Santo António is the main settlement of Príncipe Island in São Tomé and Príncipe. It has about 2,600 residents (2012), which is about one-third of the population of the island.
Príncipe is wilder, greener and less inhabited than São Tomé. Birds like mannikins and drongos, whales, and turtles thrive here.
Santo António was founded in 1502, and became a centre of sugarcane cultivation. In 1695, the Fort of Ponta da Mina was built at the entrance of the bay of Santo António. The town and fortress were destroyed by French privateers in 1706.
Santo António has a tropical savanna climate, with little temperature variation year round. The average temperature is 24.8 °C. The average annual precipitation is 1872 mm, with the least precipitation in July and the most in October.
The supermercado sells fish hooks and beer, but not much else.
- Bigodes. Near the airport, if you decide to wait for your flight here the airport will call to let you know when your flight is boarding. Good lunches and great view.
- Café e Companhia. The expat hangout in São Tomé. This is the place to let people know you have arrived in country. Café and Companhia is popularly known as “MJs”, after the owner and former manager Maria João. MJ leases the business to a new German manager but makes appearances when she is in country. C & C is known for Thursday night jazz and the “Atomic Penis”.
- O Pirata. Located next to the Pestana Hotel, it is one of the few places open on Sunday morning, but one suspects they just party through Saturday night. Good place to nurse a cup of coffee and an omelet and just watch the ocean. A sunken ship is right off the restaurant... hence the name “The Pirate”.
- Pestana Hotel is advertised as the only five-star hotel in the capital, and could comfortably be described as a high four-star. The hotel is owned by the Pestana hotel chain from Lisbon. Most rooms have a great view of the ocean, and a full breakfast is included. Good restaurant, great bar, a decent gym and two infinity pools.
- Agosto Neto, either a large B&B or a small boutique hotel. This quiet hotel is on a side street a couple of blocks from the Presidential Palace. The hotel is relatively new, spotlessly clean, and will open the kitchen upon request. Full breakfast is included. Internet access in the lobby, and the desk tries to speak English. A partner company, Netu Services, rents cars here.
- Miramar. The grand dame of São Tome hotels, this place has seen better days. In its heyday you could sit in the lobby and anyone that was important would walk past. The hotel has open wi-fi, so lots of local people still come by. A bit overpriced for what you get. The neighboring Pestana Hotel bought out the elderly German owner last year and is rumored to be converting the Miramar to a conference center.
- Bom Bom Island Resort, ☏ . 20 bungalows, and a restaurant. €280-410.
- Ribeira Izé, the ruins of a slaving station built in the 15th century.
- São Tomé