Azores - São Miguel

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The most beautiful waterfalls (and their guardians)

Where tall volcanos and a humid, oceanic climate meet, waterfalls can’t be amiss. On São Miguel, there are several of those and each one has its own peculiarities and allure. We would like to introduce some of them to you here.  

Salto do Prego

The most popular waterfall here is probably the Salto do Prego. It is easy to reach from Faial da Terra. In total, you’ll have to walk for about 2km to get to the waterfall. On your way there, you will “climb” approximately 200 metres in altitude on well constructed hiking paths. The way back, on the other hand, is much quicker.  

Salto do Prego

Salto do Prego

Once you’ve mastered the climb on your way there, however, you’ll have to get past the guardians of the waterfall. About 300m before reaching the waterfall, you’ll meet these guardians that have been living there for many years now and are always happy about some breadcrumbs.

The Salto do Prego guardians
The Salto do Prego guardians

It’s a little more difficult if you start the tour from the top, because you’ll have to master a small climb on your way back. By the way, the waterfall is good to visit even if it’s raining. Looking up through the almost circular “window” in the trees is especially exciting in the rain.

View of the sky in the rain
View of the sky in the rain

Salto do Cagarrão

If you enjoyed visiting the Salto do Prego, you might also want take a trip to the Salto do Cagarrão situated towards the North.

The Salto do Cagarrão has plenty of water even in summer.
Salto do Cagarrão

Both waterfalls can be reached from the same path that leads from the EN 1-1A all the way to Faial da Terra. If you only want to walk one direction, and have the possibility to be picked up at the other end, then walking the path from North to South is a lot easier. You can park by the EN 1-1A at the start of the path. Walking the path this way around is easier because you will be walking mostly downhill. We walked the path to the waterfall together. My wife and our kids then went on towards the Salto do Prego, while I went back to the car. After arriving in Faial da Terra, I then headed off towards the Salto do Prego from the South, and arrived only shortly after my wife and kids. They had already gone for a quick swim to cool down, which is possible by the Salto do Cagarrão as well as by the Salto do Prego.

All in all, the Salto do Cagarrão is a little quieter and you’re more likely to find yourself on your own here. We tend to spend a little more time here, have something to eat or just relax. If you don’t want to visit both waterfalls, we would thus recommend the Salto do Cagarrão, even though it is a little smaller.


If you like the Azores, and would like to spend some time on São Miguel yourself, then we would be more than happy to receive you in our holiday home. Find out more here. 
If you have any questions, suggestions or specific requests for posts you can reach us via the contact details provided here.

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