Catarata de Yumbilla

Cuispes / Pedro Ruiz / Chachapoyas, Amazonas Region, Peru

About Catarata de Yumbilla

Hiking Distance: 12km round trip (to base)
Suggested Time: 3-5 hours

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

Waterfall Latitude: -5.91845
Waterfall Longitude: -77.93019

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Catarata de Yumbilla was a thin 890m waterfall plunging in several tiers. Although it was said to be taller than Catarata Gocta, we were only able to see about 600m of its overall drop. Its volume was also much less in comparison so that made us doubt that it would last year-round.

In order access this waterfall, we needed to hire a local guide to not only support the economy here, but also to avoid getting lost or trespassing as the paths were unmarked. The guided hike was along a very muddy uphill trail for about 1.5-hours from the small town of Cuispes. The trail ultimately led us to a mirador (viewpoint) of the waterfall (see photo above).

From the town, we had to hike between quite a few residences and even one aggressive dog that nearly bit our guide. We would then go through what looked like someone’s farm before we finally joined up with the trail leading us to Yumbilla.

Along the trail, our guide showed us a rock with some fossilized sea shells on them (similar to what we’d eventually find on the Gocta Trail). Other than that, the rest of the hike provided us some panoramas of rolling hills as we looked north, but there really wasn’t much else to say about this hike.

The muddy and humid conditions were a bit difficult for us because apparently the area received some pretty heavy rains prior to our visit. Thus, the ground was saturated with water so the trail was a bit slow going. That played a big role in our decision to not go the extra hour (each way) to the base of the falls from the spot where we got the view you see at the top of this page. Had we done it, the entire round-trip time commitment would have been on the order of about 5 hours.

Cuispes_012_04232008 - The village center in Cuispes
Cuispes_016_04232008 - Walking out of the village towards the trail
Cuispes_017_04232008 - Julie trying to slog through the muddy trail
Cuispes_018_04232008 - Following our guide as the trail conditions started to improve the further we went
Cuispes_019_04232008 - It was a very muddy hike when we did it
Cuispes_008_jx_04232008 - We found this fossil along the trail
Cuispes_023_04232008 - Continuing to slog along slowly
Cuispes_025_04232008 - Panoramas of rolling hills and mountains as seen from the trail
Cuispes_032_04232008 - The trail started to descend as we got closer to the mirador
Cuispes_039_04232008 - Approaching the mirador for Yumbilla
Cuispes_069_04232008 - Heading back to Cuispes


It took us about 2 hours to drive from Pomacochas to Cuispes via Pedro Ruiz. However, some of that time was spent in the town of Pedro Ruiz to stock up on lunch and also to wait for a local guide in Cuispes. So in actuality, we probably only spent about 60-90 minutes on the road to get here.

Since we were guided, I can’t provide exact directions. Our hike began from the village center in Cuispes.

For context, Pomacochas was 272km northwest of Tarapoto. Tarapoto was an hour flight from Lima, or 3 hours flight from Cusco.

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

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