Time: 4h in slow pace
The first stage is maybe the most "difficult", all the way up from the sea level, even if it is not that hard. You have nice views over the bay of Vilafranca do Campo and its little island, and of course, the stunning green landscape of São Miguel surrounding you.
The second stage is perfect to get a bit cooler and refresh yourself after the way up. You pass through a humit forest, following a water channel. The deep vegetation next to the hike makes you think if you are in the jungle or what... You will also pass next to some little waterfalls. Take advantage and drink a bit of pure water that comes from the volcano.
The next stage you realise that you are getting close to the volcano crater and the lake: Lagoa do Fogo. The deep vegetation starts to decrease and huge mountains, the walls of the volcano, rise in front of you. Don't get intimidated by the sound of tens of seagulls that live there! This part is also quite easy and relaxing but normaly the fresh wind blows hard.
A few minutes later the breathtaking lake appears in front of you.
Continue surrounding the lake to the right to get a nice view of the lake from the top. If you wish, and the low water level allows you, you can surround part of the lake next to the water.