Santa Maria is the nearest town to the hotel, about 20 minutes walk along the beach. It was a small fishing town until the beginning of the 1990s, when the population boomed owing to the tourist industry and it is now the third largest town in Cape Verde. The streets are laid out in a grid system and the shops cater mainly for the tourists. There is still plenty of evidence of new building, although due to the present economic climate there are many half finished and abandoned sites. The main attraction of Santa Maria is the jetty, where every morning the fishermen unload their catch.