The Algar do Carvão is an ancient lava tube or volcanic vent located in the central part of the island of Terceira in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores.
On January 26, 1893, Cândido Corvelo and Luis Sequeira entered the cave for the first time using a simple rope. The original entrance to the cave is a 45-meter-deep vertical vent that descends into a scree at the base. Another descent leads to a cave lake at a depth of about 90 meters. Fed by rainwater, this lake can reach depths of up to 15 meters or dry up in dry summers.
An area of 40.5 hectares around the entrance to the cave is protected as a Regional National Monument because of its particular volcanic features and its ecosystem.
The cave was opened to the public at the end of the 20th century as part of organized tours during the summer. Access was possible through the Montanheiros organization, which is in charge of affairs surrounding the cave. The cave is now well developed for tourism. Access is from a reception building on the surface via a stairwell parallel to the chimney and a stair ramp along the scree heap, the cave itself is equipped with stairs and lighting.
Access : Coordinates: 38.728889, -27.185278 / The Algar do Carvão located in the civil parish of Porto Judeu, in the municipality of Angra Heroísmo.
- The cave is significant because of the special mineralogical properties of the silicate stalactites.
- The Algar is inhabited by rich plant tapestries that cover the entrance structure of the cone, including various endemic species.
- Algar do Carvão was added to Portugal’s World Heritage List on 6 November 1996 , the so-called “tentative list”.
Go next : Porto Judeu ,a village on the island of Terceira in the Azores / Angra do Heroísmo , a city on Terceira Island, Portugal.