Sao Tome and Principe is not much of the most popular tourist destination in Africa, the pair of the large islands. Nor is the smallest of the African sites the most visible. The whole place is Spanish-speaking for the first time (save for a couple of pockets of earthy Creole). Then the colonial environment of the cities and villages that ooze New World character rather than sub-Saharan character. However, a lively way of life still exists, which is undeniably African and a kitchen with spicy cuts of fish and banana pap porridge which straddles the culinary traditions of East and West.
Then add the rich golden sand beaches to the mix, the scarce sea turtles and lovely mountain villages, with the rising spires of the volcanic mountains, the uncommon monks etc., while wild and beautiful Sao Tome and Principe are hard to resist! In this article, we will check out 14 best places tourist can visit in Sao Tome and Principe.
Best Places Tourist Can Visit in Sao Tome and Principe
Sao Tome is the only real city on these islands, a chocolate box with lovely Romanesque churches and colonial decor, palm-lined boulevards and pleasant squares.
It was loads with the Presidential Palace and Independence Square, the capital and the economic centre, the political centre and the main market, to mark the year this Atlantic archipelago became free from the forces of Europe.
Submit to the central market here and interweave between terracotta townhouses, lovely Baroque façades and Fort Sao Sebastian's cannon-dotted bulwarks, until reaching the splendid National Museum exhibits.
Then you will discover faint-heart coffee shops that are scattered over cobbles and many places to walk along the shore of the lovely bay of Ana Chaves.
Obo National Park
The Obo National Park is a worldly and awesome park, which seldom takes its breath away. The great wilderness stretches from salt-watered mangroves on the beaches to the virgin Atlantic rainforest in the highlands covering a wide region of over 230 square km on the southern side of Sao Tome.
And what are they in the mountains! The Park rises in the cloud, crowned by the strong and needle-like Pico Cao Grande bluff.
And the mountains take the shape of a giant, carved cliffs along the sea; high and proud over the underlying Atlantic waves.
Safaris and trekking here, along with grass parrots, monkeys and oodles of exotic birds show spectacular tropical backcountry.
READ ALSO: Sao Tome and Principe visa requirements
A pine-coloured city on the southern shore of the island, home to most of its inhabitants (and this is just over 1000 people!), is the capital of the little Principe, which is the smaller half of the island. It has a certain authentic charm as a sleepy spot, with age-stained colonial buildings, and mud-splattered townhouses.
Through the middle of the city, the winding canals on the Palhota River separating the seaside streets into palm trees and swamp flats.
In the meantime, on the horizon are the green volcanic hills of the island, and local fishermen bob along the riparian jetties.
The small town of Santana spills down on the coast on the eastern side of the Island, from its lanchy palm trees in the jungle and volcanic hills, as some forgotten town in the country of Robinson Crusoe, a popular destination for beach lovers and luxury searchers looking for Sao Tome's fabulous cocktail of sand, water and sun.
It is mainly known for the renowned Club Santana Resort, which offers bungalows and stunning cabanas, situated at the foot of Santana Beach's golden sands.
There are rooms on the beach, along with tauch owners, boat trips and more on the scrambling bluffs.
To find the old colonial factories and coffee-growing haciendas of Monte Cafe, you must take a deep dive to the volcanic mountains in the heart of Sao Tome Island.
The drive is also one for travel newspapers as you might imagine: sweeping views across the primaeval rainforest; endless valleys of misty forests.
Having seen the stunning mountains and a famous coffee museum, the culture, sales and history of the island's primary industries will be seen. You will also enjoy a fantastic view of the countryside.
The spot on the Rolas Island Map is famous for its sparkling white sand beaches and paradisiaque veneer, which is spreading across the Atlantic, like a teardrop to Sao Tome, just a quick boat ride away from the south most tip of the island.
The sand is invariably wholly isolated from the jungle, cascading down in a mixture of boulder-facing coves and long stretches of sun-filled ivory tones.
Here there is also a renowned hotel resort (perfect for a remote and romantic tropical rest from the most troublesome areas in the archipelago) and an equatorial monument that passes directly through Rolas's center.
READ ALSO: Sao Tome and Principe 30 days tourist visa
Trindade is one of the few destinations that is not on the Atlantic Ocean in Sao Tome. This tiny town, instead, stands high above the capital, on top of the rise of the hills inland.
It is surrounded by large stretches of coffee plantations and cacao growing areas which constitute the larger district of Me-Zochi.
But the haunted and dilapidated character of the old colonial frontipps is a real impact for town tourists – they stand along pot-holed roads like dreams of a former century.
Boca de Inferno
A striking Boca of Inferno (that's Hell's Mouth) is their century for the curious geological groups who are looking towards the swells of the Atlantic on the eastern bank of Sao Tome. At this spot, tourists flock to see the salted white-caps rolling down the shore a short drive south of the capital, and currents are drawn water from the underground cellar before shot sky upwards, like some naval geyser.
The view is something really on its own; enhanced by the spectacular black-rock cliffs and volcanic headlands that jut and erupt from all parts of the coast.
There's maybe no better destination than the arc of golden sand, the Jale Beach for people who flock to São Tome to see the unusual phenomenon of the turtles crumbling over the beach and laying their oxen.
This bay is considered one of the highlights of endangered sea turtles during the combination season, and it twists around the bends of the South Coast.
There are rustic beach huts made of bamboo and palm tubes – if you don't mind lining up to the backdrops, crashing Atlantic waves, with no energy and no mod disadvantage, that is. It's also popular with local swimmers.
Porto Alegre is hardly a Brazilian namesake.
This clock totals just over 500 rather than one million inhabitants.
This town is an endless community of earthy cabins, stilted longhouses and saddled fishing canoes instead of endless suburbs and sprawling modern areas.
However, this is very charming and one of the starts of the whale-watching circuit of Sao Tome (which runs the length of the east coast). This is also an excellent spot to discover the stunning southern coastal beaches - Jale, heavenly Praia Piscina - and the magnificent Rolas Island boat lanes.
Principe Ecological Zone
This massive region of greenery has a gigantic view from Principe's tiny island.
It's close to its tropical brother in the south, with many of the unusual virgin forests and misty canopies on the backdrop as the National Park of Obo.
This vast biosphere, however, is much less investigated.
The great mountains of the Horn are rising straight from the jungle; cloud forests are cascading down into the shimmering Atlantic bays; the underworld is populated by unusual reptiles and wallowing whales in the water at sea.
There's nothing like it for intrepid styles!
READ ALSO: Do I need a visa for Sao Tome and Principe
The city of Santo Amaro, situated just south-east of Sao Tome, gradually coexists with the growing suburbs of the capital.
It's all separate for now, bathed in sleepy and lethargical vibes and slowly moving on to the rhythm of the island.
The centre itself has only small houses and small squares.
Occasionally there is an ad-hoc café and a lovely ocher church to visit.
Moreover, the Santo Amaro region of Bela Vista – a part of the city – and the runways of the only international archipelago airport are easily accessible in the vicinity.
Neves is an industrial area, unlike most of the other towns on the banks of the pretty São Tome.
The shoreline comprises warehouses, depots, branches and an incredibly active electricity plant, all of which were constructed in 2012 in collaboration with the Nigerian Government on account of a useful deep water port.
Some hotels and guesthouses and a number of local restaurants are also located here.
Neves is down-to-earth and mostly undeveloped, but, not expect Club Meds and the like.
Sao Joao dos Angolares
This 2000-person town on the eastern coast is a perfect choice for leisure holidays, set against the strange Creole sounds of a local varnish and just behind the stunning sandbox of Praia Sao Joao dos Angolares.
There are oodles of hostels with swinging hammocks and earthy little kitchens that crowd the medley of Portuguese curries and criollo-style plates from Sao Tome.
And the atmosphere itself is literally oozing cold vibes: the jungle is in the wind of the sea, homes are decorated in pretty Caribbean colours, people smile, and the days go slowly.
READ ALSO: Sao Tome and Principe 30 days Business visa
So these were the list of 14 best places tourist can visit in Sao Tome and Principe. For getting Sao Tome and Principe Visa, you can check out Tourist Visa Online. They provide you with an online Visa without much hassle and also offers there customers proper customer support.