The Latin American Diaries |

Archive: Feb 2014

Cocachimba and the Gocta waterfalls


by Dr Malayna Raftopoulos, ILAS Stipendiary Fellow 2013-14

On 1 March 2006 the municipality of Chachapoyas held a press conference to publically announce one the world’s highest waterfalls, Gocta, measured at 771 metres. The ‘discovery’ of the waterfall, by the German engineer Stefan Ziemendorff, put a previously isolated and forgotten village in the Utcubamba valley on the map. One and half hours (21km) from the city of Chachapoyas, the small rural annex of Cocachimba is the main point of entry to the waterfall. What makes this area so spectacular is its extraordinary beauty; the endless steep mountain ranges and deep canyons cast an enchanting spell on the eye. Also known as La Chorrera, which comes from the sound made by the yellow tailed woolly monkey, the waterfall feeds the river that forms the boundary between the two villages of Cocachimba and San Pablo. Its close proximity to the Amazon jungle and Andean mountain ranges makes this area rich in biodiversity. Birds and animals native to Peru, such as the Speckle Chested bird, are only found in the cloud forests between the regions of Amazonas and San Martín, the Emerald Toucanet and the Andean Cock of the Rock, Peru’s national bird, inhabit the forests adjoining the village. Continue reading →