The Garganta Funda waterfall is one of the beautiful waterfalls in Madeira. Located in Ponta do Pargo on the west coast, it’s a bit off the usual tourist route but definitely worth a visit. Especially in the winter season when the waterfall has actually water flowing down. You have to keep in mind that during the dry summer months there is a chance you won’t see any water. Read in this blog post everything you need to know about the Garganta Funda waterfall, how to get there, the best season to visit and what to expect!
How to get to Garganta Funda waterfall
The Garganta Waterfall, also known as Miradouro Garganta Funda is located on the most western part of Madeira in Ponta do Pargo. If you put in ‘Garganta Funda’ in Google Maps you might get send to the wrong location where you won’t see the start of the short walk to the Miradouro.
If you see the signs with ‘Miradouro Garganta Funda’ along the way, follow those. But if you don’t see the signs yet, then drive to ‘Pedregal Ponta do Pargo’ or ‘Herdade do Pedregal’. From the parking right before the paved road ends, it’s only a few hundred meters walk on the dirt path before you get to the viewpoint.
Best season to visit Garganta Funda waterfall
We went to the Garganta Funda waterfall three times during our 6 month stay on Madeira Island. We have seen the waterfall in August, October and December. And we have to say, it was at its best after a week of heavy rain and storm.
So if you want to see the Garganta Funda waterfall in full glory, you have to visit in the winter months. Especially after days of heavy rain the waterfall flows powerful and shows the natural attraction as it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately during the summer months the waterfall can get totally dry, or only a small trickle what can feel a bit underwhelming. However, the location is stunning right along the ocean and it is a great stop if you are already in the Ponta do Pargo area.
What to expect at Garganta Funda waterfall
You can either include a visit to the Garganta Funda waterfall during a hike along the levada Ponta da Pargo, or for a stop while road tripping along the west coast of Madeira Island. By car you can drive all the way down onto a small parking lot. Here ends the paved road and starts the dirt road. So you can choose to hike your way down, which means you have to go up again, or drive the car until the dirt road.
From here the Miradouro Garganta Funda is signposted and you will have a short walk through farm land with stunning coastal views. Make sure to wear proper foot which gives you balance on the uneven and sometimes slippery ground.
After a short walk you will arrive at the Miradouro Garganta Funda waterfall. The kettle shaped rock around the waterfall is fascinating and reminded us of the Caldeirao Verde waterfall. Both have a waterfall flowing down in a gorge with lots of green vines and moss attached to the rock walls. But Garganta Funda has one more great feature which is the stunning views on the Atlantic Ocean.
The height of the Garganta Funda waterfall is 140 meters which is quite impressive! Together with the beautiful views on the rugged cliffs and great overall experience here, it became one of our favourite waterfalls in Madeira. But as said before, you have to see the waterfall after some days (or even better weeks…) of rain.
Viewpoint Ponta do Pargo cliff
If you walk just a bit further towards the cliff edge you will see another rock sticking out which is a fantastic photo spot. But be careful, don’t go here if you suffer from vertigo!
More things to do around Garganta Funda waterfall
When you’ve seen the Miradouro Garganta Funda it’s time to explore some more places along Madeira’s west coast. It depends what you’re in for, because you can either choose for a more active or more relaxing thing to do. Some of the suggestions are listed down below.
Go to Ponta do Pargo lighthouse
Very close to the viewpoint is the Ponta do Pargo farrol located. This lighthouse offers another stunning 180 degree view on the Atlantic Ocean and is of the best sunset spots on the island!
Visit Porto Moniz
In this little coastal town on Madeira’s north west coast you can swim in the famous Porto Moniz natural lava pools.
Eat at some of the great restaurants in this area
We have tried quite a lot restaurants in Madeira, and two of our favorites are in this area! Definitely try the dishes at O Forno, they have some of the best meat and actually everything is super tasty! We also had dinner at Miradouro O Fio which has a restaurant on site with the incredible views. The scabbard fish is recommended!
Hike the Levada do Ponta do Pargo
When you’re in for a hike, you should check out Levada Ponta do Pargo. This levada walk leads you through the laurisilva forest of Madeira and along the coast back to your car.
Relax at Achadas da Cruz
Take the cable car down and explore this little piece of land with a stunning pebbled beach and back drop of enormous cliffs.
Best Madeira island tours
If you want to explore the best of Madeira with a guide then here some great tours I recommend. During these tours you will pass by some of the best viewpoints which I share in this complete guide. All of these tours include transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes the entrance fees if applicable. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
- Customized 6 hour Madeira tour. On this six-hour tour you can choose the different areas you want to visit on Madeira island. Pick the landmarks and iconic places to make your own itinerary with the help of your local guide/driver.
- West Madeira private tour. Starting in the fishing town of Câmara de Lobos you will drive via Cabo Girao, the highest cape in Europe, to the beautiful view of Serra d’Agua valley. From there you will head to São Vicente to explore the Laurisilva forest. Continuing north, you will visit Porto Moniz, known for its natural lava pools where you can swim. As last stop you will visit the famous rocks at Ribeira da Janela.
- East Madeira tour. Visit Pico do Arieiro viewpoint, make pictures at the Santana houses and the beautiful viewpoints at Porto da Cruz to finish the day at the impressive volcanic landscape of Ponta de São Lourenço.
- Canyoning adventure with transfer from Funchal. Get the thrill of canyoneering and explore Madeira’s untouched nature. follow a river as you walk, rappel, slide and jump through hidden waterfalls with streams that cross endemic forests. A super fun and adventurous day!
- Ponta de São Lourenço hike with pick up in Funchal. Explore the most eastern tail of Madeira island with its unique volcanic rock formations to understand how the island was created.
- Funchal 48-hour hop-on hop off bus tour. Explore the lush landscape of Madeira and the sights of Funchal at your own pace with a 2 or 5 day ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus.
- Tuk-Tuk tour to Monte Tropical Garden with Toboggan ride from Funchal. Explore Funchal Old Town with a Tuk Tuk before making your way to the mountains to the stunning Monte Tropical Garden. There you will explore over 70,000 square meters of exotic plants. At the end of the tour you will enjoy the thrilling ride down the hill with a Toboggan ride.
- Funchal Old Town walking tour. Learn about the history of Funchal and Madeira on a guided walk through the city’s medieval center. Visit the farmer’s market, the Campo Almirante Reis. The Fortress of St. James, and a number of other sites as your guide provides commentary.
- Dolphin & Whale watching Luxury Catamaran Cruise from Funchal. Enjoy the views of Funchal from a luxury catamaran. Look out for whales and dolphins in their natural habitat as your relax on board and explore the underwater world with a snorkel.
- Scuba diving Madeira. Explore the underwater world of Madeira island. A theory lesson and practice in swimming pool is included. This before you will dive about 12 meters for 45 meters in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Sunset tour from Funchal by Catamaran. Watch the sunset off the coast of Madeira on a 3-hour evening catamaran cruise from Funchal and spot dolphins (guaranteed, or you get a 2nd trip for free).
General travel must haves for Madeira
Have you thought about how to get around in Madeira? A car is the easiest way to drive around the island.
- Book your rental car here and compare the providers to get the best deal.
- Book your scooter or motorbike here to get around in Madeira. Most of the scooters you can drive with driving license (A1/A2/A) from 18 years old, or from 25 years old with a car (B) license. The motorbikes have a minimum age of 20 or 21 with A (moto) license.
Do you prefer a private driver for the day and the freedom to create your own itinerary?
Did you already book your accommodation?
- Check out this great tool to compare prices of hotels on different platforms from around the world and book your favorite hotel
Are you insured during your travels?
- Buy your travel insurance here. Safetywing not only includes coverage for travel delay, lost checked luggage, emergency response, natural disasters and personal liability. But also covers all your medical expenses for hospitalisation.
More Madeira travel inspiration
I hope you enjoyed this full guide about the Garganta Funda waterfall in Madeira.
For more Madeira travel inspiration and the must visit destinations, head over to our other blog posts about Madeira island.