Gocta Falls - Jewel of the Peruvian Amazon

One of my favorite regions in Peru is the Departamento de Amazonas. Located in the north of Peru it is famous for its lush green mountains and many waterfalls, e.g. Yumbilla and Gocta Falls. It's a region called "ceja de selva" which means "eyebrow of the (rain) forest" because it lies between the amazon rain forest and the andes mountains. 

View of Gocta Falls
The climate is generally mild with warm days and cooler nights. However, during the dry months in July and August it can get very hot as well. There is always the chance of rain fall so a rain jacket should be your constant companion during your stay in the region! Remember, the region is mountainous and you'll find yourself quickly above 1500m which can make activities more strenuous to the unfit traveler!
Next to the ancient fortress Kuelap, Gocta Falls (or Gocta Cataracts) is the most visited destination of the region. You can reach the base of the falls by a 5k hike from the village of Cocachimba* which lies about 45 minutes by car from the regions capital Chachapoyas. You can either book a tour in Chachapoyas which includes transport to Cocachimba or take a collective bus from Chachapoyas to Pedro Ruiz and ask them to drop you in Cocahuayco and walk up (or catch a ride if you're lucky).
In Cocachimba you must register at the visitor's center and pay the 10 Soles entrance fee. They'll try to convince you to book a guide but you can also visit on your own if you like. There's also the option of hiring a horse and muleteer for the lazy. 
From Cocachimba the hike down to the base of Gocta Falls and back up takes about 3 hours. You'll enjoy the view of the falls from several lookouts. If you are lucky and it rains (I know!) you can see up to 13 waterfalls emerge in the valley. For once, bad weather is a plus!

On the way to Gocta Falls
If you hike the path on a week day and there aren't that many tourists, you might get lucky and see a flock of cock-of-the-rocks, Peru's national bird.

Once at the base of the falls you'll find yourself staring up the impressive second drop (551m) and get sprinkled with drops from the falls. Some people swim at the bottom of the falls but the water is very cold!

View up Gocta Falls
Butterfly near Gocta Falls

* Alternatively, you can hike to the base of Gocta Falls from San Pablo de Valera. For hikes to the first drop of the falls this is actually the better starting point!

For more information on the hike to Gocta Falls, Cocachimba and other things to do in the area, feel free to contact me on Facebook: Las CabaƱitas de Gocta


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