Pico Cao Grande – Caue, São Tomé and Príncipe - Atlas Obscura

Pico Cao Grande

Caue, São Tomé and Príncipe

Nature’s skyscraper launches out of the terrain with attitude. 


On a small island off the coast of Africa a lofty volcanic tower known as Pico Cao Grande looms dark on the horizon, like a fantasy landscape illustrating why mountains have often been mythologized as conduits between ancient divinities and earth.

Standing at a whopping 386 meters tall, the “Great Dog Peak” is one of nature’s most impressive high-rises. The needle-shaped volcanic plug is made of treacherous volcanic rock and surrounded by a thick jungle of giant ferns infested with snakes which thrive in the humid climate. Despite these natural setbacks, the spire still manages to attract a couple of thrill-seeking climbers each year.

Climbing the tower is especially dangerous due to the slippery mosses that cover much of the rock, not to mention the snakes that inhabit the needle itself. In addition, a blanket of mist usually cloaks the column resulting from Sao Tome’s abundance of annual rainfall (between 4,500 and 5,000 mm), making the surface as slippery as glass during actual precipitation.

Know Before You Go

Contact one of the many tour agencies such as Navetur. They speak perfect English and can help facilitate anything during your visit

Community Contributors
Added by

August 7, 2013

Make an Edit Add Photos
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web