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Quinta do Alto São João overlooks the village of Ponta do Sol from a high mountain shoulder called a Lombo. It rises a couple of a hundred metres from the village base.

The village of Ponta do Sol is historically the location where Madeira enjoyed a lucrative sugar cane industry. There are several structures that remind the visitor to its great agricultural apogee. The sugar industry was affected heavily by the later Brazilian plantations which competed so well against the smaller and then more modest plantations in Ponta do Sol. It was also here that so many Guancho or African slaves worked.It is evident in the population today that many people in Madeira are descendants of these slaves and their mixing in through with the Portuguese and other nationalities that settled on the island.

Ponta do Sol was established as a village and as a municipal or county area by Royal decree on the 2nd December 1501 - half a millenium ago! It is also here in this area that the forebears of the world famous writer John Passos lived and worked.

Ponta do Sol means "Point of the Sun" in Portuguese. It is an apt name for this agricultural village area where now banana production predominates - so well grown due to the hot average temperature that it enjoys year round. It is considered to be one of the the sunniest and most comfortable areas to live in terms of weather conditions.

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