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Things to see and do in São Tomé e Príncipe


The little-discovered islands of São Tomé e Príncipe provide unspoiled beauty and isolation from the world now rarely found anywhere else. The islands lie on an alignment of once-active volcanoes, with rugged landscapes, dense forests and palm-fringed beaches, 250km (155 miles) off the coast of West Africa.


Exotic birds inhabit tropical jungles on islands that form Africa's smallest country. The picturesque town of São Tomé lies exactly on the equator, with colonial Portuguese architecture and attractive parks. The history of the islands is dominated by the slave trade and slave-worked plantations. The islands form one of the smallest countries in Africa.

Things to see and do

Agostinho Neto

Visit the many roças (cocoa plantations) on the island. Agostinho Neto, the largest plantation in the country, is a clear example of São Tomé's colonial past. Other plantations include Agua Izé, where visitors can tour the plantation by train, Monté Café and Ribeira Peixe.

Boca de Inferno

See some spectacular waterfalls on São Tomé. Don't miss the Boca de Inferno (Hell's Mouth) sea water fountain and the Cascada São Nicolãu waterfall, near Pousada Boa Vista. There is also the Ilheu da Rolas (Turtledove Island).

Deep-sea fishing

Go deep-sea fishing, notably on Bom Bom Island.

Dive and snorkel

Indulge in swimming, snorkelling and diving in some of the clearest waters on the western coast of Africa. Beaches here have white as well as black sand. Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) on São Tomé is good for snorkelling.

Humpback whales

Watch for whales in July to October, when humpback whales come to the waters around São Tomé.

Ilheu Bom Bom island

Enjoy one of the country's few tourist resorts on the tiny island of Ilheu Bom Bom, situated off Príncipe's northern coast.

Pico de Príncipe

See Príncipe's 948m (128ft) summit - Pico de Príncipe.

Pico de São Tomé

Behold the archipelago's highest mountain - Pico de São Tomé is 2,024m/6,800ft) high.

Santo Antonio

Witness the distinctive colonial architecture and atmosphere preserved in Santo Antonio, the main town of Príncipe, located 150km (94 miles) from São Tomé.

São João dos Angolares

See the ancient fishing town of São João dos Angolares and the fortress of São Sebastião, which also houses a museum with a collection of religious and colonial art.

São Tomé

Explore the island of São Tomé, representing 90% of the total surface of the country. The capital of the same name is a picturesque town, with colonial Portuguese architecture and attractive parks.

São Tomé's rainforest

Hike through São Tomé's rainforest, stopping for some fascinating and varied birdwatching on the way.