Sao Tome Island

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Sao Tome Island
São Tomé and Príncipe is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the equatorial western coast of Central Africa.

It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about 140 kilometers (87 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 kilometers (155 and 140 mi), respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon. Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. Sao Tome, the sizable southern island, is situated just north of the equator. It was named in honor of Saint Thomas by Portuguese explorers who arrived at the island on his feast day in the western shores of the island, a small village called Anobom.

With a population of 187,356 (2012), São Tomé and Príncipe is the second-smallest African country, behind Seychelles. It is also the smallest Portuguese-speaking country.
Sao Tome and Principe were both uninhabited before colonization by the Portuguese. Since then, much of the landscape has remained unchanged or, where formerly former plantations once existed, reclaimed by tropical forests. The islands are covered by lush tropical forests and with a small population and very few tourists, remains a true tropical paradise.
The interior of the island of São Tomé contains the Obo National Park. Find a local guide to take you to birdwatching, climb the 2,024-meter Peak Sao Tome, walk to a secluded waterfall or try to locate the maximum of 109 species of orchids on the island. The waves enter an underwater cave on the south side of São Tomé Island and, where to go, shoot into the hole of the Mouth of Hell in an impressive spectacle for visitors. The secluded beaches at Principe are breathtaking and romantic ... do not blame yourself for feeling you are on a deserted island in the South Pacific.
Just offshore are coral reefs with a great diversity of marine life - including some endemic species and the waters between other islands and the mainland reach 2,000 meters! Diving and snorkeling are the ideal ways to explore the underwater side of this paradise, during which you can observe dolphins, large green turtles and a wide variety of colorful fish. Experienced and daring divers can even explore underwater caves.
Among the few human views on the islands is Fort San Sebastian. Built in 1575, the fort was remodeled in 2006 and is now the National Museum of Sao Tome. The fort is absolutely beautiful at night. Essential for all visitors is a visit to one of the colonial island's garden-farms - found in many different states, from secular buildings being slowly blanketed by rainforest to carefully remodeled, bed-and-breakfasts. One of the most accessible, Monte Café, has a new set of coffee museums and, being in the mountains, is cool and inviting. São Tomé's market is, like many in the region, a colorful and vibrant experience, while photographers will love the picturesque colonial architecture of the city.

The waters around São Tomé are clear and rich of life. Consequently, scuba diving, fishing and boating offer plenty to see. One of the few operators that offers these activities is the Club Maxel. The forests of both islands lend themselves wonderfully to hiking.
The capital of São Tomé is full of public art. Paintings and sculptures by local artists, as well as old Portuguese statues, can be found throughout the city. Sometimes you walk down the street and turn the corner to get a colorful and cheerful painting in front of you.
Fish is a staple of the Sao Tome and Principe diet, often served with breadfruit and cooked banana puree. The variety of fish is wide, including flying fish at certain times of the year. In the interior, many Sao Tomeans get their proteins from buzios, large terrestrial snails. Sea snails are also quite common along the coast. Despite extreme poverty, the people of São Paulo can always count on some sustenance from the wide variety of tropical fruits. Hotels in the capital offer European-style dishes at European prices.

Beer is readily available everywhere, though Sao Tomeans are not known as heavy drinkers. Local brands include Creolla and Rosema. Inside, palm wine is available very cheaply from vendors along the road. In the capital, whiskey and other spirit drinks are popular among elites. Wine, especially Portuguese green wine, is popular with fish dishes.
At sea level, the climate is tropical-hot and humid with average yearly temperatures of about 27 ° C (80.6 ° F) and little daily variation. The temperature rises beyond 32 ° C (89.6 ° F). At higher elevations, the average yearly temperature is 20 ° C (68 ° F), and nights are generally cool. Annual rainfall varies from 5,000 mm (196.9 in) on the southwestern slopes to 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in the northern lowlands. The rainy season runs from October to May.
Other tourist destinations in:
São Tomé and Príncipe
Sao Tome and Principe
Ilhéu das Rolas - Sao Tome

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