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Ponta Delgada

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Ponta Delgada Nature & Adventure

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins 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. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes 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.

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.

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.

Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

5. 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.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

6. 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.

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.

Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

8. Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

Depart Ponta Delgada and journey along the south coast of São Miguel before heading towards the Furnas Valley to experience its dramatic volcanic landscape. Stop at the village of Lagoa en route and visit a traditional pottery. Marvel at the former capital of the island at Vila Franca do Campo. Upon arrival in the Furnas Valley, go to the lake to enjoy a lunch of authentic cozido na caldeira (traditional Portuguese stew) cooked using the heat of the volcanic soil. Savor the ingredients characteristic of this typical dish. Next, go to the belvedere of the Pico do Ferro for a panoramic view of the valley. Return to Ponta Delgada via the island's north road, and stop at the site of Europe's only tea plantations and tea factory.

Lagoa do Fogo Half-Day 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

9. Lagoa do Fogo Half-Day 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

Explore one of the largest lakes in the Azores on a 3-hour tour of the Lagoa do Fogo by 4WD vehicle. After hotel pickup, first, stop at Pico da Barrosa viewpoint and enjoy panoramic views of Lagoa do Fogo. Surrounded by native trees and beautiful flowers, the lake is best accessed and appreciated by off-road vehicles, getting you to more remote and picturesque areas. During the tour, you will stop at a variety of interesting locations en route, with highlights including the Calderas of Ribeira Grande. See the fumaroles, geysers and a wonderful waterfall of the warm, iron water. Finally, visit the city of Ribeira Grande and taste local liqueurs.

From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,093 reviews

I can’t recommend this experience enough. The trip was smooth start to finish. Our guides we friendly, professional, welcoming, informative and most importantly a lot of fun! We had a great relationship with our guides which made the experience even more enjoyable. It was clear they are passionate about their job and delivering the best possible experience to clients. We felt safe at all times. It is not hugely challenging which makes this a great entry level for anyone who has not done canyoning before but want to be deep in nature and the waterfalls. This trip will certainly get you into the heart of the river and give you amazing views. Would book again! Thank you for an amazing trip

Było to fantastycznie przeżycie. Stanowiliśmy bardzo zgraną grupę, a nasz przewodnik był fantastyczny. Zrealizowaliśmy pełen plan wycieczki, pogoda nam sprzyjała. Na pytanie , które z obejrzanych miejsc podobało nam się najbardziej , odpowiedzieliśmy jednogłośnie WSZYSTKIE. Wszystko było zorganizowane perfekcyjnie. Jutro zobaczę wschodnią stronę wyspy i jestem przekonana, że tez będzie fantastycznie

There were only two of us on our tour. Our guide, Davante, was fabulous. He was so knowledgeable about the geological forming of the island, vegetation, history of the Azores. We appreciated his good natured and friendly personality. He provided us with great food and pub suggestions at the end.

This was a fabulous way to spend the day. Great guide. Caitia (sp?) was very fluent in English and an excellent driver. Also, somehow she forged us from strangers into friends in very little time. The views were gorgeous. The lunch was delicious!

Best activity ever! So much fun, good vibes and excellent energy. The guides were professionals. Go and do it! You won’t regret!