Marco do Equador – Ilhéu das Rolas, São Tomé and Príncipe - Atlas Obscura

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Marco do Equador

Ilhéu das Rolas, São Tomé and Príncipe

The equator passes through this tiny island in the eastern Atlantic. 


Just south of São Tomé there is a small island called Ilhéu das Rolas. On this little island, you can find a monument marking the location of the equator.

Ilhéu das Rolas covers just two square kilometers (0.77 square miles). It has a small population, and can only be reached by a ferry from the larger island of São Tomé Island, which lies across the Canal das Rolas. Between 1915 and 1918, Portuguese navigator and historian Gago Coutinho traveled to São Tomé on an expedition to map the island, which was at that point a colony of Portugal. During the mapping process, Coutinho observed that the equator crossed Ilhéu das Rolas.

The monument marks the location were the equatorial line runs through the island, splitting it between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It stands on the grounds of Ilhéu das Rolas’s only resort, the Pestana Equador. The ground underneath the monument is covered with a tile mosaic map of the world.

Know Before You Go

To get there you have to get a boat from Porto Alegre

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August 29, 2022

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