Northwest of Chachapoyas, near the villages of Cocachimba and San Pablo, is the Catarata de Gocta, the world's 16th highest waterfall. Gocta's two-step cascade plunges 2,529 ft (771 m) through the jungle to a pool guarded by a blond mermaid. Legends say she is the mother of the riverâ€™s fish and she will bewitch all those who dare to bathe in her waters, to protect the treasure that lies in their depths. The name Gocta is thought to come from the cry of the endemic yellow-tailed woolly monkey.
Take a Chachapoyas-Pedro Ruiz colectivo taxi to Cocachimba ($3). From there, it is a 16-kilometer (9.75 mi; 2 hr) walk to the falls.
Relative price: Budget
Travel Skills: beginner/easy.
Peruvian nuevo sol
Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...