You can take a quick trip to the Poço Azul even on days where you don’t have heaps of time. This small tour starts and ends in Achadinha and takes no longer than an hour. Do plan in a little bit of extra time to be able to take a break by the Poço Azul or to go swimming!
If you do have a little more time, there is a second part to the route which leads you along the Ribeira do Cachaço, past a waterfall and all the way to the coast.
It’s best to park your car here and follow the path to the left (as seen from the main road) next to the Padrão Histórico das Alminhas.
The monument was built in 1957 and contains tiles (azulejos) from the old São Bento church, which stood on the site of today’s church. From here, follow the path until it forks. From here, both paths lead to Poço Azul, but we recommend that you take the right path on the way there. This is steeper and leads down a few steps, the other way is easier to walk on the way back up.
You will be able to enjoy the calm of nature along the way.
The view is especially beautiful when the path crosses the Ribeira do Cachaço. There you can see the deep blue of the Atlantic with the juicy green vegetation in the background.
Just before reaching your destination, you will also cross a natural bridge, even if you will only be able to properly see it after you have crossed it. The Poço Azul is situated deeply in the valley created by the river, although at many times during summer, not much is left of this river.
It did surprise us how well-suited the name Poço Azul – blue well – was. Even if its diameter isn’t huge, the water has a very distinct blue colour. Seeing as you’ll usually be by yourself here, this spot is perfect for taking a break and relaxing. By the way, if you come around late morning time, you will be able to watch the sun slowly travel into the valley towards the Poço. Upstream, on the right, there is also a tree trunk in front of a cave, over which the sun slowly travels. If you’re into photography, you can certainly take some interesting photos on the trunk at this time.
On your way back, keep to the right at the first crossing and then turn left straight after. The path will lead you back to your starting point in Achadinha.
Along the Ribeira do Cachaço to the coast
Even though the hike takes you all the way from Poço Azul to the coast, I personally spread it over two days and parked my car near the coast here. I wasn’t very well prepared, just had a couple of hours to spare in the evening and was looking for something to do nearby, so I first followed the path down to the coast.
You need to be careful here, at least if it has recently rained. A layer of algae has made the path quite slippery. Once you reach the bottom, you will reach the “Zona Balnear dos Moinhos das Relvas”, which is marked as a beach on maps. Sure there are some showers there, but, at least when I visited in winter, the water looked quite rough and the beach was rock.
On the other hand, the view of the coast and the sound of the rolling waves is incredibly calming and relaxing.
A friend from São Miguel did tell me that he has been swimming here before. I will most likely return in summer to get another look.
After a short break and a brief search for the path, I continued on to the waterfall. The path is technically really easy to find, as it starts by the Southern end of the car park, not like the path to the coast to the North.
Shortly after the start of the path, a sign reading “Risco” indicates that the trail is slippery due to the water running down the slopes and has suffered a little in a couple of places. Overall, however, the path is easy to walk and the green slopes, the water running down into the river bed at various points and the view of the waterfall definitely make it worth it. It only takes around 5 minutes of walking to see the waterfall.
If you follow the path further, you can cross the Ribeira do Cachaço just above the waterfall. I crossed via the rocks within the riverbed. I’m not sure whether there is another way. Seeing as I managed to walk this way in winter, when the rivers usually carry the most water, you should be able to do so during any other season as well. Please do think about whether it might be too dangerous before you attempt it.
The first thing you can expect on the other side is to step foot in the realm of some geese, which came to meet me on my visit.
Next, you will be able to reach the lower end of the waterfall. The path first leads upwards in the direction of the river’s flow and then leads down into the river bed. From there you have a good view of the waterfall.
On this side of the Ribeira do Cachaço the path leads you to the Poço Azul as well, in case you would rather start here than from Achadinha.
If you’d like to see a video of the area, you can find a pretty good Youtube Video here.