Tope de Coroa - Summit

Virtual Hike:     
Norte - Tope de Coroa - Norte

Only with Mountain Guide!  

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Guide Mr. Laurenço

Technically the track to the summit of Tope de Coroa is a simple one, but costs some energy as there are 1000m of ascent and descent and the trail is in a poor state.
Tope de Coroa is not without danger and has already
cost the lifes of people who lost orientation. There are many misleading goat tracks, steep volcano slopes with precipices and not a single droplet of water. So we strongly recommend to go there accompanied by a mountrain guide.
The necessary water reserve is 4-5 liters per person

Norte, the starting point of the ascent to the Tope, is served by bush taxis only irregularly. Therefore it is recommendable and enjoyable to plan for a continued hike of several days to get there. 

In the family house of Isabel Neves you find Accommodation, transport and a good mountain guide.

Click the pictures for a closer look

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Gravejard at Norte

In order to avoid an ascent in the sun, you should start about 1.5 hours before sunrise. The first 3/4 of an hour are good enough to walk with a torch. After 1/4 h we pass by the cimetry of Norte. It is an important landmark to recognize later from the top. 
Still we have
1000 Meters of altitude to climb.

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View from the south

Tope de Coroa is part of a huge volcano massive, dominating the western part of the island. The view from the south shows the main tops. Tope de Coroa is a young volcano cone standing in the crater of an (Coroa = Crown) which has partly broken away. The highest point is reached at the rim of coroa where we get over the long slope in the east called Pedra de Vaca = Cow Stone. To the West the impermeable extremely steep slope goes down to Monte Trigo. In the East a long horizontal ridge connects to the top of Monte Pia at almost the same hight.

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Chã de Cavoc´ Pret´

The ascent described goes over stony hard soil and avoids most of walking in sandy ashes.

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At Pedra de Vaca

While climbing, the panorama view over the central planalto to Pico da Cruz in the North-East opens up.

Blick auf Tope de Coroa
Tope de Coroa

At the highest point of the eastern slope (Pedra de Vaca) the summit of Coroa is reached, which is the highest point of the island.  (1982 Hm). We look down into a hugh crater (fundo da coroa).  Tope de Coroa (1979 Hm) sits in this crater as a smaller and much younger little volcano cone, still almost untouched by erosion.

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View down on Mt. Trigo

Descending the northern rim of the Coroa Crater, we reach an Eagle's nest from where to look down on the fishermen's village of Monte Trigo.

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Euphorbia tuckeyana

The last few years, since 1999, there was a little rain in the area and the endemic Tortoi (port.: tartolho, lat.: euphorbia tuckeyana) bushes have recovered. The final ascent over the slacks of the volcano looks less deserted.

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At the top

The hardship of the last few meters of ascent in ashes and slacks is rewarded by a fabulous view. When the air is clean, you may see all islands of the Barlavento group and Pico da Antónia of Santiago as well as the peek of the volcano of Fogo. Or do you even feel Brazil and USA to the West?

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For the ascent we use another trail giving us an insight to Campo Redondo and parts of Sul. Long slopes, covered with ashes allow to proceed much faster. In long steps, as if it was in snow, we glide down over them, accompanied by clouds of dust.