While traveling from Colombia to Peru, we decided to stop-over for a bit in the northern part of Peru. While usually tourists, who come to visit Peru for 2 or 3 weeks, will travel to the most popular places situated in the southern part of Peru, northern part of this country is being forgotten… However, this region has a lot to offer! We didn’t stay long time there, because of our work, but we had enough time to discover surroundings of Chachapoyas.
Chachapoyas is quite a small town. In French you would say ‘mignonne’ which means quite romantic, tiny, lovely town, very nice to visit. Chachapoyas is as well a hub of different activities. Near this town you have so many amazing places to visit, that you could stay here more than a week! We stayed there only 3 days, but we did what we wanted. We chose to see the world’s 4th highest waterfall called Gocta. Actually, it’s a 2 stage waterfall but that doesn’t make it ugly to visit!
As we love to trek, we decided to do a little trek to get to this waterfall. Actually, there is no other way to do it. You have to walk at least 3 hours to get to the first part of the waterfall. If you want to see it from the higher point, you have to go up and up for about 5 hours. So it can be quite adventurous to get to the highest point and I assure you that you are going to sweat a lot! 😉
How to do the Gocta trek on your own?
You take a collectivo (shared mini-van) from Chachapoyas bus station that costs you about 5 soles. You take the collectivo to the direction of PEDRO RUIZ, but you have to tell the driver to get you off at the bridge called COCOHUAYCA. From there you will have two ways to choose. Either you take one that goes to the village called San Pablo (one that hoes to the left) or you go where all the tourists go, in the direction of COCACHIMBA (everywhere you can take a tuk-tuk or a taxi, but we chose to hike). We chose the first option as it was less touristic and (we didn’t know it) it was easier from here to get to the highest point, to see the waterfall. Though, if you choose our option you hike up about 1,5 hour to get to the village of San PeBLO. There, you can have a lunch and buy some water. Then, you follow the path (you will see a lot of signs that will guide you to Gocta waterfall) and it takes about 3/4 hours to get you to the highest point from where you can ‘touch’ and drink water from this waterfall. The best solution to do is to camp near this point. On the way to get there, you will see a little ‘mirador’ which means a view point and you can camp there with an awesome view on Gocta. That’s what we did and what I recommend to all of you.
The second day we got up quite early in the morning and we took a different way to go down. From the place where we camped, there is only one way going down and you have to follow this way. It takes you about 1,5 hour to get to point where you have a crossroad. If you go to the right, you will go back to the village where all tourists start their treks, if you go left you will visit the lowest point of Gocta and you can admire the waterfall from here. We went to the left and it was really nice to see this waterfall from both points (lower and higher level). It will take you about 1 hour to get to the lower viewpoint and then you go back to the village (about 3/4 hours) going up and down.
This trek will take you only 2 days but it’s not an easy trek do to. If you want to camp, prepare yourself with enough food and water. It will cost you cheaper to buy all food and water in Chachapoyas then in San Pablo.
View from the higher point:
View from the view point (our camping):
On the way to the higher point:
View from the lower view point: