150 km from São Tomé is the small island of Príncipe with its capital Santo Antonio. Here you can still clearly feel the colonial past. There are two cocoa plantations, other attractions include Ilheu Bom Bom, a tiny island off Príncipe’s north coast, home to one of the few tourist resorts, and Pico de Principe, the island’s highest peak (948m).
The island of São Tomé, with its capital of the same name, occupies about 90% of the total area of the islands. São Tomé is a picturesque town with Portuguese colonial buildings and beautiful parks. The numerous roças (cocoa plantations) on the island are worth visiting: the largest plantation, Agostinho Neto (an excellent example of São Tomé’s colonial past), Monté Café, Ribeira Peixe and Agua Izé, which can be visited by train. Other attractions include the Boca de Inferno (Hell’s Mouth), a seawater fountain several meters high, the Cascada São Nicolãu waterfall near Pousada Boa Vista, the Ilheu da Rolas (Turtledove Island), a small island off São Tomé that runs across the equator, the Pico de São Tomé, the highest mountain in the archipelago (2024m), the Porto Alegre at the southern tip of the island, the old fishing town of São João dos Angolares and the São Sebastião Fort, where you can also visit a museum with a collection of religious and colonial art.
There are a few restaurants and numerous simpler bars in the capital. You almost always have to book in advance so that the owner can get enough groceries; this also applies to the more elegant restaurants. Fish dishes are very popular. Menu selection is relatively limited (usually soup, fish and fruit). Spirits are available everywhere.
80% Christians and followers of natural religions.
Social Rules of Conduct
When greeting, people shake hands, the usual forms of politeness are expected. Smoking is permitted everywhere. Tipping is not welcomed.
Best travel time
Tropical climate with lots of rain, high temperatures and high humidity. The more mountainous South Island is wetter than the North. The main dry season is from the beginning of June to the end of September, another one from the end of December to the beginning of February.
Area (sq km)
219,159 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
Main emergency number