Ponta Delgada
Nature & Adventure

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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 West: Sete Cidades and Fogo Tour with Lunch

2. São Miguel West: Sete Cidades and Fogo Tour with Lunch

First stop of this full-day circuit will be at Pico do Carvão viewpoint, from where we will be able to see the north coast (Ribeira Grande) and south of the island (Ponta Delgada) of São Miguel Island, against the backdrop of a vast expanse of volcanic cones between the incredible Sete Cidades volcano and the majestic 900-meter-high fire volcano. Continuing to one of the most emblematic viewpoints of São Miguel, in the Azores, Vista do Rei, known as the King D. Carlos and Queen D. Amélia. Time to continue your incredible all-day circuit into the massive volcanic interior of the Sete Cidades, considered one of the most incredible locations on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, amid epic paths and flanked slopes of hydrangeas. See for yourself the Santiago Lagoon, located in the Sierra Devassa, deep in a volcanic crater of the Sete Cidades massif, surrounded by verdant mountain cliffs and over different species of fauna and flora. If you have never known what it is like to be inside a volcanic crater, then this is yet another reason to book this incredible full day guided tour of the Seven Cities and the Lagoa do Fogo. Admire the Seven Cities Lagoon at a must-stop on the famous bridge that divides it, in the center of a volcanic crater. Breathe nature in the quiet parish of Sete Cidades and visit São Nicolau church. With a heart purified by nature, time to go to the Escalvado viewpoint, situated on a pyroclastic cliff, where from the top, you can admire the Monasteries and Ferraria, generated by the volcanic force of this area. Lunch break (lunch included). After lunch, time to return to head towards the second highest point of the island of São Miguel, at 900 mts, where is located the viewpoint of Pico da Barrosa, from where you can see the north coast with its city of Ribeira Grande and the city of Ponta Delgada on the south coast of the island, as well as the entire amazing Lagoa do Fogo crater. Going down the north coast, the next stop will be at the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint. Next up is the Caldeira Velha Environmental Interpretation Center for visiting or bathing in natural hot springs pools. (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense). The last stop of your full day tour will be at the Pineapple Plantations to learn the whole process of growing pineapple in greenhouses and see for yourself why pineapple is considered the King fruit in Sao Miguel, and the Azores.

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. Once whales have been 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.

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: 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 continue our trip through the center of the village to the marina of Vila Franca, where we will also visit the factory of the famous Vila Franca do Campo custard factory; Time to 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 Garden of Quenturas, Poça da Dona Silvina and the center of the parish of Furnas to visit its various fumaroles, boilers and taste some mineral springs there. The visit in the center of the parish of Furnas will be complemented with a taste of local liqueurs; Driven north of the Island, next stop will be at the imposing Pico do Ferro viewpoint, where you can see the magnitude of the Furnas volcanic crater and her lake; Continuing the trip, next stop is 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.

Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

6. Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Explore the volcanic landscape of the Sete Cidades, and the mountain scenery of the Lagoa do Fogo on a full-day sightseeing tour from Punta Delgada. Following a pick-up from your hotel, drive along a scenic road to the Vista do Rei viewpoint. Enjoy panoramic views of the blue and green waters of the two lakes in the crater of the Sete Cidades. Then, continue to different viewpoints before getting close to the banks of the twin lakes. Go to the Mata do Canário, and marvel at the unique flora of the natural park. Drive along the Pico do Carvão road past numerous small lakes, including the “Empadas Lakes.” Get multiple perspectives of the north and south shores of the island of São Miguel. Break for a lunch of typical Azorean food in a local restaurant in the city of Lagoa. Next, explore the city of Ribeira Grande with its unique historic center that dates from the 17th to 19th centuries. Ascend the Pico da Barrosa mountain at the end of your tour and discover the protected natural landscape of the Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Marvel at the thermal pools, waterfalls and different types of endangered plants of the area, before your return transfer to Ponta Delgada and a drop off at your hotel.

Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

7. 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.

Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

8. 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.

Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

9. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada, and then explore the coastline of the Azores by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales and orcas that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark the boat and enjoy a tasty lunch, and then make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo and Caldeira Velha. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about the many uses the volcanic landscape gives to the island, from its medicinal mud to its energy source. 

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

Philip is an amazing guide, super knowledgeable about the island's history and nature and eager to make the tour comfortable and unforgettable for his guests. There were just the 4 of us in a 4wd car and he took us to the nicest viewpoints and stopped whenever we wanted to take a picture.

Friendly, helpful, and informative guides, and the tour was in English. We saw a group of bottlenose dolphins and then sperm whales. I went as the only solo traveler on board among mostly couples and groups of three and enjoyed my time. Recommend.

Great trip - very fast fun boat, responsible guides who clearly enjoy what they do. Saw dolphins and sperms whales - and beautify scenery!

It was great, we even had some extra time so he took us to a pineapple plantion!

Stellar tour—great guide, amazing sights, and a little adrenaline!