Visit two plantations in the mountains, one that produces coffee and the other known for its beautiful waterfall, where you may relax and sample the locally produced coffee and several varieties of exotic fruit.
Depart from the pier and drive south toward the center of the island, a land of tropical forests and volcanically formed mountains. Before long, you will notice a change in altitude as you ascend into the cooler mountain air above 2,100 feet. The growing conditions at this height are ideal for coffee, especially Arabica and Robusta varieties, which flourish at the Monte Café Plantation.
While touring the mountainside plantation, you will discover how the coffee is processed and the factors that affect the taste, aroma and quality. It’s fascinating to understand the many steps involved as the green coffee beans are transported from the fields, dried, roasted and sorted before export. Monte Café is one of the few remaining coffee plantations on Sao Tome, as most of the others now grow cocoa beans or have ceased production.
Following your visit, you will next travel to Bombaim Plantation. Its attraction is natural beauty, as you will see by wandering down to its namesake waterfall to relax and sample several varieties of bananas. The surrounding forest is also the only place on the island where mangosteen trees grow. The Portuguese introduced the trees, which when mature bear fruit and provide a shady environment that’s perfect for growing vanilla. After approximately an hour at Bombaim, you will drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 75-90 minutes of moderate walking/standing that includes some steps, natural and uneven surfaces as well as the possibility of mud. The path to Bombaim waterfall is slippery in spots. 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 additional drinks or local products. Restroom facilities on this tour are very limited and basic in nature. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary and can be influenced by weather conditions.