Chorrera waterfall (Cascada de Chorrera) is located off the road leading to the town of Choachi, only about 30 kms (18 miles) from the center of Bogota.
Given that it's so close to Bogota, we can't figure out why more people don't do this hike. I had read reports of some people doing it as part of a group tour (and costing up to $100 USD including transport and lunch)...but of course we're not the type to do it that way.
So after breakfast we walked about 2 kms (1.3 miles) to the small bus terminal. I didn't have great directions and it took us a while to find it including asking two police officers who didn't have a clue even when they were standing only a half a block away from it. They must have been new to the area!
The small buses leave for Choachi as soon as they are full, and at that hour in the morning it doesn't take long. We paid 9,000 pesos ($4.05 CAD) each for the full ride to Choachi, but that was a mistake because we could have said we were getting off at the waterfall road and paid 7,000 pesos ($3.15 CAD).
The bus turned down this busy street!
On this street, it was obviously the vehicle repair section of town. Mechanics were working right on the side of the road fixing buses and trucks. Some of them had some serious repairs being done. I saw one with the transmission out being worked on! Unreal.
A truck load of balloons.
Can you fit any more on the roof of your vehicle??
It was only 30 kms (18 miles), but it's on a twisty windy mountain road leading over the range behind the city of Bogota. Some great views, taking you up over 10,000 ft in altitude. So it's not much distance, but it takes about 45 minutes to get to the turn off where you get off the bus. Just ask the driver to let you off at Cascada de Chorrera.
And then you have to walk about 4.5 kms to get to the next turn off. It took us almost exactly an hour. Vehicles can drive this distance, so you're just walking on a local road but it's a nice walk with gorgeous scenery.
Ruth, starting down the road.
We're at around 2,700 meters (8,800 ft) altitude here. So it doesn't take much of an uphill climb to start you huffing and puffing.
They call this a cloud forest.
Enjoying the scenery!
Saying hello to the cows.
An uphill stretch. One foot at a time!
Following the signs, you eventually come to the La Chorrera Parque Aventura (Adventure Park), where you have to pay 8,000 pesos ($3.60 CAD) for admission and a guided tour to the falls. We had to wait about 15 minutes for some more people to show up, and so including us there were 8 people plus our guide.
Guided hiking is a big thing here in Colombia. It's a bit frustrating for us, since we like to go at our own pace and would prefer not to be with a group. Also, this guy stopped and talked forever about some things and we had a very hard time understanding his Spanish. So it was a bit slow going.
Starting off. It was now 12:45pm.
We had a few rain showers go through...not enough to warrant getting out our emergency rain ponchos...and things dried up quickly when the sun poked through. The path was fairly wet and muddy in sections though...watch your footing!
What are you looking at??
After about half an hour, our first stop was a smaller waterfall called El Chiflon. This is actually a really pretty waterfall, and a section of the trail goes behind the waterfall itself. It's pretty neat!
Kevin, going behind the waterfall.
Ruth behind the waterfall.
Kevin, at the base of El Chiflon.
Kevin, crossing the bridge.
Us, at El Chiflon.
From there, it was another hour and twenty minutes of beautiful hiking to get to the big one...Cascada de Chorrera. We could have done it quicker...and I wanted to because time was starting to become an issue. I knew that if we had to walk back to the main highway it would be at least 5:00pm before we got there and it starts to get dark shortly after that...and we still had to get back to the city.
Love the scenery.
The falls from a distance.
Watch your head in this section!
And then we arrived. It's hard to grasp how high this waterfall is. Never seen anything like it. From the top, which you can't even see, the water drops 590 meters (2,000 ft)...over half a kilometer.
Here's a video I took to give you an idea...
Ruth, at the base of the falls.
The rest of our group seemed to want to linger, but I wanted to get going. So we simply started off on the way back and never saw them again. As I said, time was getting short and we still had a couple of hours to do to get back to the highway. Even then, it was 5:00pm when we did arrive at the highway and we had to stand and wait for a bus to pick us up. One passed us by that was full, but the next one stopped with a couple of empty seats.
The sun came out for this nice shot.
Other than some snacks, we had never had a real lunch so by the time we got back to Bogota we were starved. We had seen a sign in front of one restaurant that said they had salads, and that would be a nice change from all the meat dishes we've been having here. Sure enough, we ended up with a nice green meal!
Minestrone soup, thick with vegetables!
And a nice big salad each!
Total including a beer, fruit juice, and tip...35,000 pesos ($15.75 CAD) for the two of us. Nice meal.
I had the GPS tracking on the iPhone and our one way trip from the highway to the falls was 9.5 kms, so 19 kms return. Plus, we did 2 kms each way just to get from the hostel to the bus stop. Lots of exercise yesterday!
Today, we're getting out of the big city. We're not impressed with most areas of Bogota...it's a big, busy, dirty city...and we've had enough.
The "Little Giant" multi use ladder is on sale...today only!
And in Canada,