On the lesser-visited west coast of Madeira, you will find the stunning Garganta Funda Waterfall!
This 140-meter-high waterfall is located right next to the town of Ponta do Pargo by an incredibly beautiful coastline.
There are plenty of beautiful waterfalls in Madeira but there aren’t many that are right out in the open near the coast like Garganta Funda.
Most waterfalls in Madeira are deep in the forests or along levada trails but this one is out in the open for everyone to see. Thanks, Mother Nature for this beauty!
If you’re making a day trip out west from Funchal then the Garganta Funda Waterfall next to Ponta do Pargo is an awesome little pitstop.
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Visiting the Garganta Funda Waterfall near Ponta do Pargo
The Miradouro Garganta Funda is perfect if you’re out chasing waterfalls in Madeira and want a short and sweet ‘hike’.
We say ‘hike’ because it’s about half a kilometre one way from the car park to the viewpoint. So it’s very short and barely classified as a hike. However, it is on an actual trail and you might want to put on some proper shoes when you visit the viewpoint.
Since it’s such a short ‘hike’ it’s great to combine this spot with other attractions on the west coast. This could be the Levada do Ponta do Pargo and/or Achadas da Cruz. That way you can make a full-day trip out west and see as much as possible.
It’s about an hour’s drive from Funchal to the west coast (so quite far in Madeira terms) but it’s absolutely beautiful out west!
It’s also interesting seeing the differences between the south coast and the west coast. The lifestyle and way of life is definitely a lot more laid back out West. Similar to Santana in a way but with a lot fewer tourists.
You’ll definitely see a lot fewer tourists and hikers out here but the nature is wonderful and Garganta Funda is arguably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Madeira.
We hope you enjoy this viewpoint ‘hike’ and enjoy the day out west in one of the most peaceful areas of the island.
Practical information about Garganta Funda Waterfall lookout
Distance: 560 meters / 0.35 miles one way
Elevation: Very little
Type: In-and-out trail
Length: 10-15 minutes
Here’s a picture of the beginning of the Garganta Funda Viewpoint ‘hike’:
Finding the trailhead for the Garganta Funda
There are a few spots where you can see Garganta Funda. One is kind of from above the falls and the other is the official viewpoint, Miradouro do Garganta Funda, which is the one we recommend.
You can see the starting point for this waterfall ‘hike’ here.
The car park is located right next to Ponta do Pargo and is quite easy to find.
To get to the car park, you will be driving on a pretty narrow road (next to farmland so nothing scary) and there are only a few parking spots.
If you can’t find a spot, you can either park closer to the town or try to park really close to the wall. Just make sure you leave other cars enough room to pass.
Thankfully, most rental cars in Madeira are quite small (read: tiny) so you should be able to fit in fine.
Once you get to the ‘trailhead’ and park your car, you’ll see a little trail where the hike to the viewpoint starts.
This truly is just a mini little lookout spot so it’s good to add another hike or activity to do if you’re coming out west!
Make your way to the Garganta Funda Viewpoint
Enjoy the short walk out to the viewpoint where you get one of the best views on the island (something we say about every viewpoint, lol).
It seriously is an amazing spot with an awesome view of the falls, the coastline, and even the Ponta do Pargo lighthouse in the background.
Since the view is so open and there’s nothing obstructing your view of the waterfall you can really play around with your phone or camera and get a ton of different pictures from different angles.
It’s a really photographic spot and you can get some epic pictures around the viewpoint if you want.
It’s not an official trail (marked with “PR”) so be careful near the cliffs. There aren’t many railings or anything to protect you on the trail.
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Take in the view of Garganta Funda
The only bit of railing is where the actual Miradouro do Garganta Funda is and that’s where you get the iconic view of the waterfall.
As we mentioned before, most waterfalls are located along levada trails, deep forests and less accessible spots but not this one.
Garganta Funda is out in the open for everyone to see! It is an amazing viewpoint and definitely one of the best waterfall viewpoints in Madeira.
Once you’ve taken it all in, you can make your way back to the car or you can hop on one of the other trails and go see the waterfall from another angle!
You can look at this map around Garganta Funda to find other trails that you can walk on.
They are also quite short but they will give you another angle of the waterfall and let you stretch your legs a bit more before heading to the next stop on your day trip.
Fun fact: Since Miradouro do Garganta Funda is one of the most western parts of the island, it is known to be one of the best sunset spots in Madeira.
What to bring on your day trip to Ponta do Pargo
If you’re planning to just drive around for the day and stop at viewpoints then you don’t need to worry too much about your footwear.
However, if you end up doing this viewpoint + the Levada do Ponta do Pargo hike then some good outdoor shoes are a big plus! You never know with the trails in Madeira and how muddy/wet they are so it’s good to be prepared.
If you end up hiking, you should also bring some extra layers, sunscreen, water, and snacks.
There are some cafes and restaurants out west but it might be nice to bring a snack or two for the viewpoint if you’re making a day trip out of it. It’s never fun getting too hungry (or hangry, haha)!
Another good thing to do before going to the viewpoint is to check the weather.
You can see the weather for the Ponta do Pargo area here. This will also help give you an idea of what to pack for your day trip.
Packing list for a day trip out west in Madeira:
- Water! We always fill up our LifeStraw bottles when we go on day trips. You can easily ask to fill it up at a restaurant or somewhere along the way if you need to.
- Sunscreen is highly recommended when hiking on Madeira. Especially if you plan to be out most of the day exploring the west coast of Madeira.
- A power bank is always good to bring. Between getting to Ponta do Pargo, taking photos of the waterfall, and everything else you’ll be doing, there’s a good chance your phone battery will be on the low end. So it’s always nice to have a solid power bank.
- A rain jacket is always good to bring in case it starts raining during the day trip. Madeira is full of micro-climates and the weather can change fast.
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Before you visit the Garganta Funda Viewpoint
Check the weather
As we mentioned above, one thing everyone quickly figures out when hiking or exploring Madeira is that the weather is constantly changing.
Madeira and its 9 micro-climates make it fun to plan for day trips. You can get sun in the morning, rain, then sun, then maybe even a bit of snow (it’s happened before). It’s just very unpredictable sometimes.
The best thing we can recommend you do is to look at the weather for Ponta do Pargo before you go over to the west side of the island.
If it’s nice and sunny, then the Garganta Funda Viewpoint is a perfect place to stop on your day trip.
On a moody day, it’s nice too as long as the visibility is still good. But we’d recommend going on a sunny day if you can.
If the weather is bad, there are so many other places to visit on the island where the weather might be better.
Check the weather beforehand and it will help you decide what to do!
Load the trail map
We usually load the trail map on our phone or take a screenshot of it so we have an idea of where to go in case we get lost.
Thankfully, for this ‘hike’, the hardest part is actually finding the trail. Garganta Funda is right outside of Ponta do Pargo so you really just need to find the parking spot and you’re good to go!
From the trailhead, it’s a short little trail to see the waterfall viewpoint. Once you’re on the map you can also see there are a few other trails around the waterfall that might be worth checking out.
Hiking Tip: Look up the trail on AllTrails before starting your hike 🗺️. You can find important trail information such as recent wildlife sights and trail closures. Check out the free version here or get a 7-day free trial of AllTrails Pro here.
How to get to the Garganta Funda Viewpoint
This is one of the places you want to visit if you have a car or rental car. It’s about as far west as you can go in Madeira and it only makes sense to go there by car or private shuttle!
From Funchal, it’s actually a really nice drive out west to Ponta do Pargo.
Driving in Madeira in general is actually really fun and safe for the most part. There’s quite a good highway that loops around the island and gets you everywhere quite quickly.
As we said, a car is definitely your best friend for this one. You can definitely still get here without a car but we’d recommend visiting some other areas closer to Funchal such as Cabo Girão Skywalk if you don’t have a car.
There’s really just one main way to get out west and it’s taking the main highway all the way.
If you want to make a little road trip out of it, there are lots of options for stops along the way you can visit.
Some that are worth stopping at are the Cabo Girão Viewpoint, the fisherman village of Camâra de Lobos, and even Ponta do Sol!
You can find the trip details from Funchal to Ponta do Pargo here.
Getting a rental car from Funchal to the west coast of Madeira
There are multiple car rentals in Funchal so the easiest way to get the best price is by checking DiscoverCars. There are numerous car rental companies and pick-up locations in the city so it’s super convenient.
Just check what the pickup location is before hitting that booking button to ensure it’s close to your accommodation!
You can look at the prices and different cars on DiscoverCars to see the different options across the different car rental providers.
If you can, it’s best to try and book the car in advance since prices usually rise closer to the day of booking.
When is the best time to visit Ponta do Pargo?
You can visit Ponta do Pargo at any time of the year. We definitely recommend going on a clear sunny day if you’re going to visit this waterfall viewpoint near Ponta do Pargo.
On a clear day, you get an awesome view of the coastline along with the stunning waterfall.
Since the trail is very open with no obstructions it’s nice to be out and about with the sun coming down on you. The west coast is always the most beautiful when it’s nice and sunny.
The Garganta Funda Viewpoint is also really cool to visit for sunset! You can make a trip out west and visit Achadas da Cruz or hike the Levada Ponta do Pargo and then stop by Garganta Funda for sunset!
This could make the perfect day trip out west where you get a chance to see some of the highlights on that side of the island.
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- The Best One Day Madeira West Tour
Recap of the Garganta Funda Viewpoint near Ponta do Pargo
If you’re planning a trip out west towards Ponta do Pargo then the Garganta Funda viewpoint is a must!
As you know by now, there are plenty of waterfalls around Madeira but this is definitely one of the top ones to visit. Plus it’s a huge bonus that the viewpoint is easy to get to and the view is absolutely unreal.
This is a perfect day trip if you want to enjoy some of the most unique and wild views of Madeira.
If you have any questions about the viewpoint or things to do around the west coast of Madeira feel free to DM us on Instagram @redwhiteadventures or leave a comment below!
Have fun exploring the west coast and checking out this stunning waterfall.