Sao Miguel is best known for the crater lakes in Sete Cidades and the natural hot springs in Furnas. Yet there are also many beautiful waterfalls on the largest island of the Azores. Those who visit the lesser-known waterfalls have a great chance of having a beautiful piece of nature completely to themselves. So it’s high time to introduce you to these places!
Waterfalls on Sao Miguel
There is no shortage of waterfalls on Sao Miguel, but it is worth looking for the most hidden waterfalls. An example can be found just above Lomba de Sao Pedro and Salga, quiet coastal villages in the north of Sao Miguel, half an hour’s drive from both Furnas and Ribeira Grande. From a waterfall in a rocky environment that flows directly into the sea to a waterfall in a place where you imagine yourself in a tropical rainforest, this walk will not disappoint waterfall lovers.
How Do You Get to the Falls in the North of Sao Miguel?
There are several options to visit these waterfalls in the north of Sao Miguel. The first option is to complete the Trilho Moinho do Félix. This walk is 5.5 kilometers long and consists for the most part of paved paths.
Park Your Rental Car
If you want to be able to spend enough time at the falls and also do another activity, it is more interesting to park the car near the Miradouro e merendário da Rocha viewpoint. From there you can start the descent to the Cascata do Homem, followed by Cascata do Téofilo and Cascata da Gruta. Via this route you can quickly reach the waterfalls via the most beautiful hiking trails. Because the falls are somewhat hidden, the way there is not very clear via the GPS.
The easiest way is to enter the coordinates 37°51’15.2″N 25°18’42.1″W as the destination and drive a little further towards the shoreline to reach the lookout point. According to the GPS, the road will stop at the point where the coordinates will take you, but it is possible to drive on and park near the lookout point.
When you have reached the viewpoint, you immediately have a beautiful view of the first waterfall: Cascata do Homem. The way down is best done on foot and not by car. It is very steep there and you don’t have to do the way up if you walk up to the last waterfall.
With Public Transport
If you do not have a rental car, you can take the bus to the nearest stop, Lomba De São Pedro – Estrada Regional. From Ribeira Grande this will take an hour and a half, from Ponta Delgada you add another twenty minutes. As you can read in the article “ What to do on Sao Miguel? Discover the green island of the Azores! ” it is highly recommended to rent a car to discover hidden spots on the island, such as the waterfalls that we describe in this article.
You Don’t Want to Miss These 3 Waterfalls on Sao Miguel
Waterfall 1: Cascata da Gruta
The last waterfall of this beautiful trip is the Cascata da Gruta. This waterfall resembles the second waterfall a bit in terms of environment, but has in common with the first waterfall that it is possible to walk behind the waterfall. This place is also usually very quiet and is ideal for a swim.
During the entire walk between the first and third waterfalls you only hear nature sounds, making it a very nice activity for those looking for peace and quiet. Bring a blanket or towel to sit on, something nice to drink and you won’t want to leave anytime soon. After this last waterfall you come out on the road that will lead you past the forest and the village back to the lookout point where the car is.
Waterfall 2: Cascata do Homem
At first sight not the most impressive waterfall, but you can walk behind it and enjoy a view of the sea from this waterfall. It is also the ideal place to take a refreshing dip. Be sure to keep your swimming trunks on for the rest of the walk, because there are even more beautiful places that you will want to immerse yourself in, literally and figuratively.
After you’ve swam, rested and enjoyed the view, you only have to walk a little bit back in the direction of the car. When you round the first bend you will see an entrance on the left between the plants and trees. Say goodbye to the paved paths and start the road towards the Cascata do Téofilo. You will soon notice that you are entering a densely wooded area, which is immediately different from the rocky environment of Cascata do Homem.
Good walking shoes and water shoes are not a luxury, especially for those who want to get close to the falls. Via these beautiful hiking trails you will reach the ruins of an old mill after a good half hour through countless shades of green. You can already hear the Téofilo waterfall!
Waterfall 3: Cascata do Teofilo
At the Cascata do Téofilo you have a nice vantage point to take pictures without having to balance over wet boulders towards the waterfall, but don’t let that stop you from taking a dip and swimming towards the waterfall. The water is wonderfully refreshing and a fresh dive contributes to the jungle feeling that you will definitely experience there.
Which waterfalls on Sao Miguel would you most like to see?
Which of these waterfalls would you most like to see? Let us know in a comment below and if you know of other beautiful places, we’d love to hear about it too!