Sundy Praia: The Experience

Located in Príncipe Island, São Tomé & Príncipe

Príncipe is a place apart—and Sundy Praia offers an abundance of ways to make authentic connections. Delve into the island’s stunning biodiversity as well as its cultural delights with guided excursions on land and sea by foot, boat, or 4x4. Spend time with local artists, observe sea turtles laying eggs or hatching on the beach, and learn to cook native specialties at a former coffee plantation.

Things To Do

Activity inclusions vary by rate type and package. Please inquire with the lodge when requesting your reservation.

Snorkeling

Borrow the lodge’s snorkeling gear and take to the warm water of the island’s wild northern coast to encounter a dazzling underwater realm.

Beach

Stake out your spot on the long golden-sand beach that stretches just steps from your villa, and read, swim, nap or stroll the surf.

Stargazing

Gaze up at the night sky in the historic place where, in 1919, English scientist Sir Arthur Eddington proved Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity for the first time.

Yoga

Greet the day with a guided yoga session on the dock as the sun rises.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Enjoy a serene view of picture-perfect Príncipe as you float on the sea in a kayak or on one of the lodge’s stand-up paddleboards.

Cooking Class

Try your hand at island cooking with the guidance of a highly trained chef at sister resort Sundy Roca, located at what was once the island’s biggest coffee plantation.

Artisan Demo

Learn to make your own jewelry from recycled island glass alongside a local group of women artists, called Mambos da Terra, for a unique souvenir to take home. If you’d like, you can also tour the island recycling center.

Turtle Watching

Monitor sea turtles as they lay their eggs on the beaches of Príncipe between September and April, and learn about the conservation of this threatened species.

Bird-Watching

Príncipe is home to at least 21 endemic bird species, including the Príncipe kingfisher and Dohrn’s thrush-babbler. Grab some binoculars and venture into the rain forest to listen and watch for these rare creatures.

Driving Tours

Explore the island with a local guide in a 4x4. Travel from the traditional fishing village of Praia Abade and on to unforgettable viewpoints along the southern portion of the island. Visit the world’s smallest city and experience island culture. Or, discover the world of organic farming on a tour of the island’s plantations. Savor the aromas and flavors of herbs and medicinal plants as you walk through tropical gardens, and learn about the process of making natural products ranging from jams and tropical muesli to bath and beauty products.

Hiking Excursions

Set off on the trails of Príncipe’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on a variety of guided excursions. Visit the island’s largest roça (plantation house), and see an old lookout point for ships. Hike up to the scenic summit of 2,300-foot Parrot Mountain, formed from volcanic rock, and watch for monkeys, native birds, and medicinal plants along the way. Follow a trail to Ribeira Izé, the island’s original capital, and discover the ruins of its church and the house of famous local Maria Correia. Venture into the rain forest and cool off at beautiful O Quê Pipi waterfall, or follow Parrot River to the well-preserved town of Santo António.

Whale and Dolphin Watching

Take to the sea for a boat trip along the northeast coast in search of whales and dolphins. August and September are particularly good times for spotting humpback whales, killer whales, and dolphins in the warm, sheltered waters of the bay.

Sightseeing Boat Tour

Join a local guide on a scenic boat trip. Trace the northeast coast along the island’s top beaches, or explore the western edge of the biosphere reserve at the sheltered Bay of Needles, named for its spectacular skyline of phonolite towers.

Sport Fishing

Go on a guided boat trip and experience catch-and-release sport fishing in the warm waters off Príncipe. Angle for a variety of fish species, including the Atlantic sailfish (November and December) and the blue marlin (July and August). Other times of the year, try for great barracudas, wahoos, and gilt-head bream.

Scuba Diving

Head to sister lodge Bom Bom Resort to experience world-class scuba diving. Plunge into Príncipe’s clear, equatorial waters and discover an abundance of marine life, from colorful coral and fantastical rock formations to turtles, dolphins, angelfish, and more.

Food and Drink

At the heart of the lodge is the restaurant, situated across a small footbridge over a river that bisects the property. A soaring vision in bamboo, oversized hanging lamps, and billowing curtains, the refined dining room provides an elegant perch to take in the ever-changing view of the surrounding jungle. Cacao pods and coconuts are carved by hand into distinctive serving vessels (don’t miss the turtle-shaped sugar bowls).

Island-sourced ingredients inspire the chef’s cuisine, from passionfruit and pineapple to tuna and wahoo. Herbs come from the organic plantation farm at Roça Paciência. An impressive breakfast spread features house-made goods starring flavors from the jungle. Lunch takes place in the restaurant or can be arranged pool-side or as a beach picnic, with fresh fish served on banana leaves with bamboo utensils. Dinner comes à la carte with rotating specials; chefs fuse international cuisine with local ingredients, such as fresh-caught barracuda served in miso soup. The creative bar program whips up tropical riffs on classic cocktails, such as “sop-sop sours” and passionfruit-infused caipirinhas, concocted with local bitters and native fruit liqueurs made at the lodge.

The restaurant hosts a weekly Príncipean-themed evening featuring regional dishes, such as grilled snails with plantain chips, accompanied by lively musical performances, sometimes with traditional dancers. Guests can also experience fine dining at Sundy Praia’s sister lodges—whether at a romantic table by the sea or in a 18th-century colonial plantation house.

Spa

Immersed in a serene realm of tropical essences, flowers, candles, and smooth stones, guests can unwind with massages and beauty treatments. Locally inspired treatments—think cocoa-infused massages and banana leaf wraps—end with an explanation of islanders’ spiritual beliefs and perhaps an impromptu lesson in Príncipe dialect. A wellness tent is scheduled to open by the fall of 2018; until then treatments take place in a comfortable tented villa.

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