Madeira walks: Routes of the Caldeirãos

Caldeirão Verde is one of the most talked about cascades and tried by tourists when they come to Madeira, however it is one of the most remote on the island. Initially, it is necessary to travel to the town of Santana on the north coast of the island. After passing the roundabout, pay attention to a yellow sign to the right that says Queimadas.

This floral park serves as the starting point for our activity of 6.5 km to Caldeirão Verde and an additional 2.2 km to reach Caldeirão do inferno for a journey of almost 18 km, round trip. The route is quite flat to Caldeirão Verde, so the estimated time will depend on your walking pace.

Queimadas Shelter © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Queimadas Shelter © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure

Original characteristics of the typical houses of Santana, in the middle of a forest of enormous ancestral trees

In principle you will find the house of shelter of the Queimadas that maintains the original characteristics of the typical houses of Santana, in the middle of a forest of enormous ancestral trees to then give way to narrow roads in the slope of the mountain that make the transit a little difficult and where only steel cables exist as protection in the form of “removes fear”.

Ancient forrest © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Ancient forrest © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Levada © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Levada © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure

These bridges and roads on the edge of the cliff are interspersed with a series of tunnels about 4 in total to Caldeirao Verde. Some longer than others, slippery and with constant leaks from the roof that in some cases is quite low, so it is recommended to wear good shoes to keep your feet comfortable and dry, preferably flashlight front, but your cell phone can help perfectly, just make sure you have enough battery to illuminate the return. As a tip, protect electronic equipment from both roof leaks and frequent rains throughout the year on the north coast of the island.

Túnel of a levada © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Túnel of a levada © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Inside a túnel on this levada © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Inside a túnel on this levada © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure

A waterfall 100 meters high with a well of crystal clear waters: El Caldeirão Verde.

After the visitor delights all the way with the beautiful views of the interior of the island and its steep precipices, the biggest prize appears before his eyes. A waterfall 100 meters high with a well of crystal clear waters: El Caldeirão Verde. Once here it only remains to let yourself be carried away by all its beauty and contemplate admired. Ideal opportunity to eat something and relax your feet in its cold waters.

Cascada del Caldeirão Verde © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Cascada del Caldeirão Verde © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Caldeirão Verde © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Caldeirão Verde © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure

There are 2.2 km more to quench your thirst for adventurous explorer: Caldeirão do Inferno

For most visitors this is the end point of their journey, however there are still 2.2 km more to quench your thirst for adventurous explorer: Caldeirão do inferno. This undoubtedly must be the most lying posters that can exist in the world, which encourage the traveler to go a little further but they do not explain that a good part of their journey is a devilish climb of 100 meters in height almost totally vertical. At the end of this staircase you will find an interesting detour with rails that goes into a dark tunnel. It is the road that leads to the hydroelectric power station of Fajã da Nogueira with 2 kilometers in length that can be annexed as an extra section for those more advanced adventurers and finish the tour near the Cruzinhas in Faial.

But in this case our destination turns to the right by the warning sign that prohibits bathing in the pond and does not enter a gorge with spectacular viewpoints and a weak metal footbridge that crosses it, as if evoking some remote place on the planet (and it is)

Ribera do inferno bridge © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Ribera do inferno bridge © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure

Finally we reached the Caldera, an impressive rock amphitheater whose roof is lost in the fog that was unhappily dry but which I imagine for the winter season must offer a wonderful fall of water.

Caldeirao do inferno © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure
Caldeirao do inferno © Edgar Moya / Traveler Adventure

Additional data

This walk takes place between 900 and 1000 meters high, so it is recommended to take some support coat and especially a waterproof layer. Throughout the journey we have clean water. Take snacks or some light food for the road since the last lady who sold empanadas moved two years ago. Much of the route does not have a cellular signal, so it is good to advise the intended route and the estimated time of return especially if you walk alone. Enjoy the beautiful flora and birds that come without fear but remember to take care of the environment and not feed them. Greetings and good walks!

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