Gocta is perhaps the most interesting of the waterfalls we know today. Most of the biggest waterfalls of the world have been in general awareness for centuries already. Gocta however was known only by local villagers until 2005. That year a German called Stefan Ziemendorff made an expedition to the falls. He persuaded the Peruvian government to map the falls and to measure their height.
The falls were measured to be an unbelievable 771m tall! They ranked the third tallest free-leaping waterfall in the world. The ranking has since been disputed though. Regardless of the ranking, these huge falls are a majestic sight.
Before 2005 the local residents had considered the falls dangerous and evil so they never went to the falls, even those were clearly visible to the village. Since they were made known to the rest of the world the villagers have changed their beliefs. They have now stopped cutting down the forests for living which they used to do and are now making a better living out of the tourism.
The route goes basically Chachapoyas --> Cocachimba --> Gocta.
From Chachapoyas it is a 1hr 5min journey by car to the village of Cocachimba. If you can’t find car or driver to do this directly, you can take a regular collective to Pedro Ruiz and another regular collectivos to Cocachimba.
From Cocachimba it takes 2-2.5 hours to hike (about 5.5 km each way) to the base of the tallest fall. The trail is very up & down, so do not be deceived by the walk only being 5.5 km, it feels like much more. You can also rent horses from Cocahimba for 25 soles both ways or 20 soles for just the return from the main fall. The horses don't go all the way, so there's still a 40 min walk each way at the end of the path.
If you don´t feel like arranging everything by yourself, there are also tours are available right from Chachapoyas for around 40 soles that include transport and a guide.
Tour package – around 40 soles.
On your own, collectives to Pedro Ruiz -10 Soles and from there to Cocachimba -8 Soles.
Horse, 25 soles both ways.
Embarking the trail at Gocta village – 5 soles.