Sao Tome and Principe travel guide
This lovely old plantation has undergone a transformation and is now a luxury plantation hotel. The entrance gate is flanked with old cannons and the main mansion is well kept. You don't have to stay here to enjoy the vista from the porch. The view stretches over the top of the canopies, all the way down to Bombom Resort. There is also a small informative museum about Sao Tome in general.
This old plantation turned-hotel is not as big as Roca Belo Monte, but equal interesting. It was here Sir Arthur Eddington observed a solar eclipse in 1919 that proved Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. There is a memorial plate at the side of the manson. The grounds also has a lovely old overgrown ruin.
Santa Catarina is the last village before the main road turns to jungle road. There are many wooden canoes and a few street venders - else not much. But the roadtrip to Sante Catarina is spectacular with views of the forest covered mountains and black sand and stone beaches.
You start to understand why Bombom resort is so popular. Not only does it has a gorgeous beach, it has TWO. On the backside of the resort lies Santa Rita Beach. It's more wild and untidy than the palm lined Bombom beach, but some might even prefer that. You are welcome to use the beach, whether or not you stay at Bombom.
Half of Santana Beach is taken up by the village while the other half is occupied by the luxury resort Santana Club. The resort has jacuzzi, infinity pool and swaying palms, the local section has fishing boats and swaying palms. It's a bit of a contrast between the resort guests and the villagers, but they seem to coexist in harmony.
It's hard to imagine a more picturesque location for a town than the one Santo Antonio has. In a protected bay on a backdrop of jungle covered pitons. It's a lovely and relaxed place with friendly people. The are few colourful colonial buildings like the town hall, else it's wonderful makeshift worn. Staying in charming Santo Antonio is a cheaper alternative to the expensive resorts, but you will need to rent a car (with or without driver) to get to the beaches.
The central highlands have many waterfalls, but São Nicolau Waterfall is probably one of the easiest to reach, as it's right next to the road. The winding and bumpy mountain road has beautiful views over green gardens and lush jungle and is a destination of its own. There is a natural pool at the base, where you can take a chilled dip.
The capital of São Tomé and Príncipe is also called São Tomé. Though a third of the nation's total population of about 200,000 lives here, it feels like a giant village, wonderful lively and compact. Most buildings are worn out, even the colonial ones, but the town has plenty of charm and character. The waterfront is interesting and so is the open market, if you like people watching.
A bumpy dirt road leads from Roca Belo Monte to this spectacular viewpoint over the equal spectacular beach. A golden sand banana-shaped beach with azure waters and black boulders flanked by jungle.
This hike goes through six pitch-black tunnels with water channels high up in the jungle-covered mountains close to the Obo National Park. It's a 3-5 hours roundtrip back to the parking place (where the mark on the map is). The first bit takes you uphill through the jungle, while following a water pipe. The trail becomes narrow at some points with dangerous steep drops. Keep going to you get to a proper bridge with trails on both sides, do not cross but stick to the trail on the same side. A viaduct will soon cross the trail high above your head. Follow it to the first tunnel. Though the water runs in a separate channel, the path is muddy or just full of water. Angolares Waterfall will be right after the first tunnel. The second tunnel is really long with two bends and the third tunnel is full of small bats. Bring flashlight and proper footwear. It's a truly unique hike, which has no match anywhere in the world (to our knowledge).