Catarata de Chinata

Cuispes / Pedro Ruiz / Chachapoyas, Amazonas Region, Peru

About Catarata de Chinata

Hiking Distance: 5km round trip (to mirador)
Suggested Time: 90-120 minutes

Date first visited: 2008-04-23
Date last visited: 2008-04-23

Waterfall Latitude: -5.94099
Waterfall Longitude: -77.93786

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Catarata de Chinata was an impressive 580m waterfall plunging in three visible tiers then cascading further into the jungle.

In theory, we should’ve been able to get a pretty clean direct view of the waterfall after a relatively short but bit steep 30- to 45-minute uphill hike from the village of Cuispes.

Pomacochas_055_04242008 - Distant but full view of Catarata de Chinata from the road near Pedro Ruiz
Distant but full view of Catarata de Chinata from the road near Pedro Ruiz

However, as you can tell from the subpar photos on this page, the weather didn’t cooperate with us when we did make it up to the mirador of the falls.

Instead, we either had to settle for cloud-obscured partial views up close or very distant views with the help of a telephoto lens from the road between Pedro Ruiz and Pomacochas (see above).

Like the hike for Catarata de Yumbilla, we had to follow a guide to get up to the mirador.

However, we happened to be hiking during an afternoon thundershower so the trail was very slippery and muddy (I even took a spill at one point that might have been the last straw that broke my ailing DSLR camera).

Cuispes_090_04232008 - Partial cloud-covered view of Catarata de Chinata from the mirador after hiking to it from Cuispes
Partial cloud-covered view of Catarata de Chinata from the mirador after hiking to it from Cuispes

We also noticed that this waterfall was visible behind a military base in the town of Pedro Ruiz.

However, we weren’t able to get a good view from the front side of the base (as we couldn’t go any further into the complex).


Catarata de Chinata resides in the Amazonas Department of Peru. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try to visit their website.

Pomacochas_019_04232008 - We based ourselves on the lakeside hamlet of Pomacochas during the part of the trip where we went to Cuispes
Cuispes_001_04232008 - Distant view of Catarata de Chinata when we first approached the Pueblo de Cuispes
Cuispes_010_04232008 - Partial view of Catarata de Chinata from the Pueblo de Cuispes as seen in the morning
Cuispes_074_04232008 - The upper part of Chinata, which was not blocked by clouds - yet!
Cuispes_082_04232008 - Looking downhill from the mirador for Catarata de Chinata as clouds were swirling around us while we waited patiently for them to part at the Catarata de Chinata
Cuispes_096_04232008 - The lower part of Chinata after a flash flood added fuel to its drop.  If only the clouds could have parted so we could see the waterfall in its entirety in this state
Cuispes_101_04232008 - Admitting defeat and heading back down
Pomacochas_033_04232008 - Looking back at a thicker Cascata de Chinata not long after we admitted defeat just in time for the clouds to part
Pomacochas_053_04242008 - Distant view of Cascata de Chinata from the road back to Pomacochas
Pomacochas_060_04242008 - Contextual view of Cascata de Chinata fronted by numerous wrinkles (gullies) in the land

This waterfall shares the same start as that of Catarata de Yumbilla.

See that page for more details and logistics.

For context, Pomacochas (our starting point of the drive) was 272km northwest of Tarapoto. Tarapoto was an hour flight from Lima, or 3 hours flight from Cusco.

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Tagged with: cuispes, pedro ruiz, chachapoyas, amazonas, peru, waterfall, pomacochas

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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