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.

From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

2. From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

Set off on a 3-hour whale-watching excursion to see some of the most magnificent marine mammals in the Azores. You’ll be on the lookout for mink whales, dolphins, turtles and more. The marine biologist on board will provide historical information and commentary. Begin with a briefing by a biologist, who will explain how local people have converted whale hunting to whale watching in the Azores. You’ll also receive information about safety, rules of observation and respect for the animals and an overview of what may be sighted during the tour. Leaving from the Ponta Delgada harbor, you’ll sail in style out onto the Atlantic. Qualified biologists and nature guides will provide detailed explanations and collect scientific data during the tour. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean 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. Sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins are present around the Archipelago of the Azores throughout the year. Other species visit or pass by during specific seasons so that the sightings vary considerably during the year — and often from day to day! Summer months are the best time to see Atlantic spotted dolphins, pilot whales and striped dolphins, whereas the spring months are the time to see migrating baleen whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales. Although nature offers no guarantees, whales and dolphins are regularly seen during the tours, along with turtles, seabirds and other marine life.

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

3. 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, at the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

4. 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.

Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

5. 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.

Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

6. Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

Unwind at the hot thermal springs of an active volcano on an evening tour from Ponta Delgada. Head to the volcanic complex of Furnas in Povoação and bathe in the warm waters of Poça da Dona Beija.  Go for a guided nature walk to discover the beautiful surroundings and get plenty of opportunities to take souvenir photos of the dramatic landscapes. End the evening with a traditional stew from the region, cooked beneath the ground using the heat from the surrounding thermal springs.

Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

7. Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

Explore the impressive landscapes and amazing panoramas on a hiking trip to São Miguel. Bathe in the natural pools in the stunning Lagoon of Lagoa do Fogo. Start your trail on a short dirt road, that will lead you to Lagoa do Fogo. Bathe in the pools of Lagoa, in the thermal baths of Caldeira Velha, or in the grandiose waterfall of Salto do Cabrito. Get stunning panoramic views of Lago do Fogo and the north coast of the island of Sao Miguel while traveling along “Cumeeira Norte”. Pass through several small streams surrounded by incredibly green and untouched forests, before reaching the characteristic pumice-stone beach of the lagoon. Enjoy a pleasant picnic lunch of regional products. Return to the starting point while enjoying another perspective of the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the bathing zone of Caloura, or Agua D’Alto Beach, where you can practice snorkeling.

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

8. 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.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

9. 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.

Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,093 reviews

This tour was one of the best we have ever experienced! Nuno was an incredibly knowledgeable host who ensured we saw all of the key highlights but also provided amazing insights and experiences that only a local can share. We cannot recommend this tour and Nuno highly enough!

This was an amazing tour. Paulo was an informative and friendly guide. The information he provided was interesting and knowledgeable. The pastry shop, furnas area, tea plantation and all the other stops we made were wonderful.

This was a GREAT way to see Sao Miguel- Yugo was friendly, accommodating and an excellent source of information- I plan to return to the island after this tour

Great excursion, the boat trip alone is a lot of fun. We were also very lucky and were able to observe a fin whale family. Also lots of dolphins

Guide was passionate, humorous and sincere which made all the difference. The weather did not cooperate, but he made the best of it.