Levada de Santa Cruz


Along the Eng. Duarte Pacheco’s dam, the river Caima reserves a unique and beautiful surprise: on the left bank of the reservoir, a little waterway is drawn between leafy forests, moving sinuously to keep the right gap to the constant flow of water. The flow, with just over 1 km, serves the irrigation fields of Santa Cruz, and originates in a small tributary of Caima river which flows into the Pisão’s well. The genius of people is patent on this unique work, which leads the water from the steep lands of Caima margins to the flattening corn lands, surrounding the town of Santa Cruz. This waterway is identical to Madeira waterways and provides, in warmer weather, a cool shady walk under the oaks, accompanied by the stubborn run of clear waters of this mountain river.

Natural Patrimony

Many fetuses enjoy the unexpected moisture provided by the waterways to grow and thrive. The tasty golden chanterelles lurking here and there with its colorful and intense orange to excel in the ubiquitous green. The iberian emerald lizard and the iberian frog make the waterways their election hunting territory, and solomon’s seal, the tutsan, the common holly and the wild blueberry are some examples of the exceptional flora of this small paradise. On the bayou we can see, hopefully, the playful otter that breeds in the well forested banks of Caima. Up stream of the dam, the fish fauna community is primarily made of barbel and the portuguese nase. There is still the presence of some trout, although less abundant.

Historical Patrimony

Located in Caima river at an elevation of 365 meters, Eng. Duarte Pacheco dam consists of the water plan and surrounding forests. Known locally as barragem do Castelo (castle dam), but officially designated with the name of the Minister of Public Works at the time, was built by the Junta Autónoma das Obras de Hidráulica Agrícola (Agricultural Hydraulic Works Administration), in August 1936, and completed in December 1942. It is a project that aimed to regulate river flow, increase agricultural profitability of Burgães fields, and strengthen the dairy industry through the creation of permanent grassland.


Vale de Cambra, Macieira de Cambra

Technical information

  • Level of Dificulty Low
  • Type of Route Linear
  • Access Car/Pedestrian