Cidade Velha means "Old City," and its antiquity has elevated its status as a recently declared Unesco World Heritage site. Founded in 1462, it was the first European settlement in the tropics. The city was a key station for the transatlantic slave trade.
There are remains of an old cathedral, constructed in 1693, and the old town square where slaves were kept. There is a canyon from which tourists can see a magnificent view. Hikers can also climb up the cliffside fort, Fortaleza Real de São Filipe, for an even better sight.