Fire Lake, Ribeira Grande and Pineapples
If you are over the age of 18 years, enjoy tasting pineapple liquor. A sample only; food is not offered.
Bring local currency for any additional purchases or souvenirs. Generally, most shops are closed between 1 and 3 p.m.
Beverage - Pineapple Juice or Liquor
Tour Participation Requirements
Sao Miguel lives up to its name. "The Green Island" is resplendent in every subtle shade of it, with exotic new hues bursting forth each day. But it's not as if the rest of the spectrum is neglected. The lush interior is brushed in lustrous browns and blacks and spackled with exotic crimson blooms, while traditional whitewashed, red-roofed Portuguese homes shimmer in the sun on the coast. And nothing can prepare you for the blues of Fire Lake.
To look into a lake in a volcano from a mountain on an island in a vast ocean, 900 miles from any continent, just isn't something many people do. So yes, you're in for a memorable moment. But it's those blues that shock you. There are just ... so many of them. Cerulean and azure, aqua and cobalt, sapphire and indigo. They come and they go, join and separate, iridescent, depending on the light and the wind on the water.
It's about a hundred feet deep, this lake, and it was formed when the volcano you're peering into last blew, in 1563. (Halfway up the crater, the volcano still seethes, sending out fumaroles of steam that heat a local sulfur pool.) That must have been quite an event. But all is serene now, the fiery outburst quenched by more than eight square miles of blue lake, 1,900 feet above the deeper blue of the much deeper Atlantic.
Today you'll visit the interesting city of Ribeira Grande. Once a major textile center, it shows the telltale signs of 18th-century prosperity: an ornate Baroque church facade here, a grand line of specimen trees there. Plentiful stone buildings and a handsome town hall. Even its position on a seaside plateau is impressive, with a constant parade of breakers rolling onshore.
You'll also taste the sweet results of Brazilian pineapples grown in the Azores' volcanic soil. But years from now, when you think of your time on the Green Island, it'll be the blue Lake of Fire you see.
Meet the Azores' only native mammal
It's small, winged, and furry: the Azores noctule. A bat. Sincere apologies for that. But not to worry, they're harmless – unless you're a bug. You could actually see one during your expedition, since, unlike all other bats, these guys forage by day – probably because there aren't any avian predators like hawks and falcons in the Azores. Keep your eyes peeled.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.