São Tomé & Príncipe is an undiscovered paradise in the form of two islands on the West African coast. Pristine turquoise water, beaches, palm trees, tropical weather and lush forests. They have it all.
During your stay in the island you will be able to do 3 different day tours. In this article you’ll find the detailed itinerary for São Tomé northern day tour. If you have missed the other articles I recommend you start with southern day tour and central day tour.
The northern day tour will take you around the island in a clockwise direction starting from the capital city of São Tomé. The day trip will take around half a day if the weather is poor and you don’t spend time at the beach. If the weather is great it will take the whole day as you will want to spend some time on the beautiful beaches.
São Tomé Northern day trip
The first stop of the northern day tour is the lagoa azul. It is a little peninsula that you can access via a very steep rocky road from the main highway (hint: brake with enough time!). When you get to the bottom you will find a lighthouse, baobabs and two little beaches. There’s also a picnic area. When we visited we were alone for the whole time, and it was majestic seeing the baobabs / so big and quiet at the same time!
If you have snorkelling gear I was told this would be the place to go for a dip.
Roça ponta figo – Cascata Nazaré
Possibly the biggest fail in this trip. We arrived at the ruined Roça (old coffee plantation buildings, most of them are in ruins nowadays) and some people asked is we wanted a guide to Cascata Nazaré, a waterfall. We said no but asked for directions. They just pointed straight. Then found another group and they also told us to continue straight. One hour later we quit the search. Maybe it is worth asking for a guide – considering their directions weren’t correct and the GPS cannot show one exactly where it is.
You can stay at a restored Roça, that we only visited from the outside.
Padrao dos descobrimientos
It looks like a little rest area from the main road, but you will find a cross there. That cross marks the place where, in 1470, the first Portuguese discoverers arrived on the island.
Roça diogo vaz
Another Roça that sells chocolate and can be visited. We skipped this stop.
Santa Catarina is a little town which is famous for a tunnel with the same name. You will find it before you get to town, coming from São Tomé city. The tunnel is one of the landmarks in the country.
What makes this landmark interesting is the green jungle to the left of the tunnel and the beach to the right. The beach has black pebbles, which accentuates the contrast between the tar road, the tunnel, the jungle and the beach. it was truly a great place to witness.
Praia Dos Tamarindos
We took an unconventional road to arrive and it was a bit of an odyssey (think bumpy gravel roads, mud and water ponds. The beach is a long stretch of sand with some trees next to the sand area, making it perfect to park the cars there and have a picnic. We found big groups of friends and family enjoying the area.
Another beautiful beach to relax at the end of the day.
You will drive through Guadalupe at the start of the day and when you finish. It doesn’t have much to visit but you can wander around if it piques your interest. It has a small chapel that is worth checking out.
Like some other Roça’s that one can find in the island you will find some decayed colonial buildings. Some of the buildings that once formed the Roça are still standing and are lived in by locals.
If you are in São Tomé but have limited time you can skip the São Tomé northern day itinerary but make sure to check the south and central itineraries so you can feel like you got to know São Tomé.
When you are done with the main island I cannot stress enough how important it is that you visit Príncipe – find a great itinerary here!
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