La Chorrera

This weekend, my Fulbright friend Iyla + I went to La Chorrera, the tallest waterfall in Colombia. La Chorrera is an astonishing 590 meters tall (1935 feet), or about 11x as tall as Niagara Falls.

Fortunately for us Bogotanos, the town that holds La Chorrera isn’t that far from the south of Bogota. However, this is Colombia, so it’s not as if it was a straight-shot trek. To get to La Chorrera, we went to the south of the city, found a “bus” terminal (more like a van terminal), and caught the next bus toward the town of Choachi. The buses at this terminal don’t really have a departure schedule, so Colombians with their never-ending patience, sit and wait in the bus until it fills up, and then the bus leaves. Fortunately for Iyla + I, we were the last two to get on the bus, so it left immediately after we arrived. But, we have no idea how long the people on the bus were waiting before we got there.

After about 50 minutes of looping higher and higher into the mountains, the bus dropped us off on the side of this dirt road with a sign that read “La Chorrera”. Iyla + I continued on this road, up and down hills, in the rain, and past wandering livestock for about 90 minutes. It’s a really remote town and lots of families sell food and drinks to hikers like ourselves, hiking toward our actual hike.

Eventually we got to the entrance of the park that led to the waterfall. From there, we met up with a couple other hikers and ventured on for the 3ish hour hike. A warm rain continued off an on for most of the day, making the trail muddier than usual. Several stray dogs kept us company along the path, racing ahead then waiting for us to catch up, it was very cute. By chance, we also saw a couple of Fulbrighters from a different town on the trail. At the end of the day, the six of us had a nice, hearty meal together, before Iyla, myself, and the two other Fulbrighters caught a bus off the side of the dirt road back to Bogota.

I can’t lie, I had a lot of difficulty with the altitude on this one. Bogota is already a high city, resting around 8,600ft above sea level (3,000ft higher than the US’ mile high city of Denver), and hiking through the mountains above Bogota was a challenge for me. But, it was a well worth-it challenge. I loved the hike, loved the waterfall, and am continuing to love Colombia.

The view after getting off our bus/van on the side of the road
The view on the hike to get to the actual hike
Making our way through town
Walking + walking
Iyla and a donkey grazing on the side of the road
Cows in the front; Bogota way, way in the back
The first time we were able to glimpse La Chorrera in the distance! Can you see it?
Finally, on the official hike to La Chorrera
Hiking to La Chorrera
Hiking to La Chorrera
La Chorrera
The view from the waterfall
Iyla + I made it!
(Part of) La Chorrera!

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