Yumbilla, the valley of the waterfalls

I invite you to discover the small town of Cuispes, near the city of Pedro Ruiz, Amazonas in the north of Peru. From there, go in search of the Yumbilla waterfall.

The North of Peru should be an unmissable destination for nature lovers.

The village of Cuispes

Cuispes is a small village of 450 souls, located at 1800 m altitude. There is a nice village life where people are friendly and hospitable.

In terms of restaurants and small stores, there is not a great option. However, we found what is necessary.

But that’s not all: Cuispes is, above all, the starting point of beautiful excursions to reach different waterfalls, including the famous Yumbilla.

de Cuispes en direction de Yumbilla, que de beaux paysages

Discovering waterfalls

The domain entry

The entrance to the place and the beginning of the path that leads to the falls is 5 km from Cuispes. A door closed by a padlock prevents access to all. For our part, we take our guide with us in our car to go there.

Fauna and Flora

The road is in the middle of the dense forest. There are ferns or “helechos” from the prehistoric period, native trees and fruit trees.

On the ground, you will notice many shells: remains of wild granadillas. These are the remains of the monkeys, fans of these fruits, who come to eat at night.

There are also numerous animal tracks on the ground, such as those of the coati. This is a type of long-nosed brown badger with two-color tail that lives in these areas.

During your treking to Yumbilla, you can also watch birds, as long as you do not run. To see as much as possible, it is better to leave early in the morning. Then you can have the opportunity to see the famous Gallito de las rocas or hummingbirds.

Oiseau Pilco, Cuispes

The first lookout

It is located 20 minutes from the beginning of the route. From there, you will have the opportunity to admire the valley that extends to your feet, but also the cliff above you.

panorama Cuispes

The waterfall of Medio cerro

One hour after your departure, you will reach this first waterfall. It has been named “Medio cerro” because its waters come directly from the body of the mountain.

Not far away there is a round stone building that reminds you that you are in the territory of Chachapoya. In fact, they built their houses in this way (read our article about the fortress of Kuelap).

enfants au pied de la chute Cristal

The crystal waterfall

10 minutes from Medio cerro, you will find the “Cristal” waterfall, which is even bigger. Its waters are clear, hence its name. In the middle of a dense forest, the environment is excellent.


Another fifteen minutes and arrives at the viewpoint from where you can see two of the great Yumbilla waterfalls.

Continuing for another 15 minutes and crossing a wooden bridge, you will find yourself at the foot of the great waterfall, at 1,828 meters above sea level. After approximately 1h40, it will have more than 300 m of waterfall. Simply beautiful!

Falls and height

In 2007, the National Geographic Institute of Peru (IGN) measures: Yumbilla totals 895 m of fall. It is bigger than the famous Gocta and it would be one of the 5 biggest falls in the world. It is the publication of its size that helped to make it known.

It has 3 successive falls, the largest of which is 350 m.

During the rainy season, from December to April, the falls are even more impressive, but the way to get there is also harder to do

magnifique point de vue

What to do in Yumbilla?

  • Recently, you can practice adventure sports on the flanks of the waterfall. Read our article on canyoning in Cuispes for more information.
  • You can swim at the foot of the waterfall. A reward that can be earned on a sunny day.
  • In the same forest there are two impressive waterfalls: the waterfalls of Chinata (580 m) and the Pabellón (400 m)
  • You can picnic under the falls, with about 90m of water on you, a picnic that your host of Cuispes can make.

pique-nique au pied de Yumbilla

A little bit of adventure

The normal route makes you return along the same path. The round trip lasts approximately between 3:30 and 4:00 pm, with short stops included, between the parking lot of the entrance and the fall of Yumbilla.

But our guide offered us to return by a different path than we had come. For a fee, we travel two routes in one day.

In fact, we reach the second fall of Yumbilla, which is lower, descending about fifty meters with the rope and rappelling: an extraordinary adventure for Indiana Jones. Once again, our guide Agliberto did something else for us

The return is still under the trees and we return to the Cristal waterfall, but this time below

Martina en rappel, Cuispes

Practical information

How to get to Cuispes

From Chachapoyas, it takes 1h15 to travel the 63 km that separate it from the village of Cuispes.

To do Chachapoyas – Pedro Ruiz, you can take a bus or a taxi.

Then, to go from Pedro Ruiz to Cuispes, it is essentially the moto-taxis that offer to make the trip. Then take the dirt road 8 km (15 min) to finally reach Cuispes.


To get to Yumbilla, you must first register at the association’s house, on the corner of the central square of Cuispes. It will cost S / 10, or $ 3 per person.

You can reserve the services of a “guide” for S / 30. Put quotation marks in the word guide because here they are called “orientadores turisticos” – a guide is a person who has a guide diploma.

Where to sleep in Cuispes? La Posada

La Posada is a small 4 bedroom property located in the central square of the town. 2 of the 4 rooms are equipped with a fireplace, which is appreciable at night in the area: do not hesitate to ask your host to turn it on. In addition, a good fire can highlight the humidity of this house built in adobe, traditional material of the region.

The rate for 4 people is $ 70 per night. Yes, here we speak in dollars. But only for the room! In fact, for breakfast, the price is indicated in soles and is S / 6 per person, less than 2 dollars.

In addition, the manager is also the president of the village tourism association and is a tourist “guide”: just as he knows his region and is willing to share his knowledge.

You would like to know more about it ?


Sign up to receive your free guide together with

precious information about your travel destination!

Zero Spam, your email is safe.