There might be taller and more powerful waterfalls in Madeira, but Risco Waterfall definitely looks impressive.

This waterfall has two major cascades of comparable height. Water slides down along the nearly vertical cliff, at some places forming a free fall in the air. At the base of upper cascade is small, beautiful lake with a blue-green colored water – Lagoa do Vento. Also at the base of lower cascade is a small pool which is surrounded by stones.

Waterfall is located in the unique laurisilva – relict subtropical rainforest. Similar forest was common in Southern Europe 15 – 40 million years ago. Now it has been preserved mainly in Azores, Canary Islands and Madeira. Rain here is frequent, forest often is covered in mist. Thanks to wet climate Madeira has numerous waterfall.

Risco Falls, Madeira
Risco Falls / Allie Caulfield, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Risco Waterfall can be accessed by walking the beautiful Levada do Risco – one of the most popular tourist trails through the pristine forest leading along water channel. One should go early in order to enjoy the beautiful sights in solitude.

Risco Waterfall on the map
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Location, GPS coordinates: 32.7599 N 17.1226 W
Categories: Waterfalls
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: 3 out of 10 stars
Where is located? Europe, Portugal, Madeira, Calheta, high in the mountains
UNESCO World Heritage status: located in "Laurisilva of Madeira", 1999, No.934
Name in Portuguese: Cascata do Risco (Risc waterfall)
Height: ˜ 100 m
Drops: 2 major ones

Landmarks of Madeira

Water supply channel in laurel forest, Madeira
Water supply channel in laurel forest / Jnvalves, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
Macaronesian islands – Azores, Canary Islands, Cabo Verde and Madeira – are like messengers from a better, brighter and more interesting world. Madeira represents almost all (without archaeological heritage which is present only in Canary Islands) of their beauty: mountains, beautiful scenery, subtropical forest and wealth of European architectural heritage.

Waterfalls and rapids

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, Wikimedia Commons / public domain
Some of the most fascinating and awe inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls, or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

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