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Madeira Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde Waterfall Hike - Useful Informations and Photos

Waterfall Caldeirão Verde on Madeira
Waterfall Caldeirão Verde on Madeira

Levada Caldeirão Verde on Madeira is without doubts one of the top day hikes on the island. That's why lots of people visit it every day. But don't worry, it's not too hard – anyone can do it. I think it's the most interesting levada walk on Madeira Island, and it's definitely worth doing it when you're here.

It's not just good for walking; it's also great for photography! You can see some of the pictures I took last time we were there. I used a zoom lens (24-70mm) for all the shots. Sometimes, I wanted a wider view, but still the focal length 24-70mm worked really well for this trip.

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

Basic Information about Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

Levada Caldeirão Verde on Madeira Full Length: 6.5 KM one way, then return within the same route.

Time: 6-7 hours there and back.

Difficulty: Rather Easy. The only difficulty could be the long distance which you'll have to pass on your way.

Incline: 100 meters (not noticeable)

Starting Point: Queimadas Forest Park (Santana, North-East Madeira). Paid parking on sight.

Well Combined with: You can extend the hike, by following the path to another waterfall Caldeirao do Inferno. You can also visit the town of Santana with its traditional triangular houses.

Why to choose the hike Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde?

+ vegetation

+ flat and not exhausting,

+ many waterfalls, including the main one which is very tall,

+ short and interesting tunnels,

- narrow path. It's necessary to stop when passing people.

- very popular

- the route is often wet and muddy

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

The Hike to Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

The trail starts at Queimadas Forest Park, a place with a big parking area where you can leave your car. You pay for parking when you leave, based on how long you stayed. The park itself is cool too. There are two interesting buildings right at the entrance. One is a simple café where you can get coffee and snacks after your hike. There's also a pond, a little area with farm animals, and some shorter paths to explore.

The start of the trail is easy to find from the park. It's well marked, so you won't get lost – no need for a map. At first, the path is wide, following a narrow water channel (levada), which leads to the Caldeirão Verde waterfall, where the levada begins. Right from the start, you'll see how amazingly green this path is. The different shades of green from leaves and ferns are incredible.

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

After about a kilometre, you'll reach the first waterfall, a bit distant but it's only one of many impressive waterfalls you'll encounter on this hike. Further along, the path narrows, allowing only one-way traffic. When you meet people returning, both of you will need to move aside to let the other pass. Avoid leaning on the fence; it's a safety barrier meant more for mental comfort and won't hold if someone leans on it.

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

About halfway through the hike, you'll reach a fascinating spot. It's not exactly a classic waterfall; it's more like a wet wall with some small cascades. The lush greenery and rocks create an ideal setting for a photo. It's one of those moments that might make you feel like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft, giving off a real jungle vibe. And it gets even more exciting once you reach the first tunnels.

Tunnels are common along Madeira's levadas. They can be uncomfortable with low ceilings, wet walls, narrow paths, and darkness. But on the Levada do Calderiao Verde, these tunnels are the best compared to others on the island. They're relatively short, and a phone flashlight works just fine to light your way. While you might need to bend a bit at times, most of the time, you can walk through them normally. They're also wide enough for passing people comfortably at several spots.

The Tunnels at Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde
The Tunnels at Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde
Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

After passing through the tunnels, you'll reach a point where the dense jungle clears, offering a view around. This part of the trail is more open but still safe with a metal cable. I saw kids walking this part on their own, so it's generally safe, but a little extra caution wouldn't hurt.

Soon, you'll hear water cascading into a small lagoon beneath one of Madeira's most impressive waterfalls. Although the path under the waterfall is closed, some people still venture there. It's risky due to falling rocks near the waterfalls. Exercise caution when considering a risky photo opportunity. I've seen rocks falling close to people during my time on Madeira, and news often reports such accidents. Rockfalls are a real and frequent occurrence here.

Levada PR9 Caldeirão Verde

After the waterfall, you can keep hiking to the next one, Caldeirao do Inferno. It's smaller than Calderiao Verde, but if you liked this trail, you'll enjoy a bit more walking.

To get back to the parking, you must follow the same route you came here with.

We visited this waterfall twice, both times in the afternoon with a return to the parking at around 6 PM. We noticed fewer people compared to some of our friends who hiked PR9 in the morning, so we'd suggest going in the afternoon like us.

Because of the tunnels and the narrow path, even if you're a fast hiker, you can't rush this trail too much. You'll often have to stop to let others pass.

Overall, Levada do Caldeirão Verde became my favorite levada walk on Madeira, and I'm sure you'll love it too!

Other Articles about Madeira you'd might like

Madeira is such an amazing place to visit, and we still can't believe we've been able to call it home for the past two years. During our stay, we explored all the best spots on the island and tried all the most exciting activities, many of them more than once! This helped us create these comprehensive guides that will help you plan your own trip to Madeira.



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