Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park

Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

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

Explore the highlights of the western 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: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

2. 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.

Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

3. Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

Discover the diverse green vegetation, clear and fresh waterfalls and old water mills on this adventurous canyoning tour through the forest. Unless you choose the option with pickup from Ponta Delgada, your adventure starts at Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, one of the most popular natural areas in the Nordeste region.  The activity starts with you picking up your safety equipment, followed by a short walk of about 20 minutes. Once at the entry point to the stream, listen to a safety briefing.  Along the route there will be vertical challenges at waterfalls, which you will combat with the technique of abseiling. The highest waterfall is 8 meters in height. In between there are short walking sections, as well as a more playful area with a slide and jump of about 5 meters.

Nordeste Tour from Ponta Delgada

4. Nordeste Tour from Ponta Delgada

Start the tour by leaving Ponta Delgada and traveling towards the north coast. Make the first stop at Ribeira dos Caldeirões in the municipality of Nordeste. See the beautiful waterfall, known as Véu da Noiva, and the surrounding watermills and gardens. Pass through picturesque villages as you travel on towards the wonderful viewpoints of Ponta do Sossego and Ponta da Madrugada, on the eastern tip of the island. View the beautiful lighthouse from the top of the cliff. Stop for lunch which will be served in the village of Povoação, the oldest settlement on the island. In the afternoon, relax near the sea or explore the historic center of Povoação. Return to Ponta Delgada along the south coast, passing by Furnas Lake and Vila Franca do Campo.

São Miguel: Furnas and Nordeste Full-Day Tour with Lunch

5. São Miguel: Furnas and Nordeste Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Starting through Ponta Delgada, along Avenida do Mar, following the beaches of Água D´Alto, until we reach the first capital of the island, Vila Franca do Campo, stopping at the viewpoint of Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo where we can see its incredible islet, the result of an underwater volcanic eruption and where the Red Bull Cliff Diving has been running for 3 years, now; After this short break, we will drive to the bucolic Lagoa das Furnas (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense), area where the famous “Cozido das Furnas” is cooked in volcanic soil for 6 hours, and here we can observe the removal of the pots from the volcanic ground by local restaurants. We will also visit the various fumaroles and boilers from that area; Back on the road and towards the parish of Furnas you can optionally relax in pools of hot springs, over 30 degrees, that spur incessantly from railway springs. This is an experience of thermal charisma, with the option of the client and alternative, between Poça da Dona Beija) and the pools of Parque Terra Nostra, where in addition to being able to swim, you can also visit its amazing Botanical Garden Terra Nostra Park, considered one of the best and largest in Europe. (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense); Lunch Break (Lunch included) After lunch, a pedestrian visit to the the center of the parish of Furnas; Driven north of the Island, next stop will be at the Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park, one of the most visited areas in the Nordeste area, with its 5 Watermills and her amazing waterfall; The last stop of the day, will be the tea route, until the tea plantations and their factories. A view of the splendid bay, a magnificent garden and a smiling welcome for a tea tasting at the Gorreana Tea Factory or Porto Formoso Tea Factory.

Side by Side Tour - Sete Cidades from North Coast (Half Day)

6. Side by Side Tour - Sete Cidades from North Coast (Half Day)

Get ready to drive or be a passenger on the brand new Wolverine® RMAX™4 1000(one of the best UTV's available on the market). This activity is ideal for families or couples looking for adventure and fun. This tour will take you to the highest points that surround Sete Cidades Volcano. The itinerary is On and Offroad and If the weather is good, you can count on awesome views to the lakes and the ocean. Our team of expert guides will ensure your safety and provide brief explanations at each stop. Driver`s license is mandatory for drivers and remember that this is a tour to enjoy the landscapes, not a rally competition.

Sao Miguel: Eastern Tour with Lunch

7. Sao Miguel: Eastern Tour with Lunch

Travel from Ponta Delgada to one of Sao Miguel’s northern coast’s highlights: The Ribeira dos Caldeirões natural park, where waterfalls and windmills nestle amongst the lush vegetation. From here, you’ll continue on to Nordeste village, known for its beautiful gardens and well-preserved streets. From here you’ll travel along the North-East side of the island, taking in the views over colorful gardens and the sea from Ponta do Arnel, Ponta do Sossego and Ponta da Madrugada. Your next stop will be Povoação Village, situated in the most South-Eastern part of the island. Povoação means settlement in Portuguese, and was where the first Portuguese navigators arrived on the island. A picnic for lunch will be served, before traveling along the Alameda de Plátanos Visconde Botelho, a large avenue surrounded by Plátanus trees. Off-roading over streams, you’ll drive to Salto do Cavolo to the Graminhais plateau for views of both Furnas and Povoação villages. From here you’ll return to Ponta Delgada along the North coast of the island.

From Ponta Delgada: Nordeste Full Day Jeep Tour

8. From Ponta Delgada: Nordeste Full Day Jeep Tour

Be picked up in Ponta Delgada and head towards Nordeste for a full-day jeep tour of the region. Stop at Sallto do Cavalo viewing point. The lookout point provides views of the north-eastern side of the island, the Furnas Valley, and the coastline. After your stop at Sallto do Cavalo viewpoint, you’ll head to the Park of Ribeira dos Caldeirões. Located on the the slopes of Serra da Tronqueira, Park of Ribeira dos Caldeirões follows the Ribeira dos Caldeirões water stream. Here you’ll see an abundance of local flora, including ferns and cedar trees. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant located in a Nordeste village. After lunch, you’ll stop at Serra da Tronqueira, where you’ll have panoramic views of the island. Visit Povoação, which was the first populated village on the island. After your visit, stop at Vila Franca do Campo, which is known for its beach inlets.

Ponta Delgada: Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões Trip

9. Ponta Delgada: Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões Trip

Enjoy an excursion to the Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, one of the most extraordinary national parks on São Miguel Island. Learn how to rappel, then spend your day climbing, sliding, and jumping off waterfalls into natural pools.  Drive 45 minutes from the city of Ponta Delgada and start your adventure when you arrive at the national park. Gather up your equipment and set off on a short walk to your first stop. Listen to important safety briefings teaching you how to rappel. Feel the thrill as you abseil down a cascading waterfall and jump into the flowing waters below. Continue downriver to a water slide and hold your breath as you jump from a height of 2 meters into a natural pool. Trek back along the forest path and delve into the valley to reach your second jumping point. Choose to freefall from 4 meters or leap from the lower height of 1.5 meters into the water. Save the best for last and end your adventure in style by jumping from the top of a waterfall at the height of 6 meters. Imagine the sensation in your stomach as the jungle scenery rushes past you.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 540 reviews

What a great day. The east side of the island with all its thermal activity is fascinating. Lunch was a stew cooked in a thermal oven, hole in the ground. Our guide was very nice. When we arrived at the pickup he asked us if we had brought swimsuits and told us we would be disappointed if we couldn’t go in the thermal waters. He took us back to our hotel so we could pick up what we needed. I would highly recommend this tour and Pure Azores tour company.

Jaoa was incredible. He has so much knowledge about everything Sao Miguel, from the history to the fauna and flora. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone who wants to learn and have a great time!!!

Joao was the best tour guide we have had so far! This tour was beautiful with amazing views and great culture. Also the food was delicious :). Highly recommend!

Great day out. Very friendly, informative guides. Brilliant spa facilities and amazing food. I would do this trip again

Absolute blast. Do it! We have a young family; guides made all ages feel safe and let us have fun. It is a must do!