I have travelled to many countries and I have never found a better place to call paradise-like São Tomé e Principe. With few tourists and almost untouched nature is perfect to spend a different holiday. You can take 3 routes on this trip: North, Centre and South. Each one of them special and with a lot to explore.
Start by visiting the Santa Catarina, Diogo Vaz and Fernão Dias farms. You can take the opportunity to stop in Neves, the largest fishing village on the island, to talk to the fishermen and see the Anabom discovery mark. Visit one of the most emblematic farms on the island, Agostinho Neto. You can see the old hospital, the manor house and the former cocoa workers. One of my tips is at the end of the day, go diving and snorkelling at Lagoa Azul or Praia dos Tamarinhos. Enjoy the biodiversity and just relax.
Visit the Bombaim farm and the S. Nicolau waterfall to appreciate one of the highest waterfalls on the island, 20 metres high. Visit the Monte Café coffee plantation and learn about the coffee transformation processes, from cultivation to harvesting and processing. In the end, you get to taste the coffee.
Visit Boca do Inferno, the rocky area by the sea and drink coconut water. You can stop for lunch in São João de Angolares, where a well-known chef, João Carlos Silva, explains the cooking brilliantly. Stay on the southern beaches, the most paradisiacal on the island. Praia Piscina, Jalé, Cabana and Inhame are the best known beaches.
On Inhame beach you can see one of the most beautiful spectacles that nature has to offer, the birth of turtles. You can volunteer to help in this process, including doing night patrols on the beaches in the area, to prevent poaching of these special animals. Believe me, I had that opportunity as I was there, it’s a moment that stays etched in your memory forever.
From this beach you can take the boat, provided by the accommodation, to go to the Ilheu das Rolas to enjoy its beaches and go to the equator mark. To get there you will take a wonderful nature walk and when you get to the famous equator you will have an incredible landscape to enjoy.
There are several walks you can do, and the island is crisscrossed by a number of little trails cutting through the dense forest of coconut palms, but it is quite impossible to get lost. Another activity you can do is diving. Diving off the island reveals an undisturbed underwater world of snappers, sweetfish, stingrays, octopus, sea horses, turtles, fan coral, moray eels, sea slugs, etc. For lunch on the beach, the fishermen ask you what fish you want to eat and go fishing. Here you feel the true sense of living in harmony with nature.
Something you need to know about this small country in Africa. Here you can see one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles, the nesting of turtles, talk to the locals, go through markets, see children walking to school, see their houses. One thing is for sure, you will not remain indifferent, São Tomé will stay forever in your memory and for the best reasons.
Don’t miss the next post about Principe island, I promise you will see images of a little paradise still unknown.