Did you know that Terceira Island has an ancient volcano that you can walk into? Nestled in the heart of the Island, Algar do Carvão is a geological wonder shaped by volcanic activity.
Discovered in 1893 by local resident Manuel Francisco, the cave became a focal point for scientific exploration. Algar do Carvão wasn’t formed by a volcanic eruption; instead, it was created by the collapse of a volcanic vent. The formation is associated with the volcanic activity that shaped the island. It is believed to have originated around 3000 years ago, and the cave was formed as a result of subsequent geological processes, including the collapse of the vent’s walls.
The collapse created a large cavity or pit, and over time, rainwater seeped through the porous volcanic rocks, contributing to the unique geological features within the cave. The site showcases various mineral formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and colorful walls that resulted from the interaction of water with the volcanic rocks over centuries.
Montanheiros, a local association of nature enthusiasts and environmentalists, have played a crucial role in preserving it. Their commitment to responsible tourism ensures that visitors can explore the cave while minimizing environmental impact, contributing to the cave’s conservation, allowing future generations to appreciate its natural beauty.
Algar do Carvão invites adventurers to unravel the secrets hidden beneath Terceira Island. Its geological history, combined with the dedication of Montanheiros, ensures that this underground marvel continues to captivate explorers while preserving the delicate balance of its unique ecosystem. As we delve into the depths of Algar do Carvão, we not only witness the marvels of the past but actively participate in its sustainable future.
Algar do Carvão is an incredible place that you cannot miss if you visit this beautiful Island, but keep in mind that you can’t use a tripod.
Check out my Photo Tours in the Azores and Madeira if you are interested in exploring places like this with like minded photographers.
Love from Azores.