The Levada do Caldeirão Verde is one of the most beautiful and popular hikes in Madeira. The special thing about this levada are the many waterfalls that pour next to and partly also directly on the hiking trail. Right at the start of this Madeira Levada hike you feel like you are in a fairy tale of the Brothers Grimm.

Everything is green and blooming and the green cauldron – which is the literal translation for Caldeirão Verde – at the end will leave you speechless. How strenuous is the Levada do Caldeirão Verde, where is the best place to park and what are the most beautiful parts of this hike? We will tell you in our travel report!

Hi Guys!

We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.

Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers

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Hotel recommendation in Madeira

Seasky Arco in CalhetaLevada do Caldeirão Verde (PR9) Hike On Madeira

  • large apartments up to 1-2 floors
  • private bathroom
  • fully equipped kitchen
  • amazing view of the sea
  • pool and private terrace
  • private parking place

The apartment complex Seasky Arco* is located above the town of Calhete in the southwest of Madeira on a steep slope.

Thanks to the very steep access road, getting there is anything but easy, but you won't be bothered by any traffic and you'll have a direct view of the sunset on the Atlantic.

There are floor-to-ceiling windows, a private pool, a huge terrace and a huge bed from which you can watch the sun go down. Simply a wonderful place to come to rest and relax from the strenuous hikes. We felt mega comfortable here!

Seasky Arco | Check Availability*

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde begins in the Queimadas Forest Park, where ducks, geese and beautiful half-timbered houses await you. The levada was built in the 18th century and runs through the extraordinary Laurissilva forest, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1999. There are a total of 4 tunnels, but hardly any inclines on this levada.

Levada do Caldeirão Verde (PR9) Hike On Madeira
The destination of this beautiful levada hike is the breathtaking Caldeirão Verde, the green cauldron. This is a very narrow and high gorge into which, surrounded by lush vegetation, a narrow waterfall pours from over 110 meters. A real highlight of Madeira.

Facts about the hike

Length and duration of the hike

The total length of the Caldeirão Verde hike is 12 kilometers round trip and will take about 3-4 hours, depending on how fast you go and how many photo breaks you take. It took me 1.5 hours each way, but I also tended to hurry because of the bad weather and didn’t spend too long at my destination, the waterfall. When you arrive at the finish of the Caldeirão Verde hike, you have two options.

Either you turn around and walk back to the parking lot (because the Levada Caldeirão Verde is not a circular trail). Or you walk further to the Caldeirão Inferno. This is then another 8 kilometers and these increase the total distance to almost 20 km if you combine both trails. If you want to do that, then you can just continue walking at the big waterfall, corresponding signs will show you the way.

How strenuous is the Levada do Caldeirão Verde?

This levada hike, although not the shortest at 12 kilometers, is very easy to walk thanks to about only 100 meters of elevation gain and is almost completely flat. It is therefore much easier to hike than, for example, the similarly long trail to Pico Ruivo. This makes the Levada do Caldeirão Verde the perfect hike for all ages.

Facts about the hike
  • Length: 12 km (there and back)
  • Circular route: No
  • Altitude gain: 100 m
  • Duration: about 3-4 hours (there and back)
  • Level of difficulty: easy

The trails are well secured and good to walk throughout, only the tunnels along the way are a bit adventurous. They are completely dark and at least one of them is also quite long and very low, so you have to bend down in places. A flashlight is also a must here. If it is raining cats and dogs, as it was during my visit, the waterfalls are indeed very nice to look at. But there will also be smaller waterfalls pouring directly onto the path and make it difficult for you to get under them dry. A good rain jacket is therefore really useful!

Levada do Caldeirão Verde – How to get there and parking

Levada do Caldeirão Verde is located at the end of a very winding and narrow road that ends at a large pay parking lot. If someone comes towards you on the narrow access road, you have to pay attention and look where you can make room. And almost you would think that at the end of this road never one of the most popular hikes of Madeira can start. But that’s how it is.The parking lot costs 3 euros for a day ticket and is charged in 15 minute increments. Thereby the first 30 minutes are free. By the way, there is no possibility to park for free in the surrounding area. From Funchal you need about 45 minutes by car to the official parking lot (Google Maps Link) Levada do Caldeirão Verde (PR9) Hike On Madeira

What awaits you at Levada do Caldeirão Verde?

After you have parked your car in the paid parking lot, you will walk across a farm-like area with the typical Santana half-timbered houses and clucking ducks and geese. There is also a small café where you can get a bite to eat before or after your trip. The first kilometer on the trail you walk through dense forest and after 1 km you pass the first small waterfall.

Everything around you is green, big ferns hang over the path and the moss sprouts from all sides. You feel like you are in a jungle fairy tale. The Levada do Caldeirão Verde is truly one of the most jungle-like hikes in all of Madeira, especially when it rains or has rained before the atmosphere becomes even more intense. Levada do Caldeirão Verde (PR9) Hike On Madeira On the hike you will pass other larger and smaller waterfalls and then come across a total of 4 tunnels, one of which is also a bit longer and really completely dark. Here you need a flashlight in any case and have to bend down in places really very much, especially if you are a little taller like me.

Then after 2/3 of the way the levada gets really gnarly. The path winds tightly along the mountain while it goes steeply downhill to your right, giving you a great view of the cloud-covered valley and hills overgrown with green trees.

The destination of the Madeira Hike – The Waterfall

After about 1.5 – 2 hours you will arrive at the destination of the hike, the waterfall Caldeirão Verde. Here a warning sign points out the danger you run if you walk the last 100 meters to the waterfall. But if you can reconcile it with your conscience then you should walk on in any case.

You can either follow the path on the left side (you’ll have to pass a small fence) or walk across the water by shimmying from stone to stone. After a few meters you will be standing at the end of the narrow gorge while 110 meters above you the waterfall is making its way into the valley. The view is – even in bad weather – really spectacular. Around you everything is poison green and through clouds or fog everything seems even more mystical. You will not forget this view for a long time. Really one of the most beautiful levada hikes of Madeira.

Hiking tips for the Levada do Caldeirão Verde

What do you need to take with you?

If it is raining or has been raining, then you need good rain gear, because there are smaller waterfalls that pour directly onto the path. You will also need a flashlight (if necessary the one from your cell phone), because there are tunnels in which it is pitch dark. Also take enough food for the 4-hour hike. Levada do Caldeirão Verde (PR9) Hike On Madeira

Best time for the hike to Caldeirão Verde

If you want to have the levada and the waterfall at the end for yourself then you should start early in the morning. Also, of course, the numerous waterfalls on the hike look most spectacular when it has rained in the days before. If it was dry for a long time, as in summer, then the waterfalls carry little water or are even completely dry. Therefore, a hike in the winter months is often especially beautiful. In general, you can hike the Levada do Caldeirão Verde in Madeira at any time of the day or year

A good restaurant nearby

Levada do Caldeirão Verde (PR9) Hike On MadeiraIf you want to rest and strengthen yourself after the hike with a delicious meal, then we can recommend a delicious restaurant in the nearby town of Santana.
The staff doesn’t speak English, but the prices are very reasonable and the staff is super nice. But beware vegetarians, the menu is quite meat-heavy. You can find the restaurant here on Google Maps.

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