The Waterfall of the Chagres River

the waterfall of the Chagres River

The Chagres River is very close to the capital, it belongs to the Chagres National Park, it flows into Lake Alajuela and has a lot to know, my first visit was with Machetrek, to see La Cascada (the waterfall), it does not have a specific name, it is only known as La Cascada, I contacted Jasnay ​​and joined the tour.

According to a later visit to this post, the Emberá indigenous people tell me that they call it Cascada Quebrada Bonita and sometimes Cascada Quebrada Fea, so apparently, it has 3 names jijiji.

We met at the Los Andes Shopping Center, the people were very punctual, and I also speak of travelers / tourists.

Usually there are some who arrive late, but it was not like that, which was better for the group, because we could enjoy better and longer in each place.

On the way to Corotú Port
On the way to Corotú Port.

On the way

It was a 45-minute trip to the Corotú Port, which is almost at the mouth of the Chagres River.

The road was part paved and part gravel, with some hills, we went in a small bus and arrived well, I also saw many cars sedan.

If you drive your own car, there is where to leave it, they tell me that they do not charge for parking, the place belongs to the Tourism Authority and there are policemen.

Corotú Port
Corotú Port.

Then we took a piragua (a boat made with a single tree trunk), in our case, Jasnay ​​had already hired it in advance.

Our boatman and our guide were man of the river community, you can also see several Emberá, since there are various indigenous communities in this area.

On the Piragua.
On the Piragua.

It was a very relaxing trip through the waters of the river, like an anti-stress therapy.

The trip lasted 30 minutes and yes, although those boats are scary at first instance, they go slowly, they know how to handle them and it is a river, so one is enjoying the whole landscape calmly.

Chagres River
Chagres River.

After this spectacular trip, which reminded me of Maje of Bayano, we arrived, Jasnay ​​told us that it depends on how the river is.

They can go a little more or hike more, in our case, we only had to hike 5 minutes to get to the waterfall.

It is in a small river that flows into the Chagres River, so it does not have as much flow.

It was a quite gentle hike, although part by stone, part by sand and we had to climb a few rocks, but it was very easy, if you can walk, you can go.

Embera Indigenous
Embera Indigenous.

On the way, there was a man with music, I asked him to please turn it off, since in a place like this you not only see it and swim.

But, also listen to the sounds of water and animals, so he turned it off.

Starting the hike to the Waterfall
Starting the hike to the Waterfall.

At the Waterfall of the River Chagres

We arrived at the waterfall, you could hear many birds singing, although I could not see them, we took some photos and got into the water.

When we arrived there were not many people, so it was almost ours, some sat under the waterfall, I approached quite a lot, I am not heavy so I could go with the flow, hehe, it was like a spa in the middle of nature.

Later more groups arrived, one of foreign tourists who were going with an Emberá community, and others who seemed to be locals, who went to spend the day with their families, arrived with several children and even a baby.

Unfortunately they put music on and the guy I had talked to put it back on.

Arriving to The Waterfall of Chagres River
Near to arrive.

We stayed several hours in the water, if it felt a little cold, but not so much.

Although the day had its sunny moments and other cloudy ones, the sun never entered, probably around 1:00 p.m. it entered the Waterfall of the River Chagres, we had walls of trees that sheltered us from the sun.

The place was relly clean, I hope it stays that way.

I saw several people who climbed, mostly children, climbed on one side, to the top of the waterfall, if you are going to climb just be careful not to slip.

We enjoyed the place until we couldn’t, and it was time to go to our next destination, the Little Beach of the Chagres River.

The Waterfall of the Chagres River
The Waterfall.


  • Use sunscreen,
  • Sunglasses,
  • Do not jump into the river, it is not deep and you cannot see the rocks,
  • If you wear a cap, be careful that they fall off on the travel, although they do not go fast, if there is a bit of a breeze,
  • Wear Sneakers or hiking shoes,
  • For the boat, I recommend you go with long sleeves and long pants, personally I travel like this to protect my skin, not jeans, of course, in addition to using sunscreen,
  • Complete change clothes,
  • Waterproof bag for your things (in case it rains),
  • Snacks, water, there is no sale of anything there,
  • Do not leave garbage,
  • Do not make noise or play music,
  • If you travel alone or with few people or do not have a car, I recommend you go on a tour, you will enjoy the place, you will meet people and in the end, it will be cheaper,
  • On Sundays, there is less traffic. It took us the same time to return, however, from Monday to Saturday they can increase about 40 minutes by car.
the waterfall


  • There is no hour, but I suggest arriving at 8 in the morning to take advantage of the whole day.


  • $ 25.00 tour with boat, guide and transportation from the capital.

You can go on your own, I do not have the cost of only the boat, but it could be about $ 8 per person, depending on the number of people who go in it, so I saw up to 12 passengers in the piragua (they go from 2 to 2).

My guide

Jasnay ​​from Machetrek: +507 6020.7332,, you can also find them on Facebook and Instagram as Machetrek.

Machetrek and Mapana Travel are the same, I’m telling you because they may not always be appears as Machetrek.

Tours in Spanish and English.

Enter to Chagres National Park

At the moment they are not requesting a reservation to enter the Chagres National Park, in any case, if you go on your own, you can write to make sure to

More information about hours, what you need to book and more here.

How to get to Chagres River?

Take the Transístmica highway and enter through La Cabima, continue on the road until you see Logística de Carga Cemex, take left and continue.

After the Visitor Center of Chagres National Park, take right and you will arrive at Corotú Port. Then take a boat.

It´s better to use Google Maps, as they can make more streets and one can take the wrong one.

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