Given its natural conditions, both in terms of weather and geography, the island of Santa Maria is the best location for swimming in the Azores Archipelago. There are various beaches and tidal pools with excellent conditions for leisure. The most famous beach is Praia Formosa, where one can practice surf, windsurf, water ski and sailing.
A boat ride, passing by the cave on the Romeiro Islet, basins and inlets, is the best way to see the magnificent coast. The shoreline is ideal for fishing, diving and spear fishing. There are organised fishing and spear fishing rides, which are quite traditional on this island, and also rides for big game fishing in the high seas.
Paragliding is also popular as there are good shelters in the several bays of Santa Maria. With the proper equipment and with a guide, it is possible to explore some natural caves, such as the Furna de Santana and the Furna Velha, and man-made caves, as the Gruta do Figueiral.