Boa Vista offers long sandy beaches as well as a desert covering part of the island. Praia Santa Monica (Santa Monica beach) is on the south west of the island. Its white sand contrasts with the azure blue waters of the ocean. The nearest village is Povoação Velha, which is just 5km north of the beach. Praia Santa Monica is close to the Morro de Areia Nature Reserve, which is known for turtles and endemic birds.