Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – Mundo

There is nothing better than starting your acquaintance with the archipelago in the capital. Sao Tome breathes history. It is here that you will find the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Graça, as well as the Forte de San Sebastian, the first defensive structure built in Sao Tome in the 16th century. You can also get to know the country better at the Museum of the History of Sao Tome.

COCOA AND COFFEE

Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

credits: Paulacastelli / CC BY-SA 4.0

” data-title=”Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – SAPO Viagens”>

credits: Paulacastelli / CC BY-SA 4.0

Take the opportunity to indulge in two of the country’s greatest delicacies and riches: cocoa and coffee. You can discover them in the city’s lively and colorful market, which is well worth shopping and taking plenty of photos. The original cocoa plant was brought from Bahia by the Portuguese in 1819, and by the end of the 19th century Sao Tome and Principe had become the largest cocoa producer in the world. At its peak, there were over 70 plantations, some of which have now been converted into local accommodations and hotels, aiming to attract tourists who value sustainability and community contact. Coffee arrived in these parts in 1787 with the colonization from Brazil. An intense aroma with hints of citrus and floral aromas makes Santomean coffee one of the best on the planet.

NATURAL TREASURES

Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

credit: Philippe Bourachot / CC BY-SA 3.0

” data-title=”Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – SAPO Viagens”> Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

credit: Philippe Bourachot / CC BY-SA 3.0

On the islands of Sao Tome and Principe, not only an abundance of cocoa or coffee. Their volcanic origin makes them a very fertile and rich in flora and fauna ecosystem. Proof of this is the Obo Natural Park, a 300 km2 protected area that is divided between two islands. Rare species live here, some of them are on the verge of extinction, exclusive to the region. The park also stands out for its Pico Cao Grande, about 660 meters high, which is one of the postcards of the southern Sao Tome region.

One way to get to know the natural riches of the archipelago more closely is to take a pirogue trip along the Malanza River, still in the south of the island. You will be fascinated by the largest mangrove area on the island and don’t be surprised to see monkeys, foxes and wild boars nearby.

In the center of the island, be sure to admire the San Nicolau waterfall. The lush vegetation contrasts with the fresh air blowing from the water and conquers any visitor.

Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

credits: dog

” data-title=”Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – SAPO Viagens”> Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

credits: dog

Nature is also present on the island of Principe, recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve. Did you know that just over 40 endemic species live on this island of just over 140 square kilometers, that is, species that exist only on Principe? No wonder Sao Tome and Principe is called the African Galapagos Islands!

Ilheu das Rolas is another gem of the archipelago. Breathtaking landscapes and dreamy beaches are joined by one of the most beautiful equatorial markers in the world, the Equator Standard. A small monument erected in 1936 on the basis of geodesic and astronomical work carried out by Gago Coutinho between 1916 and 1918 in Sao Tome, still retains its beauty.

DIVES AND MORE DIVES

Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

Credits: Joao Ferreira/Unsplash

” data-title=”Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – SAPO Viagens”> Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

Credits: Joao Ferreira/Unsplash

If you are looking for a piece of heaven, look no further. The beaches of Sao Tome and Principe offer this with their golden sand and crystal clear waters. Enjoy whale and dolphin watching or just sunbathe and enjoy the sea. Must-see beaches include Jale, one of the main nesting sites for sea turtles in the south of Sao Tome; or Lagarto, located in the capital on the way to the airport.

In Principe, don’t forget to visit Banana Beach, the most famous on the island. Bom Bom Island is another stop for beach lovers in Principe, especially whale lovers. Cetaceans cross these waters between July and September to reach their mating grounds.

Sao Tome and Principe is a great place for diving and sport fishing enthusiasts. Among the many species found in its waters are swordfish, tuna, barracuda or sawfish.

TRADITION AND GASTRONOMY

Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

Credits: G-El / CC BY-SA 4.0

” data-title=”Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – Sao Tome and Principe: nature meets centuries of history – SAPO Viagens”> Sao Tome and Principe: a meeting of nature with centuries of history

Credits: G-El / CC BY-SA 4.0

From sea to land, don’t forget traditional souvenirs for family and friends. Craftsmanship is one of the best options and mainly includes woodwork, weaving and sea shell crafts. And speaking of memories, be sure to keep forever in your memory Chilioli – a type of theater of Portuguese origin, in which music and dance accompany stories of love and betrayal.

The flavors are also unforgettable for those who come here. On the menu you will find the most common kalulu or cassava; others are quite different, such as breadfruit, apple, banana or mikoko, the latter having a reputation as an aphrodisiac.

Sao Tome and Principe is a small paradise for sustainable and responsible tourism that respects and conserves the environment while improving the living conditions of the local population.

What are you waiting for? Take advantage of flights to Sao Tome and discover this 2-in-1 destination that is sure to surprise you.

Leave a Comment