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Queimadas levada waterfalls

If you would ask me to suggest to you my favourite levada walk in Madeira island, i would certainly indicate to all of you, Queimadas – Caldeirão Verde for several reasons!

It is the type of walk which offers a fairly moderate footpath surrounded by the dense and luxurious ever green Laurel woods of the island. To add more ingredients to the fascination of this wonderful walk there are also some views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in certain parts of the levada walk and you shall walk through different shades of green colours.

First, let me give you some insight facts about this gorgeous hymn of our indigenous forest.

This levada walk was built in the eighteenth century and it is now days part of our rich heritage left by our ancestors.

It is considered a high altitude walk which has its starting point at the Queimadas Forestry Park (890 meters) and it is located in the municipality of Santana. At the end, where Caldeirão Verde stands, you have reached an altitude of 980 meters above the sea level.

The duration of the walk is roughly four hours to cover the twelve kilometers to the return of the starting point.

The meeting spot where our guides gather our guests to start the levada walk, seems like a fairy tale place, with an original thatched house of Santana still standing among the impressive centenary trees and some beautiful flowers. There is also a stream of water and some ducks to provide the perfect atmosphere for the rest of the day.

When one leaves Queimadas, it is possible to admire the cylindrical forms of the Japanese Cypress, which stands on the right-hand side of the irrigation channel. Along the way, there are also the reddish leafy European Leech and Madeira Cedar with its hanging branches.

Further along at a distance, one can see a tiny plateau dotted with some houses and barns standing amidst the cultivated terraces. This flat remote land amongst the rocky peaks and the river in the valley is so called Achadas do Marques. For many years it has been part of the parish of São Jorge. Now days, it belongs to the new parish so called Ilha and enjoys the status of a protected landscape within the Natural Park of Madeira.

One may have also the privilege to observe the flying experience of the Laurel Pigeon en route to the Caldeirão Verde.

Altogether, there is a succession of four hand carved tunnels and waterfalls, therefore, proper attention should be given when you cross the tunnels and it is adviseable to wear adequate foot wear.

Managing to go through the last tunnel, one shall be less than one kilometer away from the Caldeirão Verde. By this time, one went through spectacular cliff edges, virgin forests, breathtaking views overloking the landscape and the Atlantic Ocean.

However, in my opinion the highest reward for all of our efforts is the Caldeirão Verde lake with its one hundred meters high waterfall. I am sure that you will love it as much as i do.

There will be some spare time to eat your pack lunch and admire the surroundings before we return through the same route. On the way back, you shall notice details which were hidden from your first passage and your perspective shall become different by then.

Thank you very much for your time.

Marco Ferreira

P.S.- Be kind to consult the following web site to see photographs of this spectacular rambling walk.

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