Out of all the gorgeous features of the jungle, none are more prominent than Tingo Maria’s never-ending selection of waterfalls. Thanks to the abundant rainfall, the entire lush jungle area around Tingo Maria is teeming with waterfalls. There are literally too many to visit in one trip, but a few manage to stand out. From staggering heights to crystal clear waters, these waterfalls are absolutely breathtaking. Swimming in their many pools is so invigorating that it feels like a baptism. There’s no better way to get a fresh start, so visiting these waterfalls is essential when staying in Tingo Maria.
Even though every waterfall is amazing to someone, not all of them are created equal. For many visitors time is limited, so don’t waste your time on lackluster tours. To guide our readers to the best attractions available, we compiled a list of the most amazing waterfalls around Tingo Maria. From the hikes to access them to the refreshing sensation of bathing in them, visiting these waterfalls is an experience. Discover which waterfalls can’t be missed by examining this list!
Spectacular Waterfalls In & Around Tingo Maria
Waterfall #1: Catarata Santa Carmen – Sitting 15 minutes outside Tingo Maria, this waterfall provides a seductive mixture of relaxation and adventure. After turning off the main highway to Huánuco, visitors take a dirt road until they reach a village nestled within el Distrito de Mariano Dámaso Beraun. The hike to the waterfalls begins once a small entry fee of five soles ($1.60) is paid. This journey lasts about 40 minutes and winds throughout the jungle. During the hike visitors are greeted by a symphony of exotic vegetation, animals and butterflies that flitter across the path.
While the hike to reach Santa Carmen is undeniably beautiful, the waterfall itself steals the show. Boasting an 18 meter fall, the Santa Carmen waterfall feeds a gigantic pool of water. This natural pool overflows in two points, which creates two more 3 meter waterfalls and another turquoise pool. Both areas provide breathtaking places to swim and take pictures. Adventurous travelers can use the rope that’s installed to climb up the first 3-meter waterfalls. The pool below is deep enough to jump off the ledge, so make sure to jump in feet first!
Waterfall #2: Catarata Gloriapata – While this waterfall is located in Tingo Maria National Park, it has a different entrance than what’s used to reach the Cueva de las Lechuzas. After passing the Cueva de las Pavas on the highway to Huánuco, visitors get dropped off at the 3 de Mayo paradero. From there they have to cross a bridge to get to the other side of the Huallaga river.
Once the entry fee to the national park is paid, the 1.8-kilometer hike begins. For a half hour the trail cuts through nothing but untamed jungle. Neon colored butterflies and exotic birds are abundant, which makes the journey absolutely fascinating. After crossing a final wooden bridge, visitors are greeted by the first pool that’s fed by two waterfalls flowing from the main pool. This area is perfect to swim in, since the smaller waterfalls create a playful currents and don’t generate too much wind.
For those who want a more intense area to swim in, the final pool is ideal. This area is rocked by Gloriapata’s 25-meter high cascade of water. While this creates a breathtaking sight, the wind generated by the water makes this pool noticeably colder than the first one. Visitors can pick and choose between the two pools, which is a fun way to pass the time.
While this waterfall is amazing, two other adventures await those who are ready for an intense hike. About an hour further down the trail lies the Sol Naciente waterfall. Allegedly it’s absolutely gorgeous, and another waterfall called the Salto del Angel lies another kilometer deeper into the jungle. If you plan on reaching all these waterfalls it’s recommended to leave early in the morning, since these trails are treacherous at nighttime!
Waterfall #3: Catarata Honolulo – Out of all the waterfalls we visited, this was our favorite. This gorgeous attraction lies 30 minutes outside Tingo Maria in the district of Mariano Dámaso Beraún. What makes this waterfall so unique is the sheer amount of pools and mini-waterfalls it creates. After crossing the bridge and completing a small hike, visitors reach the first pool and waterfalls. Even though these falls are picturesque, this is just the beginning of the adventure.
To truly understand the magnitude of this never-ending waterfall, hiking up to the top level is essential. This is done through a winding staircase that zig-zags up the mountain. It’s easy to get distracted on the way, since the trail is littered with 5 other pools that boast their own series of waterfalls. Control the urge to visit them and keep walking, since the best is yet to come. Once visitors finally reach the top, they get to soak in the main 45-meter waterfall. In many ways this is the grand finale, and its crystal clear pools make the arduous hike well worth it.
Even though some people repel down the final waterfall, exploring all the pools is enough to keep most visitors occupied. As you visit and swim in the pools, it’s impossible not to be overwhelmed by this waterfall’s majestic power. Its flow is so powerful that it literally sprouted 6 other gorgeous waterfalls and pools. The crystal clear water flows from the heart of the mountain, so don’t hesitate to swim in each one of the pools!
Waterfall #4: Velo de la Novia – The journey to reach this waterfall takes visitors on a trip through some of the most notorious areas around Tingo Maria. Unlike the other waterfalls on this list, this waterfall is a two-hour drive outside of Tingo Maria. It’s located in the Ucayali region right off the PE-5N. On top of being close to the site of the old clandestine air strip for the area’s first generation of drug barons, this route is littered with waterfalls. Upon reaching the province of Padre Abad, visitors get to soak in the numerous waterfalls cascading down the neighboring mountain. While these options are enticing, they can’t compete with the main attraction.
Standing 55-meter high and 33-meters wide, el Velo de la Novia is one of the largest waterfalls surrounding Tingo Maria. This spectacular feat of nature flows into a massive pool that’s filled with bright turquoise water. Bathing in this ice cold water is so refreshing that it borders on a religious experience. There’s also a tunnel that can be explored right across the bridge that’s accompanied by multiple smaller waterfalls. Thanks to the never ending amount of attractions, this area is so surreal it feels like a scene from Avatar. El Velo de la Novia can’t be ignored by any jungle enthusiast, since it incorporates everything enchanting about the selva!
Waterfall #5: La Ducha del Diablo – This ominous waterfall is located just a minute up the highway from the Velo de la Novia. While its 105-meter-tall rock formation is amazing, this waterfall has demonic features. Upon further scrutiny, the rocks below the cascading water form the face of a demon. This attraction was first documented by Padre Abad in 1757. After spotting the hidden face, Abad gave this mysterious waterfall its name. Ever since its discovery, this bizarre feat of nature has been the source of countless myths and legends.
According to locals, this waterfall was created by the downfall of a local witchdoctor named Lucifer. Intent on becoming more powerful, Lucifer made a deal with the demon of the jungle called el Chuyachaqui. This transaction involved giving up his soul for the opportunity to take over the world. Unfortunately, el Chuyachaqui tricked the witchdoctor and didn’t complete the promise. This led to Lucifer enlisting the help of Spanish conquistadors to murder el Chuyachaqui. Their plan to slay the demon backfired, and el Chuyachaqui killed the Spaniards and turned Lucifer into the rocks that form the Ducha del Diablo.
Even though this story is hard to believe, the beauty of this waterfall isn’t. Despite being immersed in superstition; this is one of the tallest waterfalls in this area of the jungle. There’s no need to be paranoid, but keep an eye out for el Chuyachaqui when visiting!
Waterfall #6: Velo de las Ninfas – This gorgeous series of waterfalls are nestled 15 km outside Tingo Maria in Tambillo Chico. Visitors have to hike 2km from the entrance off the main highway to reach the principal waterfall. Despite sounding like a moderately short hike, this path was the most treacherous trail we encountered in our entire trip. The rains fill the trail with mud, which combined with the steep fluctuations makes traversing it surprisingly challenging. Even though it’s taxing, the arduous hike is definitely worth it.
Visitors who successfully battle the elements are rewarded by a 25-meter-high waterfall that fills a beautiful pool. This waterfall has multiple levels and a cavernous shaft that makes it perfect to repel down. Another impressive waterfall sits in the middle of the trail, which is the perfect point to rest before continuing the journey. This entire hike is filled with exotic creatures and insects, so soak in the sights while stomping through the mud!