Things to do in Ponta Delgada

Explore the Azores' capital and find Gothic churches, narrow winding streets, and charming buildings.

Our most recommended things to do in Ponta Delgada

Azores: Whale Watching and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores: Whale Watching and Islet Boat Tour

Begin the excursion with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration, and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. Approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. Next, take a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. If whales are spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline. If no whales or dolphins are spotted, you will receive a full refund, or you can book another trip for free.

From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

3. From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

Set off on a whale-watching day trip from Ponta Delgada and witness the marine mammals of the Azores. Look out for minke whales, dolphins, turtles, and more, and learn about the environment from your marine biologist guide. Begin with a briefing by your guide, who will explain the history of whale watching in the Azores. Learn about water safety, rules of observation, and respect for the animals. Depart from the Ponta Delgada harbor and sail into the Atlantic. Situated between Portugal and North America, the Azores are a permanent home or point of passage for more than a third of the world’s whale and dolphin species. Keep an eye out for sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and Risso’s dolphins, which are present throughout the year, along with turtles, seabirds, and other marine life. In the summer months, spot dolphins, pilot whales, and striped dolphins. In spring, enjoy the opportunity to see migrating baleen whales such as blue whales, fin whales, and sei whales.

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

4. São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on this guided tour by van. Discover the famous crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, picturesque waterfalls, amazing cliffs, and stunning rock formations around the coast of the island. Start with a visit to Ribeira Grande, one of the most picturesque towns of the Azores, followed by a surprising view of some amazingly beautiful cliffs on the North coast. Then travel to the inner areas of the island to see the gorgeous waterfall of Salto do Cabrito, surrounded by wild vegetation. Drive to the top of Fogo Volcano to enjoy views of the most pristine and magical of the crater lakes of São Miguel. From the top of the mountain, enjoy the stunning views over a large portion of the island. After a tasty meal to restore your energy levels, head to Sete Cidades, to understand why this is considered by the postcard of the Azores. Enjoy views from two completely different perspectives over the famous twin lakes.  End the day in Mosteiros, on the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

5. São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the eastern half of São Miguel island on a guided tour by van. Discover the hot springs at Furnas, the waterfall at Ribeira dos Caldeirões, as well as the remote rugged beauty of the Nordeste region. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the northern coast of the island until you get to the Santa Iria Lookout, with a spectacular, ample view of the north coast in both directions, before continuing to Furnas. Find yourself in Furnas and admire a spectacular panoramic stop to gaze over the lake and town. Descend where you will be given the choice of visiting the geothermal fields and tasting the sparkling waters, or bathing in the hot springs, for an additional fee. Next, discover a traditional way of cooking as your lunch of cozido (stew) is pulled from the warm volcanic soil. In the afternoon, continue the journey eastward, with a stop at the charming waterfall of Ribeira dos Caldeirões.  Explore Nordeste, the most unexplored and rural part of the island. Visit two amazing lookouts over the high cliffs that characterize the East coast of São Miguel, before returning to Ponta Delgada.

Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

6. Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

Join the ultimate swimming experience on an encounter with wild dolphins in the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Head out from the Azores in a Zodiac boat for an unforgettable adventure. This 2-hour activity is carried out in small groups and led by a qualified biologists or nature guides. Each swimming tour is preceded by a briefing in which one of the biologists explains how to swim with wild dolphins while respecting them. You’ll also learn how to enter the water and behave around the dolphins, how to use the mask and snorkel and how to get the most out of your swimming experience. Masks, snorkels and wet-suits are provided.

Azores: Sete Cidades Scenic 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

7. Azores: Sete Cidades Scenic 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

Get off the usual tourist trail on a 3-hour 4WD tour of the Sete Cidades (Seven Cities) region of the Azores island of São Miguel, departing from Ponta Delgada. Traveling by 4WD vehicle, you will experience the dramatic scenery of the volcanic crater and its flora and fauna in a more immersive fashion.  Drive to the mountain top to look down on the 2 impressive lakes of the caldera (basin), one with blue water (Lagoa Azul) and the other with green water (Lagoa Verde). Along the way, take in many other picturesque spots of São Miguel, including the peaceful lakes of Lagoa das Empadadas, Lagoa de Santiago, and Lagoa do Carvão.  Enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, volcanic cones, and stretches of green, and go to villages that have played a vital role in the story of the island.

From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

8. From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

Enjoy a half-day quad tour around Sete Cidades, the largest freshwater lake in the Azores, situated in the western part of the island of São Miguel. Starting from Ponta Delgada, discover the stunning landscapes of the island.   Experience the amazing view over the island at the Pico do Carvão viewpoint, with Ponta Delgada on one side, and Ribeira Grande on the other. Climb up into the mountains to see the Lagoas Empadadas, and the Serra Devassa. The mountains and lakes in this region play a very important role supplying water to the villages. Stop at Canário Lake for one of the best views of the Boca do Inferno trail.   On the way back to the city, you will see the majestic view at Vista do Rei, providing you with spectacular views of the magical blue and green colors that characterize the waters of these lakes.

São Miguel Island: 2-Day Guided Island Tour with Meals

9. São Miguel Island: 2-Day Guided Island Tour with Meals

2x Full-days Package excursions Furnas + Nordeste + Sete Cidades + Fogo Lake (4 Tours in 2 days) 1st Full Day tour to Furnas & Nordeste. (8 hours tour)) 2nd Full Day tour to Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo. (8 hours tour) As the reservation calendar only allows you to mark 1 day at a time, the 2nd day of the tour will be automatically reserved for the following day Ex; if you book for the 8th of May, automatically the 2nd day of the tour will be the 9th. What will make your reservations on the 8th and 9th of May. *The order of days tours may be changed. Our local gastronomy will be represented on both days. On the day of Furnas & Nordeste tour, we will have the opportunity to lunch the famous “Furnas Stew”, cooked in volcanic soil for 6 hours, and also have the opportunity to see taking out our pot from the interior of the volcanic soil, and all the volcanic manifestations existing there. On the day of Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo tour, lunch will be served as a “Buffet” with different meat and fish dishes. (Full lunch on both of 2 days of activities with starters, drinks, dessert and coffee included) In these 2 days of activitiest, you will have the privilege of having a general view of the most iconic places of the entire “green” island, from which stand out the emblematic viewpoints such as Vista do Rei in Sete Cidades, (winner of the 7 Wonders of Portugal ) or Pico do Ferro, where you can see from the top of the crater one of the most active volcanoes in the Azores archipelago and learn all about its eruptive history with more than 100,000 years. You will also have the opportunity to relax in hot thermal pools, heated by Furnas volcano, at one of the biggest and best Botanical Parks in Europe, Terra Nostra Park. Also the visit to Pineapple and Tea Plantations will be a “must”. In the Northeast area, we will visit the Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park with its 5 water mills and its imposing and majestic waterfall, entitled “Véu da Noiva”. We have selected the best TOP places to visit throughout São Miguel island in Sete Cidades, Furnas, Lagoa do Fogo and Nordeste areas, making in a 2 full days activities the most complete experience as possible at São Miguel Island in Azores

Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

10. Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

After either gathering at the meeting point or being collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to Parque da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, located in the north-east part of the island. It takes around 45 minutes to drive from Ponta Delgada. Get the chance to do rappels, jumps, slides, and rock slides. Start your adventure by trying your first decent, abseiling alongside a waterfall of around 5 meters. Continue your way down the river on an exciting water slide (toboggan), followed by the first jump of around 2 meters in height. Then enjoy wading through the river as you approach the second abseil of around 7 meters which ends in a natural pool. There will be some time for the equipment distribution with the help of your guides before you take a short hike in order to approach the stream followed by a security briefing. On average it is about a 20 to 35-minute hike, depending on the pace of the group. During the full-day option, you will stop for a picnic, and later finish the tour by returning back to town by car.

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Frequently asked questions about Ponta Delgada

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Ponta Delgada?

The best day trips and excursions from Ponta Delgada are:

Furnas

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ponta Delgada

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What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 4,281 reviews

We saw Atlantic spotted dolphins, 12+ sperm whales, false killer whales that were hunting the sperm whales, and common dolphins. We got really lucky - we were warned that there was a chance we didn't get to see any animals. The guides were great and shared their excitement with us. The guide announcing couldn't hide her excitement and kept calling it a National Geographic Moment. It was so cool!! After our time on the boat we were driving on the island and saw the Futurismo spotters which was really fun to see after they helped the guides we were with find all of the animals we saw. Would totally recommend!

Eh Miguel!!!! Never Change. You have the soul of a survivor. Pure, can have many different meanings. Having a local be your guide is what this company is all about!!. This is their home and we should cherish its beauty as they do :). Even though it stated the west side, you got to see so much more. Going in the off season was the best decision I ever made :) . If your a solo traveller who likes a little bit of quiet book in Sep-Nov. He saves the best for last :) JJ.INSTA.SHOTS Jessica.Shaw Capture.Create.Imagine

This was the best experience we had while we were in the Azores! But I think it was so great because our guide Edwardo was so knowledgeable about the areas and really made the experience fun. We loved being at dinner with strangers and getting to know them and the tour of the towns mineral water spouts at the end really topped it off! Highly recommend and ask for Edwardo!

One of the best experiences of my life. Wonderful guides, the boats are safe but fun and its just excellent.

It was amazing! We saw so many different sea animals and it was so informative! Excellent experience!