Sao Tome and Principe travel guide
At Maraco Beach lies this abandoned resort. For more than a decade ago it was in competition with Bombom resort, but there is no doubt about who won. All bungalows stand either semi-demolished or burned and the swimming pool with a sit-in-bar is today a swamp. Macaco Beach and Boi Beach share the same dirt road half of the way. It's a bumpy ride with can get seriously muddy when it rains.
You are spoiled for choices regarding hikes in the central highlands, but most are fairly long. One good short hike is the one from the botanical garden (Jardim Botânico do Bom Sucesso) to Amelia Lake (Lagoa Amélia) and back, about four hours return. Guides can be hired at the botanical garden, but the trail is well trodden and is easy to follow, except at the beginning among the gardens. Don't expect a real alpine lake, Amelia Lake is more like a swamp. The trail also leads to Pico de São Tomé (2,024 m), the highest peak in Sao Tome and Principe, but that is a much longer hike.
This waterfall is a part of the Water Tunnel Hike, but deserve its own entry. The waterfall is about 17 m tall and is located between the first and the second tunnel.
Banana Beach is a gorgeous golden sand beach with a gentle bend - like a banana. Though all beaches in Sao Tome and Principe are public, the palm filled shady grounds are runned by the Roca Belo Monte. There are pavilions, tables and even a bar. There is another and more local beach, Caju, a short walk through the trees.
This tunnel is part of the amazing Water Tunnel Hike. It's full of small bats, which hang from the cliff ceiling. They will fly off when you get close, but they will never hit you.
The road to Boi Beach is really rough with mud and rocks, and the last bit is just an overgrown jungle track. But you will get rewarded with a wild and deserted beach with leaning slender coconut palms. Sea turtles come here to nest from October to April.
This long beach with golden sand runs in front of the Bombom resort. Luxury bungalows are scattered along the beach and on rocky outcrops under shady trees and slender palms. Since all beaches are public in Sao Tome and Principe, you can just enter the resort and use the beach. The small island Bombom of shore is connected with a long wooden walkway.
This iconic needle-shaped (volcanic plug) peak is so magical that you hardly believe your eyes when you see it the first time. It shoots up from the forest below (mostly palm oil plantation) and looks like something from Jurassic park. Obviously, it's not possible to hike to the peak (but it has been climbed a few times), but you can hike to the base and back.
About 40% of Principe Island is a national park of virgin jungle. The other part is almost as lush and green with more jungle between the gardens of banana, coffee and cacao. Characteristic jungle covered pinnacles make up the skyline of the national park. There are several good hikes, including to the peak Pico Papagaio (700 m) and to O Que Pipi Waterfall.
Is probably one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in all of Sao Tome & Principe. Not only is it long with plenty of leaning coconut palms, but it's a major nesting site for three species of sea turtles (Green turtle, Hawksbill and Leatherback). There is a small simple museum (only open in turtle season from October to April) and that is it. The dirt road is really rough, but very pretty.