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Gocta

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Gocta National Reserve is proposed near Cocachimba & San Pablo, in the Peruvian Amazon.

Understand[edit]

La catarata Gocta, known locally as La Chorrera, is the world's 3rd highest waterfall (771m), Although there is some debate regarding the measuremant method.

History[edit]

Discovered in Marche 2006 in Peruvian forest by German investigators lead by Stefan Ziemendorff who took topographic measurements, it is actually the third highest in the world, after Angel Falls (Venezuela 972m) & Tugela Falls (South Africa 948m).

Legends relating to the curse of a beautiful blonde siren helped by a giant serpent protect a gold vase; & the local Juan Mendoza who disappeared enchanted by the rocks behind the waterfall.

Landscape[edit]

In the same valley there are around 22 similar waterfalls.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The declaration as a national reserve could promote the conservation of flora & fauna & promote ecotourism, coupled with attractions like Kuelap.

Climate[edit]

Get in[edit]

From Chachapoyas it is a 1hr 5min journey by vehicle to the village of Cocachimba. There are no direct collectivos running regularly to Cocachimba, so if you are not a group of 4, there are 2 options: taking the collectivos up to Pedro Ruiz (10 Soles) and going down on the road in the small village called Cocahuayco and from there its a 2 hours mostly uphill walk to Cocachimba. Another option is to continue with the collective to Pedro Ruiz and from there runs regular collectivos to cocachimba (8 Soles).

From Cocachimba it takes 2-2.5 hours to hike (about 5.5 km each way) to the base of the tallest fall. A local guide will be assigned to you at the ticket office (mandatory, 20 Soles per group). The trail is very up & down, so do not be deceived by the walk only being 5.5 km, it feels like much more. The trail can be hot, humid and muddy. Take water & sun protection. Make sure to wear boots after rainfall. Also, take a bathing suit in case you want to swim in the pool at the base of the falls. There is another alternative route from the village of San Pablo to the base of the first fall, but it is rarely explored.

Tours are available from Chachapoyas for around S/. 40 that include transport and a guide.

You can rent horses from Cocahimba for S/. 25 both ways or S/. 20 for just the return from the main fall. The horses don't go all the way, so there's still a 40 min walk each way at the end of the path. The handlers guide the horses on foot so, so no riding experience is necessary. If you're on a tour you need to advise them well in advance that you want horses - before you leave or on the drive there is best.

Fees/Permits[edit]

Visitors needs to register & pay entrance at the office in cocachimba. a local guide is mandatory, but could be avoided if you insist. There are others services offered such as horse riding, camping gear rental, etc. but they have yet been tested. The entrance fees are:

  • Adults: 5 Soles.
  • Students: 2.5 Soles.

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Lodging[edit]

===Camping===There is a one hectar campground, "Camping Gocta", with modern bathrooms and hot showers, and good road access in San Pablo de Valera that can accommodate most any vehicle. Fees are S/.10.00 (about $3.50usd) per person per night. An additional charge may be applied for large vehicles or an electrical hook-up. It is located a few meters from the trailhead to Gocta; and it is a relatively easy two hour hike from there over to the Gocta Waterfall.

    Hay un camping, Camping Gocta, en San Pablo de Valera con baños modernos, con duchas calientes y buen acceso por carretera que puede acomodar casi cualquier vehiculo.  La tarifa es S/.10.00 (3.50 dolares americanos) por persona por noche.  Hay un costo adicional para vehiculos grandes o una coneccion electrica.  Se encuentra justo en el comienzo del camino a Gocta, y es una caminata mas o menos facil de 2 horas desde ahi hasta la Catarata Gocta.

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