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  • Writer's pictureRita Cardoso

S. Miguel, Açores | Caldeira Velha - Monumento Natural da Caldeira Velha - Centro de Interpretação

At Serra de Água de Pau, very close to Lagoa do Fogo, there is a hot spring. This is where the Caldeira Velha Natural Monument is located, which integrates an area of ​​secondary volcanism. In addition to the bathing area in the hot water spring, at about 34ºC with its own waterfall, there is another area that is heated by steam vents, where the temperature can be around 38ºC, making a total of 3 pools to take bath.

The brownish / orange aspect of the water is due to the high content of iron present in the water and it is said to have medicinal characteristics, having these puddles been used for baths for some centuries already.

But aside from these puddles, another reason that makes this place even more impressive, is the nature that surrounds them, lush greens, exotic plants, huge ferns, an incredible biodiversity in that little bit of space. The Interpretation Center located there is very much worth the visit to learn more about the geodiversity and biodiversity that makes this place a unique and special landscape.

There are also boilers of boiling water, in which it is obviously forbidden to take a bath, but it is nice to watch the water bubbling, almost tranquilizing.

In Caldeira Velha there are two types of visit (both paid): one to visit only the park and the Interpretation Center, and another where you can also enjoy the baths, with a maximum limit of 2 hours per person, to promote the rotation and the possibility of more people being able to enjoy the space that it is not huge. There are facilities to support the baths, such as changing rooms and toilets, and there is also a new car park just below the Caldeira Velha, connected by wooden stairs, to avoid the old roadside parking.



Recommendations:

  • Check the weather before you go. Spotazores is always a safe bet, although being in hot water and raining can also be a pleasant feeling.

  • Try to avoid peak hours to visit, to be able to have an empty place just for you and maybe take some pictures without many people side by side.

  • Go prepared with a darker or older swimsuit, as iron water can be stain in orange and hot water damages the elastic material.

  • Even if you don't have time for bathing, the park and the Interpretation Center are very interesting.

  • When I visited the park in August 2020, bathing was not allowed, because of the pandemic.

  • Check opening times and prices here.


Click here to see my list of suggestions of places to visit in S. Miguel.

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