Two small paradises on Earth: São Tomé and Príncipe

This small island country, a stronghold of tropical beaches with crystal-clear turquoise sea, punctuated by ancient cocoa and coffee gardens, has one of the most beautiful roads and one of the most hospitable people in the world.

Island of São Tomé

Until its discovery by the Portuguese in 1470, the island remained inhabited. São Tomé is the largest island in the archipelago yet is only 859 km2. Still, it has some of the most idyllic beaches in the world, almost deserted, such as Lagoa Azul Beach, ideal for snorkeling, and Tamarindos Beach or Governadores Beach, towards the north, with its large and golden sandbanks.

To the south, you will find Micondó Beach, Sete Ondas Beach (good for surfing), São João dos Angolares Beach and Jalé (a crucial habitat for nesting turtles), all this will make you feel in a tropical setting.

Jalé Beach

In the city of São Tomé, the capital, visit the exotic and colorful Municipal Market, abundant in fresh fruit, fish, and seafood, the Fort of São Sebastião, which houses the National Museum, and the famous Chocolate Factory.

In the center of the island, the Almada Negreiros House-Museum is a must-see, located in Roça da Saudade, where one of the greatest artists of Portuguese modernism was born and lived. Of notice, and scattered throughout the island, are the Roças Água Izé, Monte Café, São João dos Angolares (one of the most beautiful), and the Agostinho Neto house (imposing in its abandonment).

The tour will not be complete without peering at the iconic Pico Cão Grande, in the heart of the Obo Natural Park, a primary natural reserve, where the extraordinary biodiversity of the archipelago finds protection. You can also let yourself be enchanted by the last kilometers of the road towards Santa Catarina, towards the east, one of the most beautiful on the planet.

Fort of São Sebastião
Pico Cão Grande
Fort of São Sebastião
Pico Cão Grande

Príncipe Island

Just like São Tomé, Principe thrives with nature in a pure state, possibly even more untouched than on its sister island, with only seven thousand inhabitants, of those, near a thousand are living in Santo António, known as the smallest city in the world. Enjoy touring the Market and eating one of the best fish moquecas, as well as breadfruit and jackfruit, seasoned with the unsurmountable friendliness of the San Tomean.

Here, the old gardens are worth a visit, highlighting the Roça Paciência, Porto Real and the incredible Roça Belo Monte and Roça Sundy, which are home to two small hotels. 

However, nature is sovereign on Príncipe Island, which includes a fraction of the Obo Natural Park, the core of dense rainforest, and rich biodiversity. You can take a dream dive in the Oquepipi Waterfall and enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the island at Pico Papagaio.

And, as if all this wasn't enough, this small island has some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the world, surrounded by nothing more than lush vegetation, with golden and fine sands, and the impressive emerald sea. We highlight the Grande Beach, Macaco Beach, Boi Beach, Bom Bom Beach, and the famous Banana Beach, where you will feel like returning to the first day after the world's creation.
Banana Beach

Rolas Islet

In addition to the two main islands, the archipelago of São Tomé and Príncipe also aggregates some islets. Rolas is one of the most beautiful and one of the most known by its location, precisely, on the line of Ecuador. A Half an hour by boat from the south of São Tomé Island, it is a whim of nature, with a lush forest and beaches of clear sand and transparent water, such as the Café Beach and the Bateria Beach.

The Ecuador Landmark is worth a visit, not only for its surroundings and fantastic views but also because it is not every day that you will have the north and south hemispheres just a step away. If you have time, take a trail to the Joana Beach cave. It's going to be worth it! 

 

 

Ecuador Landmark

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