Three dream holidays for nature lovers

From São Tomé and Principe – “Africa’s Galápagos” – to turtle habitats in Tobago, Alice Gråhns reports on some secluded holidays for nature lovers.

902_MW_P35_Castara-Retreats

From So Tom and Principe "Africa's Galpagos" to turtle habitats in Tobago, Alice Grhns reports on some secluded holidays for nature lovers.

"As I fly the 180km from So Tom the big brother of the two-island country of So Tom and Principe that attracts only a dribble of visitors Principe erupts from the Atlantic, vertiginous incisors of jungle-clad rock spiking towards the gods," says Ian Belcher in The Times. Sundy Praia (SundyPrincipe.com) is located on the northwest coast of Principe in a Unesco biosphere reserve and is "the planet's perhaps most discreet wilderness retreat".

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

Sundy Praia's 15 villas have "tasteful contemporary designs [and] clever local flourishes". The infinity pool "is surrounded by walls of the island's black basalt", while the reception has a beautifully carved check-in desk. The surrounding forest has mango and coconut trees, alongside banana palms and fan-leaf bushes. So Tom and Principe also has 28 bird species found nowhere else in the world, including the exquisite blue and gold conobias, along with unique amphibians and snakes. The country is sometimes called "Africa's Galpagos", but that short-changes these two small islands that have similar numbers of endemic species in just an eighth ofthe space.

Turtles in Tobago

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve of Tobago is "the oldest forest reserve in the Western hemisphere, and is teeming with wildlife", says Tamara Hinson in the Daily Express. "After 48 hours in this nature lover's paradise, nothing surprised me." Tobago has no chain hotels, but loads of eco-resorts, and one of the best is Castara Retreats (CastaraRetreats.com), a cluster of wooden villas built into a hillside and connected by palm-fringed walkways on the western side of the island.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Activities include a kayak excursion to Bon Accord Lagoon, which is "one of the world's best spots to experience bioluminescence" the light given off by microscopic organisms, and "one of Tobago's many natural wonders". There are also yoga sessions and massages on offer. Some of Tobago's most secluded beaches are close by, and the southern tip has some of the country's most important turtle habitats.

The world's largest waterfall

"There's something very compelling about Iguaz Falls, a curtain of thrashing water nearly two miles long, which is claimed to be the largest waterfall system in the world," says Sarah Marshall in The Daily Telegraph. The waterfalls spill over the Paran Plateau, straddling southern Brazil and northeast Argentina, and are split between two national parks. Eco lodge Awasi Iguaz (AwasIguazu.com) recently opened in the wilder, more rugged Argentinian sector. The 14-villa property has a private guide system with one adventure expert and vehicle allocated to each guest tailoring a choice of activities to individual requests. Two hours from the falls is Yacui Reserve, "a swathe of forest flourishing with native rosewood and palm heart trees". Here guests paddle along a quiet tributary of the Iguaz river, "where dragonflies and driftwood are the only passing traffic".

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/spending-it/travel-holidays/600663/where-to-go-in-2020
Travel & holidays

Where to go in 2020

Broaden your horizons in the new year with a visit to these travel destinations.
17 Jan 2020
Visit/519947/take-the-waters-at-a-spa-in-tuscany
Travel & holidays

Take the waters at a spa in Tuscany

The pleasures of a trip to Tuscany taken out of season make up for the lack of summer sun, says Natasha Langan.
27 Dec 2019
Visit/519691/three-great-christmas-markets-in-britain
Travel & holidays

Three great Christmas markets in Britain

Get out and enjoy the festive spirit at Christmas markets around the country. Chris Carter picks three of the best.
20 Dec 2019
Visit/519404/francis-hotel-bath-an-oasis-of-calm-in-bath
Travel & holidays

The Francis Hotel: an oasis of calm in Bath

Bath's Francis Hotel is a tourist destination in its own right, says Nicole Garcia Merida.
13 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Visit/investments/commodities/gold/600686/gold-and-silver-bull-market-2020
Gold

Want to make money in 2020? Gold and silver are looking like a good bet

If you want to make money from investing, says Dominic Frisby, it’s simple: find a bull market and go long. And in 2020 gold and silver are in a bull …
22 Jan 2020
Visit/economy/600667/money-minute-wednesday-22-january-uk-public-borrowing
Economy

Money Minute Wednesday 22 January: UK public borrowing

Today's Money Minute looks ahead to the latest on of the UK's public finances, with the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecasts for borrowing thi…
22 Jan 2020
Visit/investments/stocks-and-shares/share-tips/600653/indias-small-and-mid-cap-stocks-are-set-for-big
Share tips

India’s small and mid-cap stocks are set for big gains – here are three to buy now

Each week, a professional investor tells us where he’d put his money. This week: David Cornell of the India Capital Growth Fund highlights three favou…
20 Jan 2020
Visit/investments/stocks-and-shares/share-tips/600636/class-acts-going-cheap-buy-into-europes-best
Share tips

Class acts going cheap: buy into Europe’s best bargains

Value investing appears to be making a comeback, while shares on this side of the Atlantic are more appealing on metrics such as price/earnings ratios…
16 Jan 2020