Hike Through the Jungle to the Salto do Cabrito Waterfall, São Miguel Azores

2.5 Hours

8.2 km

300 m

2 - Moderate

This 8.2 km circular trail was the first hike we did in São Miguel! Walking through the lush landscape surrounding the waterfall of Salto do Cabrito will transport you to an other-worldly place. 

4 minutes


Getting There - Arrival - Starting Point - Hiking the Salto do Cabrito Trail - What to do After


This hike takes you around the old Hydro Power Plant of Fajã Redonda, built in the 1920s. It was originally built to provide electricity to Ponta Delgada. You will pass signs that will provide you with some interesting facts, as well as a description of some of the plants you’ll see along the way.

Getting there

Renting a car is a more dependable option to get to this waterfall compared to relying solely on the bus system which at times can be a bit inconsistent. 

We have known people to hitchhike with some success (we picked them up!), but that isn't very common here. 

For car rentals, we have had great luck going with Ihla Verde (a local car rental company) on multiple islands. Booking in advance is very important, especially if you want an automatic transmission! During the high season there aren't enough cars here for everyone who wants one. 

Check out our article on driving in the Azores if you want to know more about public transportation and taxis.

Pre-Hike Recommendations

  • Check Spot Azores for real-time webcam footage of the area you want to go to. (even if it's sunny in one part of the island, it can be totally different somewhere else!)
  • Use Windy for the most accurate weather predictions (Although the best way to lie in the Azores is to say you know what the weather will be).


There are a few ways to start this hike, but we’ll just go over the one we did! Keep in mind that there's no wrong way to begin the hike, and it's actually beneficial if each person chooses a different starting point. By doing so, we can spread out and enjoy a less crowded and more serene trail. As I haven't seen this exact path mapped yet, I wanted to share it for those of you who want an alternative! So, let's dive into the route we took and get ready for an unforgettable adventure. We parked here to start the hike. 

parking spot on the side of the road

*Important to note: If the parking spots are full, choose your parking wisely. Watch out for farm entrances. Huge tractors come in and out and cannot be blocked in every time someone wants to go on a hike. It can be hard to tell sometimes where the entrance is. When in doubt, look for another spot. If you’ve looked at the surrounding lots and it's extremely packed, it's time to divert course and choose another activity! Grab a coffee and wait it out at a nearby café, head to the beach, or choose another hike entirely. One thing the Azores has is an ABUNDANCE of beautiful hikes. There seriously isn't a bad one. Check out our article on driving in the Azores to avoid other common mistakes.

Starting Point

Entrance point from the road

Once we parked, we walked down the road in the direction of the ocean until we saw the hike marker. Look for it on the right side of the road. On this path you will pass by a few cows and experience the typical Azorean landscape of rolling farm fields and ocean views.

Hiking the Salto do Cabrito Trail 

The path is mostly well maintained, but not always marked. If you want to ensure you won't get lost or make a wrong turn, bring your phone and download this trail before you go.

We took a small wooden bridge over a stream. It may jiggle a bit but has remained sturdy every time we’ve been on it so far! The key is to go fast.

Some sleepy cows
The beautiful ocean view enjoyed by said cows

Once we got to the brick laden street with large trees, we turned right. This road eventually leads to Miradouro Caldeiras de Ribeira Grande. Here we took a rest at a picnic table and look at some thermal hot springs bubbling out of the earth. It smells a little sulfuric, but it's a really interesting sight to see.

Miradouro Caldeiras de Ribeira Grande
Old house near the Miradouro Caldeiras de Ribeira Grande

After having a short rest by the thermal waters, we continued to the trail.

Tip - There are clean bathrooms to use right by the Caldeiras.
Turn left and you'll see a large dam, turn right and you're on your way to the waterfall!

The trail to the Salto do Cabrito waterfall leads you along a water pipe into some truly beautiful, raised metal pathways between massive rocks. 

Pathway to the waterfall along the water pipe
Metal bridge over a water pipe
The pathway goes into a valley in between large rocks
Some of the trail includes uneven terrain, so be careful and go slow!
Salto do Cabrito waterfall!

The beautiful Salto do Cabrito waterfall offers great views and swimming if you want. It can get a little busy during the day in the summer, so choose your hike time wisely. While we were there, we saw a canyoning tour happening.

Tip: If you want a more exhilarating way to experience this waterfall, we 100% recommend canyoning! It involves a bit of hiking and repelling down a waterfall. You don't need experience or gear to do it, the guides are super helpful. We took a canyoning tour in Ribeira dos Caldeirões which ended up being a lot of fun.

After having our fun at the waterfall, we hiked up the steep road back to the car. If you want an easier way to experience this waterfall, there is a parking lot here that leads you to it. The road to the parking lot is steep, so only use it if you have confidence your car can make it back up.

Don’t Forget

This island isn't just a vacation destination; it's home to approximately 140,000 people. So, while you're here, it's essential to clean up after yourself and be open to embracing a different way of doing things. When you respect the local culture and the beautiful surrounding environment, you will get an authentic Azorean experience to remember. 

What To Do After 

After a long hike we like to head to a hot spring to relax our tired bones. Lucky for us, The Azores has some of the most stunning hot springs you will ever see. There are two by Salto do Cabrito, and they both have their own charms. 

Caldeira Velha 

Gorgeous, mystical, what Jurassic Park dreams are made of. Even better, there is a small café right outside of the entrance where you can grab a quick bite or a coffee. Don’t forget to say hello to the rooster living by the café! This is, rightfully so, a popular group of hot springs.

Tip: book a time slot at least 1 day ahead of time for this hot spring. During the summertime, it could be booked out 2, 3, even 4 days ahead of time, so plan this excursion in advance.

You can buy your ticket, check opening hours and time slots here.

Cost (August 2023): 

  • Adult (15-65 years old) - 10 Euros
  • Senior (65+ years old) - 5 Euros
  • Juniors (7-14 years old) - 5 Euros
  • Children (0-6 years old) - Free

Termas das Caldeiras

You pass this spa along the hike, in the small town that had the sulfuric bubbling thermal activity. This unassuming building is a spa that also has a small hot spring in the back! It is perfect for a thermal water bath or volcanic mud massages. It is currently 3$/ hour to use the thermal bath, which makes it one of the most cost-friendly hot springs to visit on the island.

Cost (August 2023): 

3 Euros per hour

Sarah & Gregor
Hi we're Sarah & Gregor

We love unconventional adventures and exploring ruins. You can typically find us petting a cat, fermenting veggies, surfing (trying to anyway), or writing another article for you to enjoy.