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Sal is home to some of the best beaches in Cape Verde, and Santa Maria is where you’ll find clean white sands stretching off to the horizon in either direction. There are good snorkelling opportunities offshore and a turtle hatchery near the Riu Funana hotel, where you can see the impossibly cute hatchlings make for the waves in the evenings during November-December. Despite its increasing popularity with holidaymakers, the 8km beach itself remains relatively unspoiled.