Registration




When preparing for our climb of Pico, it was very hard to find information online. We were not aware of this legislation document by the local Azores government at the time, but found it later when creating this website. Like most things on the Azores, this document is only available in Portuguese. We have therefore translated some of the important parts for those of you who do not speak Portuguese.

Mind you, we found that some of the information is incorrect and/or exaggerated as highlighted in red below.

Additionally, as of April 2017, climbers without a guide must have crampons in order to reach the top if there is snow on the mountain.


Limit of visitors on Pico mountain

Mount Pico is limited to a number of 160 visitors at the same time. The top of Pico (know as Piquinho or Pico Pequeno) is limited to 40 people simultaneously.

Authorization to climb Pico mountain

You must get authorization from the Natural Park in order to climb Pico. The authorization can be obtained in one of the following ways:
  • In the Visitor Center (Casa de Apoio à Montanha) at the starting point, Cabeço das Cabras:
    1. From 1st June to 15th September (open 24h/day) 
    2. May 1-31 & September 16-30th (open 8h until 20h / 8am until 8pm) 
    3. From 1st October to 30th April (open 8h30 until 18h30 / 8.30am until 6.30pm) 
  • Pico’s Natural Park headquarters, Rua do Lajido in Santa Luzia, from 1st October to 30th April (Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 16h30 / 9am to 4.30pm) 

We did not request authorization when we climbed Pico in February 2014, because we were not aware of this obligation and because the Visitor Center was closed even though it should have been open according to the information above. In the end we managed fine without it, but we strongly recommend everyone to get the authorization for your own safety in case of emergencies.

If you are going without a guide you should sign a document declaring that you are responsible for your own safety and conduct. In case you are climbing with a guide, you need the guide’s and company’s identification as well as the declaration saying they are responsible for the safety and conduct of the respective visitors. 

We climbed alone but did not sign any document, again because the Visitor Center was not open. If you choose to climb with a guide, we assume that the guide will take care of this part.

Fees to climb Pico mountain

  • € 10  - For autonomous visitors (without guide).
  • € 2,50 - For visitors with an official guide.

Paying this fee means you will receive a trash bag to take your trash back down, tracking equipment (if you go within 1st of July till 15th of September) and a certificate that you climbed Mount Pico in the end. 

Besides not getting authorized, we also did not pay any fee so we have no idea what “tracking equipment” you might receive. We did not have a need for it though, since there were numbered poles every 50m (164 ft) or so, all the way to the top. Naturally, we took down all our trash and we encourage everyone to do the same to keep the Natural Park clean and healthy. A shame we did not get a certificate though...

15 comments:

  1. The link for the Authorization Form is not for Pico, it is for Pico da Vara on São Miguel island! Thank you for great information, we'll climb Pico very soon :)

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  2. Thank you for pointing that out, we have removed the link. Enjoy the climb and let us know how it was on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/picomountainazores?ref_type=bookmark

    Good luck!

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  3. As of April 2017, climbers without a guide must have crampons in order to reach the top if there is snow on the mountain

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    1. Thanks for letting us know, Nick!

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  4. I had a few Questions
    first how do we register for a guide is it when we get to the site?
    also how last minute can we book a flight to pico and also a guided hike to the top?
    I will be in Sao miguel around the 7-10th of july and my friend and I really want to do this hike but we're scared of booking too early and that the weather is not accomodating. If thats the case how does the cancellation fee work and can we still try again the following day?
    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Just to be clear, we're not a travel agency so I can't answer all of your questions because I simply don't know. We know that tripixazores.com is an agency that can probably help you out with questions about guides etc.
      If you want to be more flexible, you can consider doing it without a guide, which is what we did at the time. It's a pretty safe climb and if you read this website and prepare well, it's easy enough to do it by yourself. This will allow you to time your climb on a sunny day.
      Good luck and have fun!

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    2. Thank you so much for such a fast response! Did you fly in from Ponta Delgada and slept 1 Pico? How did you plan your climb if you don't mind me asking?! We want to just have one day and one night at pico! Is it best to start off super early! I think the plane only gets there at 12! Thank you again so much! Your help is very appreaciated

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    3. We flew from Ponta Delgada to Faial and after some days there we took a boat to Pico. We stayed for three days so we could choose the climbing day. If you can, you should try to stay at least 2 nights. Have fun!

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    4. Can't thank you enough! We will do that 😊

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  5. What is the earliest time in thу morning when you open on May 28th?

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    1. Hi Martin,
      We are not part of the local government, but simply a friendly tourist who shared their experience. Please check with the local government for opening times.
      Have fun!

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  6. Hello do you know if it is possible to spend the night at the top without a guide? Thank you very much!

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  7. Hi, can anyone recommend a guide/agency to climb the mountain at the beginning of October? tahnk you

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      The people in Pico are very passionnate about their nature and conserving it. The guide will tell you more about that. They advise doing Pico with a guide because the guides know the actual path not to damage the old lava flows. It is great that you want to do it with a guide. I did it last summer with TripixAzores and my guide was Matteo, very nice guy. He climbed it countless times, he knows the island inside out. I had contacted them via email info@tripixazores.com, but if you want to have an idea, they also have an instagram account! Hope this helps!

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  8. Hi! So many good informations! Thanks alot! Im climbing montanha do pico in mid’ August. How many kg do you recommend people to carry up there? My idea was to bring a bivy to stay overnight in on the top, and of course, sleepingbag, pad, water and food supplies. Have you suggestions on that?? Thank you again for an awesome site! Michael

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