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Risco Waterfall

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

WorldBlue  In short

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

3.8 out of 10 stars 38.3%

GPS coordinates
32.7599 N 17.1226 W
Location, address
Europe, Portugal, Madeira, Calheta, high in the mountains
Name in Portuguese
Cascata do Risco (Risc waterfall)
˜ 100 m
2 major ones
UNESCO World Heritage status
Located in "Laurisilva of Madeira", 1999, No. 934

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

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

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 the upper cascade is a small, beautiful lake with blue-green colored water – Lagoa do Vento. Also at the base of the lower cascade is a small pool which is surrounded by stones.

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

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 the water channel. One should go early in order to enjoy the beautiful sights in solitude.

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Macaronesian islands – the 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 the Canary Islands) of their beauty: mountains, beautiful scenery, subtropical forest, and wealth of European architectural heritage.

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Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, Wikimedia Commons / public domain


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