Lagoa do Fogo is the name of a beautiful crater lake located in the approximate center of Sao Miguel Island, in the Portuguese Azores Archipelago. Since 1074, the entire region around the lake also forms a protected area, forming the Natural Reserve of Lagoa do Fogo.
To preserve the pristine beauty of the region, the Portuguese government has luckily forbidden any construction around the lake itself.
The lake constitutes one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the entire archipelago. It serves as a leading source of water for aquifers in the lowland regions.
Lagoa do Fogo Geography
Lagoa do Fogo lies within the caldera of an extinct stratovolcano which in turn is also part of the Agua de Pau Massif.
The surface of this lake sits at an altitude of approximately 1,900 ft (580 m) above sea level which makes it the highest lake in the region. The surrounding walls of the caldera rise another 1,214 ft (334 m) above the surface of the lake.
Torrential rains maintain Lagoa do Fogo which in turn serves as a primary hydrological watershed for the region. Also, in one location, sediment deposits have actually formed a small beach along the perimeter of the lake.
Lagoa do Fogo Biome
Lagoa do Fogo serves to support an important biome. The one the south and west side of the crater is a concentration of scrub and brush while on the north and east side lies dense vegetation and a small forest.
Within the caldera that contains Lagoa do Fogo are numerous species of flora and fauna endemic only to the Azores.
A wide variety of bird species constitutes the primary animal life within the area. This includes both terrestrial species as well as seabirds. Furthermore, for many of these avian species, the lake supports the largest breeding and habitat area in the entire region.