Although volcanic in origin, the island is quite flat. Its highest point is Monte Verde with an altitude of 774 metres. Although a great amount of erosion has taken place, some craters still remain -- in particular near the bay of Mindelo.
Discovered on Sao Vincent's Day (the January 22) in 1462, the island remained practically uninhabited until the middle of the 19th century. It was only in 1838, when a coal deposit was established in Porto Grande to supply ships on Atlantic routes, that the population started to grow rapidly. Due to the lack of rain and consequent lack of natural resources, the economy of Sao Vicente is based mainly on commerce and services.
see also Geography of Cape Verde