Our visit to the Catarata Gocta was breathtaking.
It is a must do if you can swing it on your visit to Peru. We celebrated out first anniversary taking a trip there, and it was perfect.
Here are my tips for visiting and getting to the Gocta Falls:
- The closest town to the waterfalls is called Cocachimba. It’s a tiny town (so tiny, you can’t even see it on the map above) up in the mountains, and no bus will take you up to it.
You need to take a bus , and then another car to the town of Cocachimba. If you are taking the bus, I highly highly suggest to take it into Chachapoyas (see the map above for reference). We made the mistake of taking it into a small town, “Pedro Ruiz”. Yes, it is closer to the town of Cocachimba, but there is very little there as far as transport. So my husband and I were stuck taking a mototaxi (a carriage hitched to a motorcycle), for 40 minutes up a winding round into the mountains. Not fun. And COLD. A much favorable option would be to take the bus to Chachapoyas, and from there there are a variety of normal transport (like a car, duh!) to use to get up to Cocachimba.
- Another recommendation is your lodging. There are several B&B type places in the town of Cocachimba, but the absolute best choice is the Gocta Andes Lodge.It is the most expensive choice, ranging from USD $128 to USD $91, which is quite pricey for Peru. But it’s worth it for one key reason. THE VIEW!!!!It is the most breathtaking view to wake up to. The quality of the hotel is excellent. The showers, bed, cleanliness, and comfort were exceptional. Also, a delicious breakfast is included every morning.
- Bring a clothes for a wide range of temperatures. Located high in the Andes, but overlooking the Amazon forest, the daily temperature ranges. In the mornings there is a chill in the air that lasts till about 10/11 am. Around lunch the sun comes out and at the hotel it was common to see guests lazing in swimsuits by the pool. In the night the temperature dips down again.
- Lots of sunscreen!! Being high up in the mountains, the air is fresher, but the sun’s rays are much higher. My husband and I both got sunburned.
- Be prepared to be disconnected. Up near the falls it is nestled between mountains. While this makes for a breathtaking view, it is not the friend of cell phone signal. For me, that was perfectly fine – quality time with my dear husband, and some silence from the pings of my phone.
- If you are a wine enthusiast like me, BYOB. Up in the town of Cocachimba, the stores are very sparse. Our hotel had a full bar, and wine list….but, it was so expensive! Unless you want to pay triple or quadruple the price for a glass of wine at the hotel, I suggest you bring your own stash. It would also help you to keep warm in the cold nights! I didn’t think to bring any wine and I truly regretted it.
- Take advantage of being in that area to visit other popular archeological and historical sites like the Kuelap Fortress. This archeological ruins are called the “Machu Picchu” of the north. It’s actually older than Machu Picchu and provide a glimpse into the mysterious past of the Incas. When we decided to take the excursion to go see the ruins, I was dubious as to if it would all be worth it. It. Was. Believe me. It was amazing.
Hopefully this post was helpful for you if you are planning on a trip to the Catarata Gocta. If you weren’t planning on going, you should! It was truly a memorable vacation for us, and we can’t wait for visitors to come so we have an excuse to go back!
What has been your best vacation in 2017? Feel free to comment, and share your tips from your trips below.