Travelstory #6 : Gocta Waterfall

Travelstory #6: Gocta Waterfall

After our stay in the Estancia and Leymebamba, we are back in Chachapoyas.

Today we will see the famous Gocta Waterfalls. This is one of the most important sites and I was waiting to discover Gocta with impatience, after seeing many photos of this emblematic area in northern Peru. I wanted to admire it by myself.

The blog section of Phima Voyages is a mine of information on places to visit in Northern Peru. Do not miss the publication of our articles and to have our Free Guide of the 10 places to visit in the North of Peru. Click here.

As for Kuelap, we depart with Turismo Explorer, one of the tourist agencies of Chachapoyas. The time to meet the minibus is set at 8:30, and this time no one is late. We start on time. Here we go again to take a drive along the famous winding road descending from Chachapoyas, with a brief half-hour stop for a Peruvian young girl, which really does not feel right.  Yes, even Peruvians have problems with their mountains! Luckily, for us we do not have any travel problems. This is rather good news, as we will travel thousands of kilometres by bus. If you have any problems in the bus, see your doctor before leaving and get some pills if you are planning a trip to Peru. On the other hand, in the worst case, you will always have the free distribution of a vomit bag…

After an hour’s drive, we arrive in Cocachimba, a small village that is the starting point to trekking towards Gocta. As I explained in the article of Kuelap, we stop first to order the food we will eat on the way back.

Gocta Waterfall, Travel to Northern Peru

For this tour, you also have the option between making the trip walking or on horseback. Knowing that the road is about 10 km round trip (or 5 hours of walking in total) and the road alternates between very large ascents and descents, and also because we are a bit tired and do not want to delay the group, we opt for the horse. I have never ridden a horse; why not try it in Peru? You rent the horse together with the person who directs the horse (because you cannot handle it yourself, taking into account the difficulty of the way). The cost is 40 soles round trip (13 dollars) per person.

We leave with our respective horses, and I am quite proud of mine because it always is in front, at least 15 minutes ahead of all the other horses. But at the same time there is no time to stop and take pictures. The road passes through a forest and numerous watercourses that allows perceiving in the distance the waterfall. We travel 3 kilometres in one hour. Then we reach the point from where the horses cannot continue, from there the road becomes too narrow and too humid for them.

Amazing Gocta Waterfall, travel to northern PEru

At the end, and therefore the last two kilometres, we will be walking, which will take us a little over an hour, counting the stops to take photos, because here there are many points of view to admire the falls. Upon arriving at the foot of the Gocta waterfall, again the admiration dominates. It is among the highest waterfalls in the world (771 meters) and the speed is impressive.

Time to wait for the brave ones who made it all the way by foot. In total we stayed at least one hour on the site. Then we started the trip back 2 km on foot + 3 km on horseback.

We are back in the village in the middle of the afternoon. This is when we abandon our travel mates who take the minibus to Chachapoyas.

Gocta Lodge

Tonight we have the privilege to sleep at the Gocta Lodge, the only hotel with breathtaking views of the waterfall with an infinity overflowing pool.

In the garden, you will see many hummingbirds and a group of lamas.

All rooms have a large window, a private terrace and are facing the waterfall for everyone to enjoy. Everything is very modern, but with some typical Peruvian decorative elements, we also find the famous sculptures of Miguel Huaman from Leymebamba.

That day, and this may seem surprising, given that the place is quite isolated and there is nothing to see except the falls, but the hotel was full. But the Gocta Lodge is a luxury hotel with a very good reputation. However, if you are spending the night here, you will pay at least 265 soles (90 euros) making it a relatively expensive hotel for the area.

Looking around, we realize that there is a second hidden fall of which no one speaks!

For dinner, there are no possible options, the other restaurants in Cochachimba are open only for lunch (for tourists who come to see the falls). So you will have dinner at the Gocta Lodge’s restaurant. However, you will not regret it, because the food is very good.

We are pleased with the pork and sauce served with yucca + a cheese pie Oreo with ice and for me, some fettuccini with veal and an excellent sauce + a flambéed crêpe with pisco. The food cost us 86 soles (28 dollars) for 2. When you know that you can eat a full meal (starter, main dish and drink) for 7 soles, this is a bit pricey, but very reasonable for a luxury hotel. And it was delicious.

The breakfast the next morning confirms the excellent quality of the service, with a buffet compound with juice, yogurt, omelettes, chicken, cheese, cereal, bread, jam and much more.

What a pity, we are leaving today, we were getting used to this!

Useful Information  

Gocta Waterfall

  • 1 hour from Chachapoyas, agency Turismo Explorer
  • Start the trek from Cocachimba. 10 Km round trip.
  • Possibility to rent horses for 40 soles in Cocachimba

Gocta Lodge

  • Reservation: site internet
  • Spectacular views of the Gocta waterfall
  • Room from 260 soles (about 90 euros). Breakfast (buffet) included
  • Bring your bathing suit!


This article is an English translation of the article of  Voyage Peru: Recit de voyage: Les Chutes de Gocta

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