Levada do Caldeirão VerdeLevadas Walks 

Levada do Caldeirão Verde

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde is one of Madeira’s most iconic and breathtaking hiking trails, leading adventurers through the verdant splendor of the island’s Laurisilva forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This trail is celebrated not only for its stunning natural beauty but also for the unique hiking experience it offers, as it follows one of the many levadas (irrigation channels) that crisscross the island, providing life-sustaining water to its agricultural terrains.

Levada do Caldeirão Verde Trail Overview

  • Location: Situated within the Santana region, this trail starts at the Queimadas Forestry Park.
  • Distance: Approximately 13 kilometers round trip.
  • Duration: 4 to 6 hours, depending on pace and stops for enjoying the scenery.
  • Difficulty: Moderate, mainly due to its length and a few narrow sections along the levada.
  • Highlights: The trail takes hikers through lush forests, alongside waterfalls, and ends at the spectacular Caldeirão Verde, a large natural amphitheater-like basin with a stunning waterfall.

Key Features

  • Laurisilva Forest: The path is enveloped in Madeira’s ancient laurel forest, offering hikers a glimpse into an ecosystem that has remained largely unchanged for millions of years.
  • Tunnels: The trail includes several short tunnels carved through the mountains. A flashlight is recommended to navigate these dark sections.
  • Waterfalls and Levadas: The sound of running water accompanies hikers throughout the journey, from the levada itself to the various waterfalls and streams encountered along the way.
  • Caldeirão Verde Lagoon: The trail’s climax is the breathtaking Caldeirão Verde lagoon, where water cascades down sheer cliffs into a crystal-clear pool, creating a serene and picturesque spot perfect for rest and reflection.

Preparation and Safety Tips

  • Wear appropriate footwear: The path can be slippery, especially in damp conditions, so sturdy hiking boots with good grip are essential.
  • Bring a flashlight: Necessary for the tunnels along the route.
  • Pack water and snacks: There are no facilities on the trail, so bring sufficient supplies.
  • Dress in layers: The weather can change quickly in the mountains, from warm and sunny to cool and misty.
  • Stay on the path: To ensure safety and protect the environment, it’s crucial to follow the trail and levada without straying.

Best Time to Visit Levada do Caldeirão Verde

While the Levada do Caldeirão Verde can be hiked year-round, the best times are spring and early summer when the forest is particularly lush, and the waterfalls are at their most vigorous. However, Madeira’s mild climate generally allows for comfortable hiking conditions at any time of the year.

Embarking on the Levada do Caldeirão Verde trail is an unforgettable experience, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, adventure, and the tranquil majesty of Madeira’s primeval forests. It’s a must-do for nature lovers and anyone seeking to explore the heart of this enchanting island.

Levada do Caldeirão Verde
Levada do Caldeirão Verde 3


Distance: 8.7 km (17.4 km round trip)
Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: 6:30 hours
Start/End: Queimadas Forest Park / Caldeirão do Inferno
Max. Altitude / Min. Altitude: 1020 m / 872 m

PR 9 – Levada do Caldeirão Verde is a trail on Madeira Island known for its moderate difficulty and the remarkable experience it offers through the island’s lush interior landscapes. This trail is a must-visit for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, highlighting the island’s orography and monumental landscapes.

Trail Details:

  • Distance: 8.7 km (17.4 km round trip)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: Approximately 6:30 hours
  • Start/End: The hike starts and ends at Queimadas Forest Park, making its way to the Caldeirão Verde lake and offering the option to continue to Caldeirão do Inferno.
  • Max./Min. Altitude: The trail reaches a maximum altitude of 1020 m and a minimum of 872 m.
Highlights caldeirao verde
Levada do Caldeirão Verde 4


  • Casa de Abrigo das Queimadas: The starting point features the iconic Casas de Santana, known for their triangular shape and traditional thatched roofs, adding a cultural element to the hike.
  • Laurissilva Forest: The trail passes through the dense Laurissilva forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the abundant water is channeled through this historic levada, constructed in the 18th century.
  • Tunnels and Waterfalls: Hikers will navigate through four tunnels carved into the rock, culminating in the discovery of the Caldeirão Verde lake, a serene body of water fed by a vertical waterfall from the Ribeiro do Caldeirão Verde at an impressive height.


The Levada do Caldeirão Verde offers an immersive journey into Madeira’s primeval forest, punctuated by escarpments, mountains, and the serene Caldeirão Verde lake. This trail not only allows hikers to connect deeply with nature but also to appreciate the engineering marvel of the levadas that have shaped the island’s landscape.

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