The other day I decided to go back to see the Yumbilla Waterfall – the first time since 2007. Only one hour drive from Chachapoyas, back then it had only just been ‘discovered’ shortly after the Gocta ‘discovery’ and the villagers were proclaiming it was higher in total than Gocta Waterfall and therefore should get more tourists. At 895m it has an impressive total height, but it lacks the smack in the face that Gocta (771m) gives you when you try to stand up right at the bottom. In 2007 I walked from the village and arrived at the last of the falls. With an estimated 80m drop there was massive amounts of spray and in the afternoon sunlight caused rainbows to appear.
This time I started on a trail way above the village of Cuispes. The trail neither gains or loses much height as it winds it away along the bottom of a tall cliff. There are areas of good forest and a superb lookout point that affords you the view of the forest and cliffs above and farmland below. On route to the falls there are some minor but very pretty waterfalls to see, one of which you walk behind. Arriving at the first waterfall view point you find yourself looking down into an impressive amphitheater. Close by is a small stream to cross and above is high cliff over which Yumbilla tumbles.
Gocta is awesome and for good reason has many hikers visiting it everyday. Yumbilla is much quieter and though it doesn’t have the same wow factor as Gocta, it retains a certain amount of magic for being off the beaten track which Gocta is beginning to lose.
The village is organized with local guides and there is a modest 10soles entrance fee. There is also charming accommodation in the village at La Posada de Cuispes.