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Experience El Chorro de Girón

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | January 19, 2015

In the mood for a dose of outdoor adventure? Located high up in the cloud forests of the Yunguilla Valley, in the town of Girón, is one of the most spectacular wonders in the region. Deep in the embrace of verdant mountains, the majestic cascades of El Chorro de Girón are a sight you definitely shouldn’t miss; the falls are also very accessible from the city of Cuenca, which is just a short drive away.

How to Get Here

Going to the waterfalls, you can take a 30-minute bus ride from Cuenca to the town of Girón. From there, you can either ride a taxi that will take you all the way to a little hosteria or inn located at the base of the trail or hike it from town if you have time. Upon arrival at the hosteria, you’ll be asked to pay around $1.00. A stub for a free local drink called canelazo, which you can claim when you return from the hike, will be given to you.

Going Up

El Chorro de Girón is actually a series of three cascades. The base is just a 10-minute hike away from the hosteria and the path is short but very scenic. Lush canopies of trees provide shade to the trail (which can get muddy and slippery, so be prepared), while an abundant growth of bromeliads provide rich bursts of color. You’ll hear El Chorro long before you see it and it is a truly awe-inspiring sight.

If you have the constitution for it, you can proceed to the second level, which is approximately an hour’s hike, and go further upward to the third level, which is around another hour’s climb. This last level takes you all the way to the top of the waterfalls. Note that these trails are not for beginners and that the condition of the paths will change depending on the weather. Appropriate gear and equipment is recommended, such as proper hiking shoes and clothes, especially if you plan to hike all the way to the top.

After the hike, you’ll find that the canelazo, which is made from sugar cane alcohol or rum, agua de canela, and sugar, to be a refreshing treat and the perfect way to cap off a rewarding hike.