Things to do in
Ponta Delgada

Explore the Azores' capital and find Gothic churches, narrow winding streets, and charming buildings.

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Our most recommended things to do in Ponta Delgada

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.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. 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.

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

São Miguel West: Sete Cidades & Fogo 8 hours Tour & Lunch

4. São Miguel West: Sete Cidades & Fogo 8 hours Tour & Lunch

Rediscover with us the legend you once made of the Seven Cities, an incredible creation of Nature, as it was the scene of a legendary history and its romantic forbidden love, between a princess and a shepherd, who rejected by the king, made the two lovers, with their tears, formed the two lagoons, located inside the volcanic crater of Sete Cidades, where is the blue and green lagoon, with the colors of the eyes of the two lovers, as well as the quiet parish of Sete Cidades, with 800 population. First stop of this full-day circuit, will be at Pico do Carvão viewpoint, from where we will be able to see the north coast (Ribeira Grande) and south of the island (Ponta Delgada) of São Miguel Island, against the backdrop of a vast expanse of volcanic cones between the incredible Sete Cidades volcano and the majestic 900-meter-high fire volcano. Continuing to one of the most emblematic viewpoints of São Miguel, in the Azores, Vista do Rei, known as the King D. Carlos and Queen D. Amélia. Time to continue your incredible all-day circuit into the massive volcanic interior of the Sete Cidades, considered one of the most incredible locations on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, amid epic paths and flanked slopes of hydrangeas. See for yourself the Santiago Lagoon, located in the Sierra Devassa, deep in a volcanic crater of the Sete Cidades massif, surrounded by verdant mountain cliffs and over different species of fauna and flora. If you have never known what it is like to be inside a volcanic crater, then this is yet another reason to book this incredible full day guided tour of the Seven Cities and the Lagoa do Fogo. Admire the Seven Cities Lagoon at a must stop on the famous bridge that divides it, in the center of a volcanic crater. Breathe nature in the quiet parish of Sete Cidades and visit São Nicolau church. With a heart purified by nature, time to go to the Escalvado viewpoint, situated on a pyroclastic cliff, where from the top, you can admire the Monasteries and Ferraria, generated by the volcanic force of this area. Lunch break (lunch included). After lunch, time to return to head towards the second highest point of the island of São Miguel, at 900 mts, where is located the viewpoint of Pico da Barrosa, from where you can see the north coast with its city of Ribeira Grande and the city of Ponta Delgada on the south coast of the island, as well as the entire amazing Lagoa do Fogo crater. Going down the north coast, the next stop will be at the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint. Next and very relaxing will be at the Caldeira Velha Environmental Interpretation Center for visiting or bathing in natural hot springs pools. (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense). Visit to the Historic Center of Ribeira Grande. The last stop of your full day tour will be at the Pineapple Plantations to learn the whole process of growing pineapple in greenhouses and see for yourself why pineapple is considered the King fruit in Sao Miguel, and the Azores. This will undoubtedly be the best 9 hours of vacation in Sao Miguel, Azores, after a full day visit to the Seven Cities and Lagoa do Fogo (West Circuit).

Ponta Delgada: Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

5. Ponta Delgada: 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.

Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

6. Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

After either gathering at the meeting point or being collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to Parque da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, located in the north-east part of the island. It takes around 45 minutes to drive from Ponta Delgada. The half-day tour takes approximately 3 hours. During this time you will have the possibility of doing rappels, jumps, slides and rock slides. The highest rappel will be 15 meters, with the highest jump being around 6 meters. There will be some time for the equipment distribution with the help of your guides, before you take a short hike in order to approach the stream followed by a security briefing. On average it is about a 20 to 35-minute hike, depending on the pace of the group. Throughout the full-day option you will stop for a picnic, later finishing the tour by returning back to town by car.

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

7. 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.

Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

8. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada, and then explore the coastline of the Azores by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales and orcas that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark the boat and enjoy a tasty lunch, and then make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo and Caldeira Velha. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about the many uses the volcanic landscape gives to the island, from its medicinal mud to its energy source. 

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.

Private 4x4 Tailored Tour from Ponta Delgada

10. Private 4x4 Tailored Tour from Ponta Delgada

Set off on a full-day adventure to discover the island of Sao Miguel in a 4x4 vehicle. With private tour that can be fully customized, you decide what to do and when. Explore the craters of Sete Cidades, visit the romantic town of Furnas, or discover Lagoa do Fogo. Get picked up from your hotel by your driver/guide to start this incredible experience. A number of itineraries are available that you can discuss with the driver on the day of your tour. Choose to visit the parishes around Sete Cidades, to discover the lakes, craters, and hot springs around the area.  Alternatively, head in the direction of Furnas and take a tour of the most beautiful town on the island. See fumaroles and hot springs as you admire the lush vegetation around Furnas lake. Take a short hike if you wish, and see how traditional pottery is made locally.   If you love nature then choose to discover the two biggest lakes on Sao Miguel, Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo. Admire the blue waters and stop at Caldeira Velha to enjoy a swim in a naturally-heated waterfall. Explore a 4x4 trail to another waterfall, and take a short hike if you like. Witness volcanic activity at Ribeira Grande, a small town in Caldeiras.

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What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,329 reviews

Philip is an amazing guide, super knowledgeable about the island's history and nature and eager to make the tour comfortable and unforgettable for his guests. There were just the 4 of us in a 4wd car and he took us to the nicest viewpoints and stopped whenever we wanted to take a picture.

Our tour guide Miguel was excellent. Took us to some amazing sights and really knew the locations well. Good city background and lots of information from a locals perspective with good food recommendations. Recommend anyone to book this tour with him. Excellent!

Great trip - very fast fun boat, responsible guides who clearly enjoy what they do. Saw dolphins and sperms whales - and beautify scenery!

It was great, we even had some extra time so he took us to a pineapple plantion!

Stellar tour—great guide, amazing sights, and a little adrenaline!