We here at YPT have a knack for visiting the least visited countries of the world, so it’s no wonder why Sao Tome and Principe, also known as Africa’s ‘heaven on Earth’ has made it to ours and your list of countries worth exploring.
The African island nation lays on the equator east of the African continent. With a population of just 210,000 inhabitants, the islands Sao Tome and Principe gained independence from Portugal in 1975. Compared to other African nations, Sao Tome and Principe is laidback, green and a clean country.
The tour takes place on the Sao Tome island as you visit the capital which is also named Sao Tome. There capital is mostly where all the action happens. The most famous landmark of the nation is the Pico de Cao Grande, a 663 meter skyscraper like volcanic mountain located in the middle of Sao Tome island.
During your tour you’ll experience the island to the fullest: abandoned plantations, an empty colonial hospital, unique chocolate, delicious coffee, snorkelling along pristine beaches, and of course that true African laidback island vibe with cold beers and good rum.
Our Sao Tome & Principe tour can be combined with our Angola tour. Make the most out of your visit to Africa and combine both tours!
Arrive at your convenience into Sao Tome – the capital city of Sao Tome and Principe which has regular flights between Angola, Portugal, and Cape Verde.
Airport transfer to our hotel, check in and freshen up
Meet your fellow group members and YPT guide at the lobby of our hotel
Pre-tour meeting will be held over dinner to discuss tour itinerary
Overnight stay at hotel
Saturday 12th March – Sao Tome
Breakfast at hotel
Begin our sightseeing of one of the oldest colonial capitals in Africa by exploring Independence Square – signifying independence gained in 1975.
Visit the Presidential Palace – this unique pink 19th century Portuguese Colonial style structure houses the current president
Stop by the Sao Tome Cathedral – the first church of Our Lady of Grace was started at the end of the fifteenth century.
Visit National Museum – religious art and colonial-era artifacts are housed within a 16th century fortress
Tour the Coffee Museum – coffee plantations began in 1780, with manpower coming from slave traffic which was abolished in 1836. Sao Tome was one of the world’s largest exporters of coffee until 1919 when the pest of Selenothrips rubrocontus destroyed every cocoa plantation at the islands.
Lunch at a local joint popular amongst locals for its Fish calulu dish
Visit the Chocolate Factory – Owned by an Italian who’s lived in Africa for more than forty years. You’ll learn the process of making chocolate from its cultivation to the final product. We’ve previously tasted some incredibly unique chocolate such as chocolate with grapes macerated in cocoa alcohol, ginger, orange, pepper and coffee, as well as 100% dark chocolate.
Explore the traditional, new and fish markets of Sao Tome
Dinner in town and explore the nightlife of the island capital
Overnight in hotel
Sunday 13th March – Sao Tome – Northern part of Sao Tome Island
Breakfast at hotel or can opt for a walk and try Arroz doce
Drive to Northern Sao Tome stopping by the village of Roca Agostinho Neto – named after the first president of Angola: Agostinho Neto. It’s the largest plantation in the country and used to be the biggest cocoa producer. Nowadays the plantation is partly working and families relocated to live on the plantation.
Continue towards the Atlantic with a stop at the Blue Lagoon Beach – a tiny strip of pristine turquoise ocean lined with baobab trees. It’s a perfect spot for snorkelling and discovering local sea life.
Lunch by the sea
Continue drive to Lagao Azul – the most northern point of the country via the Santa Catarina Tunnel – the only tunnel in Sao Tome and Principe
Explore the fishing village of Santa Catarina
Return to the capital and stop by the Monte Café Plantation – this is one of the most famous coffee plantations on the island.
Dinner in town
Overnight at hotel
Monday 14th March – Sao Tome –Southern part of Sao Tome Island
Breakfast at hotel
Begin road trip to the most southern part of the island stopping at an abandoned hospital of Roca Agua Ize – this hospital used to be one of the best hospitals in western Africa and was built for the workers at the Roca Agua Ize plantation.
Located nearby the plantation is the Boca de Inferno (Hell’s Mouth) – a seaside cliff in the Atlantic.
We’ll make a short stop in São João dos Angolares – the largest town on the southern part of the island.
The most famous landmark of Sao Tome & Principe is the Pico de Cao Grande – standing 663 meters tall, it’s a giant, steep volcanic rock that you can see from all over the island.
Explore Cascata De Praia Pesqueria – this waterfall is the perfect spot to take a dip and cool down.
Stop by an old rusty tank for a classic YPT group photo on top of the tank
Arrive in Porto Alegre – board a boat for a 20 minute journey to Rolas Island where the equator crosses through Sao Tome & Principe and visit the official equator landmark.
Return drive to Sao Tome.
Farewell dinner and drinks in town
Overnight stay at hotel
Tuesday 15th March – Sao Tome
Tour concludes with airport drop-off arranged according to your flight details – YPT is also able to arrange post-tour accommodation or advice for flights. If you are keen on visiting Principe, contact us for more info.
• International travel to and from Sao Tome
• Sao Tome visa (YPT can provide full visa support)
• Single Supplement (€200)
• Pre-tour accommodation
• Drinks and personal spending
• Tips for driver and guides
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.