Sao Tome Island travel guide
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.
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.
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.
When the condition of the sea is right, water is pressed through the natural rock channel and through a hole, which sends a fountain of sea water many meters into the air. In less perfect conditions, Hell's Mouth (Boca do Inferno) is still a beautiful spot with great views of the Sao Tomian coastline. Usually there will be some young boys selling refeshing coconuts, but they don't take it too seriously.
A wonderful long and wild beach with lots of picturesque leaning coconut palms. The beach is a prime nesting site for sea turtles (Green turle, Hawksbill and the rare Leatherback) from October to April. There are three bungalows belonging to Jale Eco Resort - else the beach is totally deserted.
A beautiful lagoon with baobab trees and azure blue waters. There is a viewpoint with a small lighthouse. Lagoa Azul is popular in the weekends, when locals come to picnic.
A short bumpy dirt track leads down to this beautiful bay encircled by black cliffs. The beach is long and wide with grey sand. It's one of the few beaches where the palm trees are outnumbered by other kinds of trees.
The west coast of Sao Tome Island doesn't have that many villages, but Neves is one of them. It's a normal fishing village with ramshackle houses and a stone beach full of wooden canoes. The locals are used to blancos, so not many are batting a eyelit when you walk around - maybe except the kids.
Pool beach (Praia Piscina) is named after the natural rock pools. You can safely take a dip in the pool on the beach side. There is a viewpoint overlooking both the beach and the wild coastline, where waves crash against the black lava rocks.