The colorful city of Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores is located on the south coast of São Miguel, also known as Isla Verde.
Cruise ships visiting this popular holiday destination berth at the two docking areas. The main cruise ship dock is the Portas do Mar which is 750-foot walk to Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, the main road along the harbor. Cruise ships also dock at the Industrial docks which is further away however there are free shuttle buses provided from the ship to Forte de São Brás/Military Musem. Sometimes ships might anchor in the harbor and tender passengers ashore.
With its rich history, Ponta Delgada offers plenty of activities and sightseeing for tourists with impressive monuments, ancient churches, a 16th-century fort, and a museum that documents the unique natural beauty of the Azores.
In the port, you can embark on an expedition to see whales and dolphins that gather in the waters of the archipelago. The natural beauty of the island of São Miguel itself is impressive with volcanic craters that are full of lakes with wildflowers and lush forests and vegetation.
Laguna de las Sete Cidades is arguably, one of the greatest tourist attractions in the Azores is only 15 kilometers from Ponta Delgada. Lagoa das Sete Cidades is a twin lake in a volcanic crater, whose walls rise around the shore.
The 16th-century Convent of Our Lady of Hope is one of the most important, not only in the Azores, but also throughout Portugal. The statue of Santo Cristo dos Milagres, is placed here which was given to the founders of the convent by Pope Paul III. The building is also worth visiting, with a strange quadrangular tower rising above on three levels.
Near the port in the parish of São Sebastião is located three-arch gate Portas da Cidade which is the postcard image of Ponta Delgada. It is part of the old defenses fort the 18th century. The gate was originally located at the pier, but it was moved to the Gonçalo Velho Cabral Square to serve as a monument when the avenue of the waterfront was built in the 1940s and 1950s. The gate is made of regional volcanic stone and has whitewashed masonry.
In the old Convent of Santo André, founded in 1876, is Carlos Machado Museum, the oldest museum in the Azores. The founder, Carlos Machado, who worked when the Azores attracted great interest following Darwin's theory of evolution, with exhibits on geology and mineralogy, as well as many specimens of plants and animals to examine (many labeled by Machado himself).
Build in 1552, Fort of São Bras protects the western end of the port of Ponta Delgada and is still used as a base by the Portuguese navy. Despite the great changes that occurred in the 19th century, it remains an absorbing relic of the colonial era, when Ponta Delgada was under the constant threat of pirate attacks. You can visit the upper platform, which is still equipped with modern cannons and artillery, while in the bowels of the fort there is a small military museum with heavy weapons, vehicles, uniforms and models covering almost 500 years.
Dolphin and Whale Watching is one of those energizing activities, unique in life, that you simply have to do it. As a crucial whale reserve, there is activity around the Azores throughout the year, and bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, dolphins and Risso dolphins are all resident species, so they can be seen at any season of the year. The ideal time to spot whales is in April and May.