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Praia Inhame Eco Lodge in Sao Tome and Principe
São Tomé
Breakfast at the Praia Inhame Eco Lodge

São Tomé

Breakfast at the Praia Inhame Eco Lodge

Top 10 Places To Visit in Sao Tome and Principe - Travel Video
Sao Tome and Principe flag

Sao Tome and Principe Travel Information

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Key facts


Sao Tome


Central Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, just north of the Equator, west of Gabon


dobras (STD)


964 sq km


213,948 (July 2021 est.)


Portuguese 98.4% (official), Forro 36.2%, Cabo Verdian 8.5%, French 6.8%, Angolar 6.6%, English 4.9%, Lunguie 1%, other (including sign language) 2.4%; note - shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census; other Portuguese-based Creoles are also spoken (2012 est.)


Catholic 55.7%, Adventist 4.1%, Assembly of God 3.4%, New Apostolic 2.9%, Mana 2.3%, Universal Kingdom of God 2%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.2%, none 21.2%, unspecified 1% (2012 est.)



Tel Code:


Things to Do

  • 1. Hiking in Obo National Park

    Explore the stunning landscapes and pristine wilderness of Obo National Park while hiking through its scenic trails.

  • 2. Visit Pico Cão Grande

    Marvel at the towering volcanic plug of Pico Cão Grande, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

  • 3. Snorkeling in Porto Alegre

    Discover the vibrant underwater world of Porto Alegre with its colorful coral reefs and abundant marine life.

  • 4. Explore Roça Sundy plantation

    Visit the historic Roça Sundy plantation and learn about the island's rich cocoa and coffee production history.

  • 5. Birdwatching in Sao Tome

    Embark on a birdwatching adventure in Sao Tome and spot a variety of endemic and migratory bird species.

  • 6. Visit Bombaim Waterfall

    Witness the natural beauty of Bombaim Waterfall, located in the lush rainforest of Sao Tome and Principe.

  • 7. Explore Rolas Island

    Take a boat trip to Rolas Island and enjoy its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and beautiful coral reefs.

  • 8. Visit the Cathedral of Sao Tome

    Admire the architectural beauty of the Cathedral of Sao Tome, a historic landmark in the capital city.

  • 9. Explore the Obo Natural Reserve

    Immerse yourself in the biodiversity of the Obo Natural Reserve, home to a wide range of plants and animals.

  • 10. Visit Boca de Inferno

    Witness the powerful waves and dramatic cliffs of Boca de Inferno, a natural wonder in Sao Tome and Principe.



Sao Tome and Principe has a tropical climate with relatively consistent temperatures throughout the year. The temperature typically ranges from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24 to 29 degrees Celsius), with high humidity levels. The islands experience two main seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.

The rainy season runs from October to May, with the heaviest rainfall occurring from January to May. During this time, the islands are lush and green, with plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring the waterfalls. However, the rainfall can also cause flooding and make some of the roads and trails difficult to navigate.

The dry season runs from June to September, with less rainfall and generally more sunny days. The ocean conditions are generally calmer during this time, making it a good time for diving and snorkeling.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Sao Tome and Principe depends on what you want to do and see. If you're interested in hiking and exploring the waterfalls, then the rainy season may be the best time to visit. However, if you're looking for more consistent weather and calmer ocean conditions for diving and snorkeling, then the dry season is the better choice.

Another factor to consider is the festivals. Sao Tome and Principe has a number of colorful festivals throughout the year, including the São João Festival in June, the Carnival of São Tomé in February or March, and the Principe Island Festival in August. If you're interested in experiencing one of these festivals, then you may want to plan your trip accordingly.


Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:


Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.


Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.


Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.


Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.


Resorts and Hotels

Sao Tome and Principe has a number of luxury resorts and hotels, many of which are located on the beach. These resorts offer a range of amenities, including swimming pools, restaurants, and spas. Some popular resorts include the Pestana Equador Resort, Omali Lodge, and Club Santana Beach & Resort.

Guesthouses and B&Bs

There are also many guesthouses and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) in Sao Tome and Principe, which offer a more affordable option for visitors. These accommodations range from basic rooms with shared bathrooms to more comfortable and spacious options with private bathrooms. Some popular guesthouses and B&Bs include Guesthouse Agripino, Miramar By Pestana, and Casa Bela Vista.


For visitors looking to connect with nature and minimize their impact on the environment, there are several eco-lodges in Sao Tome and Principe. These lodges are typically located in more remote areas and offer a range of sustainable practices, such as using solar power and rainwater harvesting. Some popular eco-lodges include Mucumbli, Bom Bom Principe, and Roca Sundy.


For a more immersive cultural experience, visitors can also consider staying in a homestay. This involves staying with a local family in their home and experiencing their way of life. Some homestays may offer meals and activities, such as fishing or farming, as part of the experience. Some popular homestays include Sao Tome Central Guesthouse and Santo Amaro Homestay.



Taxis are available in the main towns on both islands, and can be hailed on the street or arranged through hotels and guesthouses. It's important to negotiate the price before getting in, as there are no meters. Taxis are generally the most convenient option for short distances or when carrying heavy luggage.

Car Rentals

Several car rental companies operate on Sao Tome and Principe, offering a range of vehicles from small cars to 4x4s. Renting a car can be a good option for visitors who want to explore the islands at their own pace. However, it's important to note that the roads in some areas can be rough and difficult to navigate, and many of the rental cars are not in the best condition.

Public Transportation

Public transportation on Sao Tome and Principe is limited and can be unreliable. Buses and minivans operate on some routes, but schedules are not always consistent and the vehicles can be overcrowded. Ferries also operate between Sao Tome and Principe, but again, schedules are subject to change.

Motorbikes and Bicycles

For visitors looking for a more adventurous way to explore the islands, motorbikes and bicycles can be rented from some shops and guesthouses. Motorbikes are a popular way to explore the more remote areas of the islands, but it's important to take precautions and wear appropriate safety gear. Bicycles are a good option for exploring the towns and villages and can be a more sustainable way to travel.


Finally, walking is a great way to explore the islands, especially in the towns and villages. Many of the main sights and attractions are within walking distance of each other, and walking allows visitors to get a closer look at the local culture and way of life. However, it's important to be aware of the weather conditions and take precautions, such as wearing appropriate footwear and carrying water.


Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.


Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.


When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:


Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.


There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.


Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.


Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.


Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!


Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.


LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.