Literally meaning ‘a beach’ in Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole, Praia is the capital and the largest city in this group of islands. Located on the southern coast of the Santiago Island, Praia is a major commercial center of Cape Verde which is having an international airport and a sea-port which exports coffee, sugar cane and varieties of tropical fruits. Home to several tourist resort beaches which are located nearby, Praia City also facilitates a flourishing fishing industry which is growing by the day.
This town called Praia de Santa Maria was originally established in 1615 since it offered favorable conditions for facilitating a shipping industry. Generally described as a set of plateaus along with the surrounding valleys which make up the areas of Praia City, the nearby neighborhoods are now also being accepted as city areas. Presenting a remarkable contrast to the rest of the Santiago Island, Praia City displays a cosmopolitan outlook to its traditional counterpart.