Sao Tome’s Magnificent Blue Lagoon — Transcontinental Times

Sao Tome and Principe : The Lagoa Azul (“blue lagoon”) is one of the most amazing places on the charming island of Sao Tome, located off the coast of Guinea.

Located about an hour’s drive from the city of Sao Tome, this small bay is known for its sparkling blue waters and the pristine greenery that surrounds it.

Photo credit: Raghu Gururaj

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The lagoon is part of the Obo de São Tomé National Park, but is located on the outer periphery and therefore easily accessible by road.

Photo credit: Raghu Gururaj

There are countless beaches in Sao Tome, but the Blue Lagoon stands out. Swimming a few meters in these waters on a sunny day with blue skies, I was overwhelmed with a surreal feeling of being surrounded by a pure clear blue sea.

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There are several interesting aspects to this lagoon. One delightful thing about the lagoon is that it displays different hues in different places. The first few meters are pure blue in color, which can be attributed to their purity as they reflect the blue sky on a perfectly clear day.

The next two miles or so are turquoise, which is due to the green algae below. The warm turquoise waters then merge into the powerful gray of the Atlantic.

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This place is immensely popular with adventurous tourists for diving and snorkeling. The meeting point of the warm turquoise waters and the gray waters of the Atlantic is also the playground for groups of dark gray dolphins, which can be seen frolicking and having fun. These tourists snorkel to this spot to get closer to these playful dolphins.

Photo credit: Raghu Gururaj

There is a lighthouse near the bay, which serves as an observation post for passing ships, illegal fishing boats and poachers. Guards keep watch around the clock to protect Sao Tome’s marine wealth in these rich breeding grounds from illegal fishing. Their vigilance from this point of view also ensures the safety of the revelers.

The lighthouse was designed and built by the Marinha de Guerra Portuguesa, and is the Portuguese Maritime Department in 1997 and is now maintained by the Ministry of Defense of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Principe.

It is located at the top of a hill. A short hike up the hill gave me stunning views of the entire bay. I could clearly see the different layers of colors in these waters. It was also a perfect place for photography and drone shots.

From this high point, I had the incredible chance to see dozens of dark gray dolphins languidly moving through the turquoise waters. As they approach the Atlantic, they seem to change gears, jump and dive. I felt like they were either competing with each other or engaged in a fun race.

Access to the pinnacle of the lighthouse is via a small balcony at the top of the tower. A photovoltaic solar panel is installed there to ensure that the lighthouse operates on autopilot most of the time.

As I descended from the mound and walked away from the beach, I found the shoreline covered in rounded boulders of vesicular basalt, which looked like calcite crystals. These shiny, multi-coloured, multi-layered pebbles make attractive ornamental or decorative pieces in a garden.

At the end of the beach there is usually a carnival atmosphere. Lots of Sao Tomeans and tourists hang out, watch local crafts, listen to local calypsos, and enjoy local banana fries and roast fish.

The Blue Lagoon is an authentic reflection of the enchanting islands of Sao Tome and Principe. As with the whole nation, there is nothing cosmetic about this place.

Also Read: Exploring Sao Tome’s Unique Culinary Traditions

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