Canyoning Madeira Island – Beginner Level

Cales Canyon

Located on the Ecological Park, high up on the mountains of Funchal, at the height of more than 1000m altitude, this is where we’ll take you after only 15 min drive away from the city centre, which makes it a perfect option if you arrive at the island on a cruise ship.

This is the goto canyon, that we recommend when giving your first steps into this unparalleled outdoor activity, and the best part is that it’s suitable for everyone.

Like that almost every person that has done or is involved with canyoning in Madeira island, started their journey here!

Some other reasons that make this canyon interesting and so appealing to us are unquestionable: It has straightforward access, which allows a fast approximation and returns from the canyon. Escape routes alongside the margin of the riverbed.

But what we also value greatly, is that it has water all year round, which is something uncommon on the canyons on the south part of the island.

The fact that the water is an ever-present element in this canyon sometimes transforms it greatly and turn in to a higher grade canyon after a storm. But as we say, more water = More fun.

Besides all that it’s also one of the very few that we can do with snow :))

A bit of history

This was one of the first Canyons to be made in Madeira island.

The expedition that took place in the distant year of 1993 and made it available to everyone was made by a team of legendary mountain pioneers from Madeira island, composed by Rui Dantas, Izamberto Silva, Rui Cunha.

After this first descent, several others were made by different groups. And some re-equipment was necessary like in 2008 by one of the top guides at the time, Amilcar Vasconcelos. After that, other parties also did some bolting.

Now it’s equipped for commercial descents and as of that used daily by almost every adventure company on the island, making it the most demanded canyon on the island.

And here are some technical aspects of this river that make the delight of our guests:

  • Inicial Altitude: 1440m
  • Approximation: 5min
  • Extension: 850m
  • Duration: 2H30/3H
  • Abseil: 5/6
  • Jumps: 1-2 (Depends on water level)
  • Waterslides 1-3 (Depends on Water Level)
  • Highest waterfall: 13m
  • End Altitude: 1320m
  • Difficulty: V2/A2I

Some pictures of the canyon:

Canyoning Madeira island
First Waterfall
Canyoning Madeira island
Jumps are always optional
Canyoning Madeira island
Second Waterfall
Canyoning Madeira Island
Third and Highest Waterfall
Canyoning Madeira island
When the water level allows, jumps are in order
Canyoning Madeira island
One of the most aesthetic rappel
Canyoning Madeira Island
One of the natural water-slides

If you want to see more of this canyon check out our YouTube video on it CANYONING CALES

Canyoning Madeira island
As a Bonus: When the waterfalls uses its own water filter