Delve into the culture and history of Sao Tome by visiting its marquee attractions, including the National Museum, Presidential Palace and lively city market.
Depart from the pier and begin driving through Sao Tome, which is noted for its colonial architecture and brightly colored buildings. Founded by the Portuguese in 1485, the capital city is by far the nation’s largest, yet still compact and easy to walk.
You will get a glimpse into the island’s rich past at the National Museum, which is housed in a Portuguese-built fortress from 1576 that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the items on display are religious in nature, attesting to the fact that Sao Tome is predominately Catholic with several cathedrals, including one from the 16th century.
Continuing on, you will visit the nearby Pantufo fishing village, where you will watch a traditional dance performance that lends even greater insight into the culture. Some of the dances are historically enlightening and tell the story of the Portuguese settling here to operate sugar-cane plantations.
Returning to the city center, you will see the Presidential Palace along Independence Avenue and several popular squares. Still, the city market provides the best insight into life in Sao Tome. As you negotiate the narrow walkways, between stalls of fresh vegetables and aromatic spices, you will become immersed in the rhythm of daily life. Watch for vendors tugging their ears, a signal that means their merchandise is extra-good. Following the market experience, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of moderate walking/standing that includes some steps and natural and uneven surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing to include long sleeves and long pants; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain and bring small change in either USD or EUR to purchase any drinks or local products. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary and can be influenced by weather conditions. PHOTOS OR VIDEO OF THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.