Pego do Inferno, translated to ‘Pit of Hell’, is actually an idyllic waterfall and lagoon, formed by the Asseca stream.
This enchanting place is a literal hidden gem and is located in Santo Estêvão, in Tavira.
The countryside itself, surrounding Pego do Inferno, is very beautiful and it makes a worthy visit, simply for the scenery. The drive to Pego do Inferno is picturesque, as you find yourself surrounded by orange and lemon trees and the countryside makes for an enjoyable walk on a sunny day and an overall, nice day out.
In terms of getting to the waterfall, it is well hidden and not the easiest to getto as the paths are unmarked but for adventurers it makes for an interesting route to follow but one to take with caution. The beautiful cascade is fed by the Asseca River and runs through limestone cliffs that form a charming lagoon. The calcium carbonate extracted from the rock accumulates in the lagoon and makes the water shimmer a majestic green colour. The Pego do Inferno waterfall is the largest in the sequence of three waterfalls, Cascade da Torre and Cascade of Pomarinho.
This waterfall is on the smaller side with only 3 metres in height. Additionally, to sharpen curiosity and spice up the visit a little, the Waterfall of Pego do Inferno has a spooky legend associated with it. The legend says that a wagon crashed in Pego, dropping the people who were in the wagon right into the lagoon. The divers could never find the corpses of the occupants of the wagon and the animals that pulled it. The divers could not even reach the bottom of the lagoon, and so they said the victims had fallen into hell. Thus, the spooky name was born as Hell’s Pool/Pit of hell. The legend says that anyone who fell into it would go straight to hell.
Until 2012 there was a bathing space next to the Cascade of Pego do Inferno, but the fire that consumed the area destroyed the pedestrian walk, the bridge that gave access to the lagoon and other infrastructure. The destruction caused by the fire led the municipality to close the space to the public and it has sadly not been reopened since. However, every summer tourists and locals still visit the enchanting waterfall and it’s well known for cliff diving. You can generally find groups jumping into the inviting lagoon below. There is also a rope that can be found on the side of the lagoon, so you will find adults and children alike swinging into the water, making it a fun visit for all. There is no better scenery than that which encompasses the lagoon, it is a gift from nature which should be treated with care, so if you do make a visit please be sure to leave it as you found it for hopefully future generations to enjoy.