Gocta Falls is a two-level waterfall located in the upper Amazon basin in Peru. The waterfall, which can be seen from miles away in the heart of the Chachapoyas region, is accessible by a day hike or horse ride that culminates with a fresh shower from the waterfall’s spray.
Locals have known of the Gocta waterfall for centuries, but it was a secret to the outside world until 2005, when German Stefan Ziemendorff ventured there with a group of Peruvian explorers. Now, it is considered of of the tallest waterfalls in the world, at 2,530 feet high (771 meters).
The falls are fed from the Peruvian Andes, ensuring that water descends year-round and a visit in any season will be fruitful. The waterfall aficionado may note that the water level in the rainy season is of course higher, but even during the dry season Gocta Falls is well worth the trip thanks to its sheer size, as well as the natural rock amphitheater around the pool at the bottom, which provides a spectacular “stage” for the explosive waterfall mist.
Part of the excitement is making the trip to the base of the falls by foot or horseback; the path affords many photo opportunities of the falls from different angles. Local guides can offer a refreshing insight into the wonder of the falls.
To see and explore the Gocta Falls it's best to begin at the small little town of Cocachimba. Cocachimba is located 13.5 miles (22 km) from Pedro Ruiz and about 26 miles (42 km) from Chachapoyas, the colonial capital of the region. From here tours and hikes leave for Gocta Falls through simple jungle trails that were once cut out with machetes and are now well maintained for hiking.
While feeling the mist of the falls and hearing the water’s roar isn’t to be missed, it’s also a special experience to relax in the several hotels and restaurants that are privileged with views of the falls.