It’s no secret that Madeira is an outdoor lover’s paradise! Madeira is home to some of the most amazing nature you could ever imagine including some incredible waterfalls.
Whether it’s a short hike or a quick drive up to a viewpoint you can be prepared for some incredible views. There’s nothing quite like the sound of fresh flowing water cascading down forming a beautiful waterfall.
Some of the waterfalls in this post are super easy to get to while others are hidden in plain sight such as Aguage Waterfall in Santana. There are also the more challenging ones like Caldeirão Verde & Inferno where you really need to work for the views.
And then there is the famous Levada 25 Fontes which is the most visited waterfall on the island!
We love all the waterfalls in Madeira and are super excited to share some of our favourites in this post.
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10 Waterfalls in Madeira for your bucket list
All of the waterfalls mentioned in this blog post we’ve either visited by ourselves or on a guided tour. Some of them you need a car to get to and others are easily accessible by bus. We’ll explain the details in each section about the specific waterfall.
The list is in no specific order and all 10 of these waterfalls are worth checking out if you have the time.
The island really isn’t that big so it’s quite easy to get around and see all the different parts of Madeira even if you only have a short amount of time on the island!
Fun fact: Waterfalls produce negative ions and while we stand next to the falls inhaling these negative ions into our bloodstream a biochemical reaction happens which increases our serotonin levels.
In case you don’t know, Serotonin is a natural chemical that influences our moods and helps fight depression, stress, anxiety, and more. So waterfalls work wonders for your mental health!
If you ever need a break or anything then go hike to the nearest waterfall and spend some time out in nature.
#1 Beautiful Aguage Waterfall in Santana
This is one of the most recent waterfalls we’ve visited while spending a few days exploring Santana.
You don’t need to hike far to get to Aguage Waterfall if you’re already in Santana as it’s located really close to the center of town. You can even walk to the “trailhead” if you want to.
Practical information about Aguage Waterfall trail
Distance: 660 meters return / 0.43 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 20 m / 65ft. elevation gain
Type: In-and-out trail
Length: 30 minutes (includes some time for pictures)
Since the trail to Aguage Waterfall isn’t an official trail and is just a short little ‘hike’ it’s not mentioned in many places and we only knew about it because we stayed in Santana.
This short walk is perfect if you just want a quick nature fix or are looking to add a little bit of awe to your day after doing another longer hike.
It’s also a great place to visit if you’re exploring Santana for a day or two.
It’s a short 5-10 minute walk down to the waterfall where you may have the whole place to yourself as not too many people know about this place. Yet…
Aguage Waterfall is a very photogenic waterfall and you may be able to get some awesome photos if the lighting is good.
You can read all about the hidden Aguage Waterfall in Santana here. We mention everything from the starting point, to how to get there, and anything else you may need to know about the trail.
#2 Hidden Cascata Agua D’Alto Waterfall
Cascata Agua D’Alto is one of those waterfalls we randomly stumbled upon while exploring Santana. Agua D’Alto is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the island and it is also a bit of a hidden gem.
There is no official hike to the waterfall and you basically hike a short distance along a levada until you see this massive waterfall way out in the distance. Thanks for this one, Mother Nature!
Practical information about Cascata Da Agua D’Alto trail
Distance: 3.2 km return / 1.99 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 30 m / 98.5ft. elevation gain
Type: One-way trail
Length: 1 hour (take your time and enjoy the view, time for photos)
Difficulty: easy-moderate (trail gets narrow so be careful)
We really had no expectations as we hiked up to Cascata da Agua D’Alto so maybe that’s why we were so blown away.
We found a little waterfall icon while searching for trails to hike around Santana while we spent a few days on that side of the island – and then we ended up at this beauty.
After getting lost and turning down a few wrong roads we found the trailhead. From there, you walk past a few houses, along a short stretch along a levada, and then out of nowhere, this crazy beautiful waterfall appears.
We really love this short hike to Agua D’Alto. Especially if you’re in Santana or doing another hike in the area it’s worth popping by this waterfall in Madeira too.
You can learn all about the Cascata da Agua D’Alto trail here where we explain how to get to the trailhead, share some photos, and everything else you may need to know.
#3 Stunning 25 Fontes Waterfall in Rabaçal
25 Fontes Waterfall is one of the most iconic waterfalls on the island and it is famous for many reasons.
This waterfall hike is located in the Rabacal region of Madeira and starts near the Paul da Serra plateau in one of the most beautiful forests on the island.
The hike along the levada into the forest and eventually to the 25 Fontes is absolutely stunning.
Practical information about hiking the Levada 25 Fontes Trail
Distance: 10.1 km return / 6.27 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 755 m / 2477 ft. elevation gain
Type: Loop trail
Length: 3-3.5 hours return (depending on how long you admire the waterfalls)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Levada 25 Fontes is one of the hikes we did by guided tour and it was really good. We learned so much about the area, Madeira’s history, and the nature nearby.
Since we went on a tour, we actually started and ended at two different points which was really cool.
You can easily drive up to the starting point of 25 Fontes and do the trail as an in-and-out hike too but it’s a bit harder doing it this way.
There’s so much to see on this hike including the 25 Fontes, the beautiful trails through the trees, and you’ll also get to visit and see Risco Falls which is Madeira’s tallest waterfall (more about this in the next section).
You can find more information about Levada 25 Fontes here including the guided tour we did, what the hike looks like, what to bring, and so much more.
This is one of the most iconic places to visit in Madeira so make sure to add this one to your list while you’re out exploring the island!
#4 Risco Falls – Talles Waterfall in Madeira
With a total height of 100 meters, the Risco Falls is considered the tallest waterfall in Madeira. This waterfall is technically a group of different streams coming down the mountains, creating a beautiful cascade.
After rainfall, this waterfall is absolutely stunning! In the images above, you can see that the waterfall is a little more dry and you can see the different streams as the bottom part almost looks like two waterfalls. But on a rainy day, the Risco Falls looks like one big waterfall.
This waterfall can be seen from the same hike as we mentioned just above, Levada das 25 Fontes, which is what you see in the images above.
You can also visit the first section of this fall if you do the Levada do Alecrim hike. If you’re brave enough to conquer the cold, you can even swim in it too (Dom did)!
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#5 Hiking Levada do Alecrim to a beautiful waterfall
Levada do Alecrim is located right next to Levada 25 Fontes and basically has the same starting point.
Instead of hiking down into the forest towards the 25 Fontes, you’ll walk along Levada do Alecrim above the forest where you’ll make your way to a small but beautiful waterfall at the end of the hike.
Practical information about hiking the Levada do Alecrim trail (PR 6.2)
Official trail name: PR 6.2 – Levada do Alecrim – Vereda da Lagoa do Vento
Distance: 8 km return / 4.97 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 604 m / 1981 ft. elevation gain
Type: Loop trail
Length: 3.5-4.5 hours total (includes time for a swim and a lunch break)
Difficulty: Moderate (because of the distance)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Levada do Alecrim and Levada 25 Fontes are two separate hikes that have the same starting point. Even though they are located very close to each other, you can easily do both of them and experience something completely different.
Alecrim is quite cool because you stay above the tree line for a good portion of the hike so you really get to take in the incredible view (at least on a clear day). From the mountain peaks to all the nature surrounding you, it’s such a beautiful hike.
The walk itself is really nice as it zig-zags along the levada, heads up a cool set of stairs with the levada flowing powerfully next to you, and through bits of forest. You wouldn’t really expect a waterfall or anything at the end of the hike but it’s there.
As you get to the end the Lagoa do Lajeado (a little lagoon) appears and you’ll find this small but beautiful waterfall. It’s a great place to have a lunch or snack break and enjoy the views!
For more information on PR6.2 Levada do Alecrim you can jump into this blog post and read up all about the full trail.
#6 Hiking to the stunning Caldeirão Verde Waterfall
Caldeirão Verde is definitely one of the waterfalls you’re going to have to work for to see! The hike is beautiful but slightly challenging as the trail does get quite narrow and busy at times.
If you’re afraid of heights you’re in for a bit of a challenge but it’s well worth it because the waterfall at the end of the levada is out of this world. The waterfalls in Madeira are something else and PR9 Caldeirão Verde is a perfect example of that.
Practical information about hiking the Levada do Caldeirão Verde (PR 9)
Official trail name: PR 9 – Levada do Caldeirão Verde
Distance: 11.8 km return / 7.33 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 1739 m / 5705 ft. elevation gain
Type: In and out trail
Length: 4-5 hours total (includes time for pictures and hanging out at Caldeirão Verde)
Difficulty: Moderate-hard (fairly long and a good bit of elevation up and down)
The hike to the Caldeirão Verde Waterfall starts up in the Parque Florestal das Queimadas and takes you along a levada through the forest towards the waterfall.
It’s one of the more beautiful trails on Madeira but like we mentioned it does get quite narrow at times. There are multiple small waterfalls along the trail to Caldeirão Verde. When there are openings through the trees the views out towards the coast are absolutely stunning.
The PR9 is a fantastic hike and it’s also one of the hikes that can be done by guided tour. You can also rent a car and drive to the trailhead where there’s a paid parking lot where you can leave your car.
For more information about PR9 Caldeirão Verde you can turn to this guide where we go in-depth about the hike and everything you can expect on the trail.
#7 Hiking to Caldeirão do Inferno Waterfall
Out of all the waterfalls on this list, Caldeirão do Inferno Waterfall is the most challenging to get to! You actually have to hike past Caldeirão Verde and continue along a levada to get to Inferno.
The trail has also had some erosion in the past and it’s not as safe as it once was. Officially it is closed but if you are careful, you can still go there.
So it is definitely more challenging to get to than most levada trails on the island. The waterfall itself is stunning though!
Practical information about hiking the Levada Caldeirão Inferno (PR 9)
Official trail name: PR 9 – Levada Caldeirão do Inferno
Distance: 16.5 km return / 10.25 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 2695 m / 8841 ft. elevation gain
Type: In and out trail
Length: 6.5-8 hours total (includes breaks at Caldeirão Verde and Inferno)
Difficulty: Hard (long trail with a lot of elevation)
Caldeirão do Inferno is an addition to the famous Caldeirão Verde Waterfall hike.
Both waterfall hikes start at the same place (Parque Florestal das Queimadas). The only difference is that, on Caldeirão do Inferno, you continue along the trail once you pass the Caldeirão Verde Waterfall to get to the next waterfalls.
The hike itself is long and challenging with plenty of small tunnels you have to hike to but the challenge is worth it. We find that sometimes when we have to work hard for a view we appreciate it more.
You kind of feel that way as you make your way along the levada, up and down stairs, through tunnels, and then finally get to Caldeirão Inferno.
It’s a huge but stunning waterfall and there’s a good chance you may be the only one at the waterfall as all guided tours and most people only make it to Caldeirão Verde. Not many people go to Inferno.
For more information on PR9 Levada do Caldeirão do Inferno, you can check out this blog post.
#8 Waterfall from the Miradouro Rocha do Navio viewpoint
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Madeira is on the northeastern side of the island near Santana. For this one, the best view of the waterfall is from a viewpoint you can (almost) drive up to.
You’ll see the waterfall from afar and we honestly think it’s one of the best views in Madeira.
From the Miradouro Rocha do Navio you look down at the coastal settlement of Chão do Rocha where you can actually take a cable car down when it’s open. There’s also a possibility to hike down to Chão do Rocha and see the waterfall from down there.
In our opinion, to see this waterfall in Madeira, the best view is from the viewpoint. You get to see the whole coastline including the Levada do Cortado Coastal Trail (an amazing hike).
There are a few seats at the viewpoint where you can enjoy the sun and the view of the waterfall! It’s the perfect stop if you’re chasing waterfalls in Madeira or just a quick stop on your way to Santana.
You can find the parking spot for Miradouro Rocha do Navio right here. There’s room for about 4-5 cars there. It does get busy at times but if you’re lucky there shouldn’t be too many people there.
#9 Garganta Funda Waterfall near Ponta do Pargo
This is another viewpoint where you don’t really need to hike to see one of Madeira’s beautiful waterfalls.
The Garganta Funda Waterfall is located about as west as you can go in Madeira next to the town of Ponta do Pargo.
Again, there’s a little road where a few cars can park at the Garganta Funda trailhead. You can see the exact location of the waterfall trailhead here.
It’s a short little walk from the car park out to the viewpoint where you get an awesome view of the waterfall as well as the western coastline.
You don’t get up close to this one but the viewpoint is from above and you can get some amazing pictures from the viewpoint of the waterfall.
This area is stunning and there are a few trails you can walk along to get different views of Garganta Funda. We think the one from the front of the waterfall is the best one though!
#10 Drive through Cascata Dos Anjos near Ponta do Sol
This is a very unique experience to do in Madeira!
Driving around Madeira is actually really fun and one example is that you can drive right under a waterfall and get some pretty cool pictures.
It’s best to go early in the morning or later in the day as it does get pretty busy during the day. It’s worth checking out though because the waterfall lands right on the old road that connects Ponta do Sol and Madalena do Mar.
You can see the Dos Anjos Waterfall location here. It’s located right in between Ponta do Sol and Madalena do Mar.
You can also walk to it and go there on foot but be careful if you do so.
There have been some really bad accidents with people falling over the barricades at the edge of the cliffs (including one in 2023). So be careful when you go visit this waterfall and keep your distance from the cliffs!
It’s stunning and beautiful but you can lose focus and forget about your surroundings. We definitely recommend just driving through it as you do get an awesome experience.
Dos Anjos is a waterfall you don’t want to miss! The fact you can drive through it makes it quite a unique thing to do on the island.
Other related questions to waterfalls in Madeira
How many waterfalls are in Madeira?
There are an endless amount of waterfalls in Madeira. Even locals say it’s hard to say exactly how many waterfalls are on the island. There are at least a few hundred waterfalls ranging from quite small to very large around Madeira.
What waterfall is close to Funchal?
There are no waterfalls directly in Funchal but there are quite a few that are a short drive up the mountains towards Ribeiro Frio or out west towards Ponta do Sol.
One of the most famous waterfalls near Funchal would be Cascata dos Anjos near Ponta do Sol. Cascata dos Anjos is the famous waterfall that sprays onto the road. You can even drive through it and give your car a little carwash!
What waterfall can you drive under in Madeira?
Cascata Dos Anjos between Ponta do Sol and Madalena do Mar is the waterfall in Madeira you can drive under.
Can you swim in Madeira waterfalls?
There are definitely some waterfalls where you can swim in the pools below. One of them is the Risco Falls if you access it through Levada do Alecrim. You can also swim in the famous 25 Fontes / 25 Falls in the same area.
When swimming in waterfalls, it’s definitely important to prioritize safety. Never swim too close to the waterfall itself and keep in mind that the water can get super cold. So hypothermia is one thing to watch out for as well.
One of the best ways to jump in the water under some waterfalls in Madeira is to go on a guided canyoning tour. There are all sorts of different canyoning levels in Madeira where you’ll get a chance to swim under waterfalls and it’s so much fun!!
You may also like…
- 3 Natural Pools in Madeira Worth Visiting
- 8 Unique Tours to Do in Madeira
- 26 Fun and Exciting Things to Do in Funchal
- 12 of the Best Hikes to Do in Madeira
- 7 Awesome Cafes to Visit in Funchal
Recap of the most stunning waterfalls in Madeira
There you have it! 10 beautiful waterfalls in Madeira to visit. Some you have to hike to and some you can drive right up to the viewpoint.
What all of these waterfalls have in common is that they are beautiful, powerful bodies of water running down and showing off the beauty of Mother Nature.
Enjoy all of these waterfalls in Madeira! There’s so much to see and do around Madeira and the waterfalls are just one of the elements that makes the island such a unique place.
Let us know which hike or viewpoint you enjoyed best! You can DM us on Instagram @redwhiteadventures or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you right away.
Enjoy Madeira, the waterfalls, the delicious food, and all the new adventures and memories you make on this island!