São Tomé Town is the capital of the second smallest nation in Africa, but the paradisiacal town has a big personality. Surrounded by palm-fringed beaches, untouched jungles and crystal clear waters, the city soon captivates visitors with its easy-going atmosphere. The Portuguese founded the city in 1485, and São Tomé still retains much of that flavor. There, visitors can indulge in some of the world's freshest fruits and seafood, sip on rich coffees, delight on gourmet chocolates and stay in old colonial plantations while spending the afternoons snorkeling in uncharted waters, hiking in the bio-diverse jungles and uncovering sleepy villages.
Since its founding, São Tomé has largely resisted change and remains covered by lush rainforests. Staying in the capital makes it easy to reach Obo National Park, known among conservationists as one of the world's most biologically rich virgin rainforests. The 235-square kilometer park actually includes a wide variety of biotopes, including mangroves, savannas, mountains and lowland forests, making it an unending pleasure to explore. More than 700 species of flora blossom throughout the park, including 100 unique orchid species. Local guides can also point out the many species of wildlife that thrive in Obo, including the African manatee, Peters' River frog and the São Tomé Caecilian. The protected area is part of São Tomé's unique natural heritage, and it is a true paradise on earth.
The wild coastline near the city invites exploration. A whole spectrum of marine life thrives under the clear waters, and the sea bed fascinates with its volcanic formations and coral gardens. A brilliant combination of corals, seaweed and fish flourish just off the coast, and divers are often greeted by schools of parrot fish, goat fish, white nurse sharks, snapper, angel fish, turtles, octopi, eels, box fish and surgeons.
If you long to get away from the world and relax without distractions, the beaches of São Tomé are for you. Never crowded, the beaches that surround the city are tranquil, largely untouched and ideal for a complete getaway. You may see a fisherman or two going out to sea, but you will never have to fight for a space on the sand.
If you hit the beaches from July to October, chances are you will spot more than a few Humpback whales. The incredible creatures migrate through the warm waters off the coast of São Tomé to reach their mating areas.
There are few traditional tourist sights in the city, but the São Sebastião Museum is definitely worth a visit. The imposing old fortress was built in 1575 and now includes a small but impressive collection of religious icons and colonial artifacts. The view of the ocean from the roof is particularly stunning, and the nearby lighthouse still welcomes ships coming into the harbor today.
The best way to explore the city is on foot. While strolling, you will notice an abundance of public art. Throughout the city, carvings, paintings and sculptures by local artists add even more beauty to the already lovely streets.
São Tomé New Market
São Tomé presentation Video
São Tomé Geographical Location
São Tomé is located on northeastern coast of the island with the same name. It is by far the largest city in São Tomé and Principe with an approximate population of 57,000.
São Tomé Language
Portuguese is the official language of São Tomé and Principe.
São Tomé Predominant Religion
2% New Apostolic
There are also small groups that practice indigenous beliefs and those who practice them in addition the Christianity.
São Tomé Currency
The Dobra is the official currency of São Tomé and Principe.
São Tomé Climate
It is hot throughout the year in São Tomé and is sees little rainfall between June and September. The rest of the year is considered the rainy season.
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