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Ponta Delgada Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Ponta Delgada Nature & adventure

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.

Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

2. 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.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

6. 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.

Sete Cidades: Half-Day ATV Quad Tour

7. Sete Cidades: Half-Day ATV Quad Tour

Drive a quad or ATV on this adventurous tour and experience the beauty of São Miguel Island. Reach the highest peaks of the mountains that surround Sete Cidades Volcano, dash along dirt roads, and absorb the incredible views of the lakes and ocean. Take the opportunity to visit some of the trails that are part of the Azores Airlines Rallye and enjoy both on-road and offroad moments. Expect adventure and stunning natural sights as your guides ensure your safety throughout the tour.

São Miguel: Wild Swimming with Dolphins

8. São Miguel: Wild Swimming with Dolphins

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime treat as you swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, in the incredible environment of the São Miguel coastline. Relax in the company of trained professionals who will brief you on best practice in the high seas, and how to interact with the dolphins. Marvel at the rugged beauty of the São Miguel coast as you have unforgettable fun swimming alongside the dolphins, and return home with memories to treasure for a lifetime.

Azores: Sete Cidades Scenic 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

9. 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.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

10. 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.

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Furnas

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What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,093 reviews

Amazing half-day tour when you have a long layover. It was fairly foggy at first up in the mountains but they started to fade as the day kept going. Rodrigo was an amazing guide that translated between English & Portuguese, and was incredibly informative of the sites we saw. Highly Recommend!

We had a tour on 2nd of January. Even though we were unlucky to spot the whales but saw plenty of common dolphins and rare to spot sun fish. The guide was very nice and informative. Definitely would go back!

It was wonderful tour with the best guide we had! Fransisco told us a lot of interesting stories and information about island and all places which we've visited. Landscape and all views were great.

It's was amazing activity! Boat team made our day and given us great emotions. We've seen several groups of dolphins and wonderful landscape. Extremely recommend it!

Very entertaining guide. Saw lots of things that we would never have found on our own.