How To Find the Secret Hot Waterfall of Ribeira in San Miguel Azores

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Finding the secret hot waterfall of Ribeira, or Cascata da Ribeira Quente, as we say in Portuguese is a little bit sketchy. The trick is that you actually have to drive past the trail head,  park on the the side of the road, then walk back. Once you exit the last tunnel, there’s an unmarked dirt area on the left side where several cars can park.  Then you have to walk back through the tunnel and the trail head is in between the two tunnels. It’s a very dangerous walk, cars can not see people walking and it seemed like they will hit you. Do do attempt this in low light conditions and make sure your are highly visible while walking in the street. There are no sidewalks. This is not a kid friendly experience. Also, spoiler alert, the waterfall is not actually hot. At least it wasn’t when I went. I mean it’s not cold like most waterfalls, but its not like warm enough to go in unless it’s the summertime.  

Is there any insider advice you would give to someone traveling to the San Miguel Azores for the first time?

My number one travel tip for traveling to San Miguel Azores aka São Miguel is to bring an umbrella and a rain jacket. I was not adequately prepared for the weather as you can see by me standing in the rain in most of my photo lol. 

How To Find the Secret  Hot Waterfall of Ribeira in San Miguel Azores

Do you have any other recommendations for things to do in San Miguel?

The Miradouro’s (scenic lookouts), hiking, and hot springs are all amazing. If you’re looking for some actionable travel intel to help plan your trip to the Azores, check out this map of Things to Do in Açores from Tine Maria. She always has the best travel research really well organized on interactive maps. You might also want to check out the full Açores Travel Guide