the water here, you can float with ease atop the lake. The lake is fairly shallow, and you can happily float and relax under the warm sunshine. Showers are available to rinse away the salt and can be used upon payment of a small fee, in Euros. The minerals and saltwater have beneficial effects on those who bathe. Whilst being relaxing, it also cleanses the skin and helps with blood circulation. There is a small spa where treatments are available.Floating in the salt water

Walk around the crater

For those looking for an active way to explore the area, visitors to the salt flat can hike around the crater. The walk is around 2.7 miles, giving you a good opportunity to soak up the landscape. You can also walk to the fishing village of Pedra de Lume, just over half a mile away.

Cape Verde Experience can offer an organised trip to the salt flats as part of a full or half-day excursion.

 

 

 

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