Leave the airlines to us.
Our itineraries reflect 40 years of experience in crafting exceptional educational tours. That means we know exactly how to make the best of your time abroad—incredible destinations, immersive activities, centrally located hotels, and smart, well-traveled tour managers who ensure your educational goals are met. Here are some of the exceptional features of this tour.
We have high standards, which is why we take care to include these features in every tour.
Leave the airlines to us.
After a busy day, comfort is key.
Save the commuting time, beat the morning crowds and keep right on exploring after dark when your hotel is in the heart of the city.
Delicious, authentic, multi-course dinners at local restaurants with meal times tailored to maximize your experience.
Part guide, part educator, part engineer, part mind-reader, part magician—ACIS Tour Managers are your travel partner.
Never wait hours at the airport to share a transfer with other later groups.
We're so sure you're going to love your tour, we guarantee it!
24/7 on the ground support whenever and wherever you need it.
Urban transportation is on us, allowing you to explore each destination with ease.
Our tours are designed to help you and your students be in the moment and experience everything the world has to offer.
Let the ground do the cooking for you. Students will get to enjoy this famous stew of meat and vegetables that is buried underground and cooked using natural heat. Students will get an opportunity to view the different stages of preparation and then go to the area of Furnas where the pot is buried in the ground to create a culinary masterpiece.
All aboard the catamaran! Explore the deep sea and search out marine life with a professional team of skippers, lookouts and biologists. Before enjoying the open waters, students will learn about the species they are going to see and the code of ethics of whale watching in the Azores. The activity takes about 3 hours, but the memories will last much longer.
Students share some of the most impactful and rewarding moments of their educational tour experience, teachers share the level of quality and care they get from ACIS, and tour managers share a bit of the magic they witness as they facilitate learning and a love of new cultures for ACIS groups across the globe.
This itinerary is the starting point for your tour, but it’s not set in stone. If there are days you would like to change, or specific places you’d like to go, we can work with you to create a personalized program that fits the needs of you and your students.
Depart from the USA.
Welcome to San Miguel Island in the Azores. Upon arriving, you’ll meet your ACIS Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel. Ponta Delgada is the largest city in the Azores’ archipelago—nine islands formed by volcanic activity. Brimming with dry calderas, fumaroles, crater lakes, thermal springs and caves, the Azores are one of the world’s great geo-tourism destinations—and fertile ground for geology-minded students. For the rest of the day, you’re free to get acquainted with this enchanting city, perhaps visiting the Carlos Machado Museum, which chronicles the history of this former fishing village, or strolling through the city’s cobblestone streets and lovely squares.
Get into a scientific state of mind as you depart for Furnas, a town in the Furnas Valley, a hotbed of thermal mineral springs and volcanic activity. Pay a visit to the Terra Nostra botanical gardens, one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe, featuring a thermal swimming pool and more than 2,000 species of trees. For lunch learn about and enjoy a unique treat that boasts a geology lesson as a side dish:
Cozido das Furnas is a traditional stew that consists of vegetables, pork, chicken and blood sausage, cooked for hours in an underground hot spring. After lunch, you’ll visit the Furnas Lake Interpretation Centre and the Furnas Monitoring and Research Centre (CMIF), located on the lakeshore. You’ll learn all about the CMIF’s critical mission—restoring the lake’s water quality and ecosystem—and why that’s necessary. Then you’ll head to the island’s north coast for a visit to the Chá Gorreana tea plantation, Europe's oldest tea-producing company. On the way back to your hotel, get your camera ready for a stop in Ribiera Grande, a picturesque little coastal town that stands on a volcanic plateau.
Volcanology comes alive this morning as you take the island’s mountain road to Lagoa das Sete Cidades, two lakes linked by a narrow strait that sit in the crater of a dormant volcano. To get a great view of the two lakes (Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul, named for the color of their water), you’ll stop at Vista do Rei for a breathtaking panoramic view. Then you’ll descend into the crater and take a leisurely walk along the shores of these magnificent natural wonders. Your volcanic education continues with a trip to Ferraria, known for its thermal waters and magnificent volcanic cliffs. After a picnic lunch, you’ll head back to Ponta Delgada to visit Gruta do Carvão, San Miguel’s longest lava tube—a geological marvel that’s almost 1 ¼ miles in length.
The Azores have been a center of volcanic activity, including eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis, for centuries. The archipelago still includes nine active volcanoes, which explains why the mission of the Volcanological and Geothermal Observatory of the Azores—the first stop on today’s agenda—is so vital. Learn about how the organization monitors critical seismic information before continuing by mountain road to Lagoa do Fogo, a crater lake in the center of the island at an altitude of nearly 3,000 feet. After lunch, you’ll visit Caldeira Velha, which features a waterfall of warm, iron-rich volcanic water, plus a couple of thermal pools. Last stops: The Ribeira Grande hot springs, followed by a stop in Ribeira Grande, famous for its buildings made from basalt, a fine-grained volcanic rock. Then you’ll head back to Ponta Delgada for dinner and a free evening.
The highlight of today's activities begins with a walk to the marina for a three-hour
whale- and dolphin-watching trip led by biologists, skippers and lookouts. Before going out at sea, you'll be briefed on the whale-watching code of ethics and learn what species you might see. Each cruise differs slightly based on weather conditions and the animals' locations. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore more of Ponta Delgada before having dinner at the hotel.
Today you’ll explore the eastern part of San Miguel Island. After a stop at the dramatic Santa Iria scenic overlook, you’ll head for Ribeira dos Caldeirões, a protected park noted for its abundant Macaronesian flora and waterfalls. After enjoying a rich cup of coffee, continue on to the village of Nordeste, where you’ll eat lunch and take a guided tour. On the way back to Ponta Delgada, another stunning overlook awaits at Ponta da Madrugada. Beyond that, you’ll pay a visit to the small village of Povoação, then return to the hotel via the island’s southern coast for dinner.
After a morning of leisure time, enjoy a final lunch before transferring to the airport for your departure to the USA.
Due to the unique nature of this destination, please contact us for a custom price quote for this trip.
Most Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy
Rate $360Add to Tour
Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy
Rate $240Add to Tour