Just off the African mainland, nestled on the cusp of Bioko Island lies the enchanting city of Malabo. Situated at the base of Pico Basilé Volcano, Malabo is the oldest city in Equatorial Guinea. Founded in 1827 by the English, and later ruled over by the Spanish, Malabo was made capital of Equatorial Guinea in 1968. Its rich history provides a treasure trove of culture and heritage.
Strolling along the city’s avenues you will see colonial buildings such as La Casa Verde, and Spanish-style plazas, while the aroma of local cuisine fills the air. The main artery Avenue Independencia opens into the Plaza de Independencia, where the grand gothic façade of the Cathedral Santa Isabel blends shades of blue with the tropical sky. The cathedral’s intricate design and beautiful interior make for a remarkable visit.
At the heart of the city lies the vibrant Mercado; the market. The open air stalls invite travelers to explore and immerse themselves in the remarkable culture of the city. Your senses will be delighted by the scented spice stalls, brilliantly colored textiles, and authentic African handicrafts such as ebony masks and carved wood figures. A central part of daily life in Malabo, El Mercado is a wealth of culture and heritage that provides an unforgettable experience.
Travelers can further their foray into the vast culture of the city with the Museum of Modern Art of Equatorial Guinea. Set in the center of the city the museum is curated with some of the best contemporary art works of Equatorial Guinea and features remarkable works of traditional African crafts.
Outside of the city a number of exceptional sights can be found. On the road to Luba, just under 25 miles from Malabo, sits White Sand Beach, is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Bioko, the perfect spot to enjoy the tropical Malabo climate. Beyond the sand, the local landscape of coconut palms, banana and papaya trees beckons. To the other end of the city, just beyond its borders is the lush jungle of the Moka Valley. The town of Riaba is a welcome sanctuary from the heat of the city. Plunging waterfalls, exquisite nature preserves and volcanic lakes provide a serene getaway, and extraordinary views of the city.