Welcome to heaven !!!! This is the motto when you check into Gocta Natura Lodge. This secluded lodge past the village of Cocachimba has only five cabins in total but what gem this place is!
Tucked away from the beaten track high up at the end of a cul de sac in the middle of nowhere in Amazonas, Peru, lies this small luxurious lodge. The owner, Rocio has created here a small slice of heaven on earth. A cosy all wood and natural stone lodge with high ceilings and an open kitchen invites every guest to spend hours on their balconies and decks with magnificent views or inside snuggled up in cozy blankets in front of a large fireplace.
Three very competent Venezuelans are constantly cooking, preparing and serving the most delicious food and drinks. After the trek to Los Chilchos, this seems to be the polar opposite and it’s wonderful to have three days here as the end of our time in Peru is near.
After a sumptuous breakfast with home made bread, cheese, eggs and jam as well as fresh fruit salad and banana bread we said good bye to our new friend Ricky, as he had to sadly leave us this morning to go back to the US. The rest of us, except Sally who was a bit foot sore, set out for our first of two walks to explore the Gocta falls.
Gocta falls have only been discovered as a travel destination in 2002 when a German explorer named Stefan Ziemendorff heard of falls in the rain forest, that seem to be rather impressive but practically unknown except to locals. He then proceded to cartograph them formally and it turns out that those falls are one of the highest on earth. However, this was apparently based on outdated and incomplete information gleaned from the National Geographic Society, and Ziemendorff’s comments as to the waterfalls’ ranking have since been widely disputed. But who cares – the waterfall is impressive whatever the ranking says.
Gocta falls consist of three parts parts, a smaller but wider vertical fall on the top, a middle section with moderate incline and a second set of falls plunging some hundreds of meters down from a ledge. All in all the entire falls measure 771 meters in height.
Given that the two falls are so close together they are considered one waterfall. By any measure it is an impressive sight and you can only see them in their entirety from far away or via drone.
Today we started hiking to the bottom of the lower fall. A hike of approximately two hours one way, surprisingly up and down. From Gocta Natura Lodge it looked to be an easy stroll of three kilometers, but it turned out to be a five kilometer up and down hike, much more demanding than we thought.
Given that we are eating so well here, we all welcomed the challenge and work out! The weather was once more beautiful again and the sights of the falls when getting closer were spectacular.
Right at the base spray was everywhere. Only lying down or crouching could one take a picture of a person and the lower fall in one picture. They must have been 400 meters high alone. Chris tried to fly the drone, but for one he couldn’t get a lock on the GPS down in the Valley and some magnetic interferences prevented most flying.
Wet but happy we made our way back, another two hour hike until we arrived quite famished at the lodge.
Sally, who did not go on the trek had put her spare time to good use and cooked together with the resident cooks Daniel and Ariana a delicious and very filling late lunch meal for all of us.
Daniel and Ariana came from Venezuela and are now the heart and soul of the Gocta Natura Lodge, taking care of all our needs from the coffee in the early morning until the last glas of wine at night.
Fried yucca, filled tomato, potato salad, delicious pork and beef , too many delicacies to name.
We felt like kings and queens and no one wants to leave this place now. The sheer thought of another meal four hours later made everyone groan, but sure enough after a leisurely afternoon, some singing by Leslie, Chris and Harry, and evening chilling, everyone came back to the dinner table in time to taste fresh tomato soup and an amazing dessert of home made lime tartelet with a meringue top (more to come in the food blog section). It is heaven on earth and the sunset views and food to prove it!
Needless to say that we were all fat, happy and sleepy, so the evening was fairly short.