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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Natural Wonders, Free, Neighborhood/Area, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 1.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

In addition to Sete Cidades, another stunning crater lake to see on São Miguel is Lagoa do Fogo. Located in the middle of São Miguel, Lagoa do Fogo is more isolated than Sete Cidades and as such, the perfect place to disconnect if you're hiking. Otherwise, expect to rub elbows with visitors at viewpoints, such as Miradouro do Pico da Barrosa, where there is no parking lot (you have to park on the side of the road).

If you are interested in getting close to Lagoa do Fogo, you have a couple of options. From Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo (just steps away from Miradouro do Pico da Barrosa), you can descend down to the lake, which according to recent visitors, takes about 30 minutes. For a longer hike, venture down the stunning Praia – Lagoa do Fogo trail. This nearly 13-mile round-trip hike passes through a variety of landscapes, including farmlands, wooded areas, evergreen valleys and down to the rocky shores of the lake, where, considering the length of the hike, you'll likely run into no one. Do keep in mind that the Azorean government does not allow swimming in the lake. 

Recent visitors found Lagoa do Fogo to be nothing short of stunning. Considering the lack of great parking options on the EN5-2A road, it's best to arrive early (some visitors remarked that tour buses congregate at this attraction). Travelers recommended if you have the time and stamina, hike down to the lake for even more breathtaking views of the wilderness and the water. Whatever you choose to do, visitors strongly recommended checking the weather beforehand (the area is subject to fog) and to bring a jacket, as conditions atop the caldera can get breezy.

There are no set hours of operation or an admission fee to visit Lagoa do Fogo. You can find the lake about 16 miles east of Ponta Delgada. For more information on hiking at Lagoa do Fogo, visit the Azores tourism board's website.

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More Best Things To Do in The Azores

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#1 Whale Watching

The Azores is probably one of the best places in the world to go whale watching. That's because it is one of the world's largest whale sanctuaries, with more than 20 different species of cetaceans that either call the archipelago home or pass through during their yearly migrations. At any given time, you'll be able to spot common and bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales on your tour. Different seasons also bring different species through the islands. Summer is a good time to see spotted dolphins, pilot whales, striped dolphins and bearded whales while the beginning of spring is great for blue whales, sei whales and fin whales. Because so many cetaceans live and pass through these waters, the probability of venturing out on a boat and seeing nothing is extremely unlikely.

Whale and dolphin watching tours in the Azores tend to last for a few hours and can be arranged on multiple islands. Highly rated tour operators include Futurisimo, which departs from the Pico and São Miguel islands, Terra Azul, based in São Miguel and OceanEmotion, located on Terceira. Recent tourgoers agree that this is undoubtedly a can't-miss experience while in the Azores. Visitors across a number of tours were complimentary of their knowledgeable guides, some of whom are marine biologists, as well as the crew. Additionally, many were happy to report that they saw a number of dolphins and whales during their trip.

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