pays to visit
The Gocta Waterfall, the third tallest cataract in the world, is located in the Department of Amazonas.
This impressive waterfall plunges 771 m (2532 ft) at the origins of the Cocahuayco Gorge, and forms a two-stream drop of stunning scenic beauty that finally merges into the Utcubamba River. Due to its challenging location and its inaccessibility by roads, this visit demands a medium-difficulty hike.
The bridge over the Cocahuayco Gorge connecting to the community of Pedro Ruiz is about 35 km (21 mi) to the north of Chachapoyas. From here, two unpaved roads, each approximately 5 km (3 mi), fork out.
One road, which is unpaved, winds up the mountain slope among small farms, plots of land and eucalyptus trees towards the community of San Pablo de Valera. This is the starting point for our hike to visit the upper section or first drop of Gocta.
The other road, which goes towards the community of Cocachimba, is slightly longer. From here, we start our hike up the gorge and the canyon formed by the waters of the Cocahuayco River. Eventually, we arrive at the great amphitheater of high, sheer limestone cliffs that encircle the second cascade of Gocta.
At present, there is not one single route, which allows the visitor to experience both waterfalls in a single hike. The question is, then, which would be the best route to hike up the Gocta Waterfall?.
The following table was designed to help you decide the best route for you, according to your level of experience and the degree of adventure you desire.
Route Level of Difficulty Length of Hike each way Description of the Route
(1 - 7)
From San Pablo 3.
2.5 hours Climb up the slope of the
From Cocachimba 4.5.
2.5 hours In the canyon, following
the course of the river
Gocta Waterfall represents a very successful example of the development of rural ecotourism including the involvement of the community in the Amazonas Region. Thanks to the training received by both host communities, the people have been able to organize themselves to provide better services for tourists, and, as a result, these towns have become a real alternative of sustainable development of tourism. Because of all of this, a visit to Gocta Waterfall constitutes a unique experience due to its stunning majestic beauty, its flora and fauna, natural to the montane moist forest or cloud forest, and the amazing experience of being able to observe the ancient sacred site of the brave Chachapoya people.