São Miguel is a big island. Almost 300 square miles, with just 130,000 inhabitants. There are mountains, beaches, forests, and pastures. And, lots of rolling hills. In the ancient crater of Furnas the faults are aligned west-northwest to east-southeast. And, the island has six volcanic zones. The higher areas are laurisilva, or “cloud forests.”
While bus tours help to explore the island, and well marked and paved roads make getting round easy by rental car, there is one way to see the what makes this one of the most beautiful island in the world – a Jeep tour. Get off road and explore tea plantations, back roads, and volcanic lakes. Several outfitters offer Jeep tours to the crater lakes of Sate Cidades, the central mountain crater lake of Lagoa do Fogo, the Furnas Valley and the rugged Nordeste region. Lunch on a meal cooked in a hot spring, or swim in one, and discover the secrets of the island of São Miguel.