Now I am back from Sao Tome e Principe and it was very nice there, one wonderful holiday. We came last day in December to celebrate last day on the year and to welcome the New Year and it was interesting to see how the people there celebrate this holiday.
We were there 2 weeks, stayed at hotel O Bigodes, which I recommend very much. The hotel is by the ocean on the edge of the town Sao Tome and from the terrace and restaurant is a beautiful view over Sao Tome town, palms, rainforest and mountains in the background. The price for this hotel was not so bad either, 35EUR per night and person incl. breakfast. Good food they had too. Service was a little slowly, but we had not hurry, we were on holiday.
Unfortunately, we have never been able to go to Principe because our luggage did not arrive with us, it came only after a week because the plane, to Sao Tome only one per week, so it was difficult for us. We flew from Barcelona to Lisbon to Sao Tome with TAP and our luggage was left in Lisbon.
So if you planners to come here, take some clothes with you as hand luggage because it is not so easy to find your size when you want and buy some clothes for you. People there are smaller and shorter, so it took all day before we found something suitable.
We rented a car and it was a good choice because it should be a little difficult to travel by taxi and bus the whole time. We travelled over the whole island both on west and east side, even inside the island as to Monte Caffe there we saw one old coffee plantation and tasted also coffee there, which was very tasty. We were going around to waterfall S. Nicolau and Bombaim there it is one other plantation house, now as hotel. We were visiting even one old cacao plantation in Agostinho Neto and in Agua Ize, one old factory there they still produced cacao and even palm oil. Near Agua Ize is the Boca de Inferno, in the cliffs is a large hole through which water rapids and it seems that the mouth is full of white shaving. We were also going to one school which is placed in the old Portuguese hospital, in Diogo Vaz, there it was even art school. It is possible also to overnight there in simply but clean rooms. Monte Forte saw we too, took a coop of good coffee there. So I think we saw almost everything on the island, only Vulcan we not saw. Pico de Sao Tome not missed we either, it was very good and impressive to see from the road to Porto Alegre.
Because of course we were travelling even to Porto Alegre, wanted to stay over night in Jale Ekolodge and take a boat trip to island Das Rolas for to stay on Equator. But because our problem with the language (cannot Portuguese or French) we could not stay there because we had no idea where in Porto Alegre we can find responsible for this lodge. Or boat. Otherwise it would be very nice there because it was on the wonderfully sand beach, surrounded by palms trees. Instead we were going back for to overnight in Roça Sao Joao de Angolares, one old also Portuguese plantation house. The room costs 35€ half board per person, good price and not talk about the dinner, which was really tasty and exciting. The house and place was nice, on the hill with wonderfully view over the ocean and forest too.
The roads are paved but in terrible condition especially against Porto Alegre, already after Santana is the road very bad. So count with that even if it is not so far from Sao Tome to Porto Alegre, about 80-90 km, it took 4 hours I think it was.
Sao Tome city is not so nice, chaotic, crowded and taxis everywhere. Unfortunately, many houses are in very poor condition because Portuguese people did get in a hurry to leave the island and people there were and still are of course not afford to renovate all the houses. But to sit there and watch people and life on the streets is very interesting and fun.
I recommend this trip, to go and stay at least one week on the island, it is really worth all the money and effort to come there. Pity only we could not go to Principe which is probably much nice, maybe more than Sao Tome, I heard, but next time???.
It was a good time to be there, we had nice weather, it was warm around 30 degree C and the water was warm and nice to take a bath too. I know Atlantic from Portugal there the water is so cold, so it was funny to swim in Atlantic again, but warm Atlantic. We were lucky because it was rainy only twice and only about 1 hour so it was nothing. It was not so much sun, but some days it was sunny anyway, anyway it was good when it was cloudy because it was warm enough.
Have a nice trip to you all who will go there.