Las Siete Cascadas (The Seven Waterfalls)

Those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life will appreciate a day trip to Las Siete Cascadas; a series of small waterfalls with natural swimming pools just 8 kilometres outside of Sucre.

Photo Credit: Mark Bellingham

Photo Credit: Mark Bellingham

The Waterfalls

Whilst the waterfalls themselves aren’t anything to write home about, the gorge in which they’re located is stunning. On a sunny day, the picturesque area is filled with locals enjoying picnics with their family and friends as well as outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend the afternoon hiking, swimming, climbing and exploring the surrounding valleys.

Of the seven waterfalls, the first two are the easiest to access, and while not particularity impressive, have the warmest water. Unfortunately, the natural beauty of the area has been compromised by the amount of rubbish left behind by visitors, so the water isn’t the cleanest to swim in.

seven waterfalls sucre bolivia

Photo Credit: Will McElwain

Falls three and four require climbing up a steep hill, walking along the top of a cliff and back down along a rocky channel. Whilst difficult to reach, the effort is well worth it for the crystal-clear waters and secluded surroundings. Do note that while the setting up here is wonderful for relaxing and sun-baking, the water is probably a little cold for swimming in.

The last three waterfalls are much more difficult to reach, requiring a higher level of skill and concentration to clamber over the slippery rocks and steep precipices.

When to Go

The river is full from November to April, after which the swimming holes dry up.

Photo Credit: Sémaphorismes

Photo Credit: Sémaphorismes

How To Get There

By Taxi

Take a taxi from Sucre to the small village of Alegria. If you don’t want to hike along the riverbank, make sure to ask the driver to drop you off directly at the falls. A one way trip should cost around Bs. 20 ($3) per person.

Please note that many taxi drivers in Sucre don’t actually know where the waterfalls are, so make sure to ask before leaving and be prepared to point out directions if needed.

By Bus

The alternative is to take a route “Q” mini bus (Bs. 1.50) from from Calle Junin outside of Mercado Central, getting off at Alegria (the last stop on the route). Continue walking in the same direction as the bus was traveling, taking a right when you reach the end of the houses. Go all the way down the big hill (past a little red shop called “Tienda Siete Cascadas”) until you reach the creek bed and from there it’s a 45 minute hike upstream to the falls via the following routes:

  • walk down the road until you reach a small bridge crossing the river. If the water level is low you can walk upstream along the river bank until you reach the first waterfall. This options is a bit difficult as you are required to climb over rocks to avoid the water, but the views from the riverbank is worth the effort.’
  • cross the bridge and follow the road to a small path on your left which will take you to the falls.
Photo Credit: Szymon Kochański

Photo Credit: Szymon Kochański

Despite there being no signage, it’s difficult to get lost when making your way to the falls. If you do loose your way, keep heading in a general north-westerly direction from where the bus pulled into its final stop until you descend to the river bed. If still unsure, just ask a local to point you in the right direction.

To head back to Sucre, walk back up to Algeria where there are plenty of buses making the return journey.

What To Bring

We recommend you bring the following items:

  • food
  • water
  • towels
  • bathing suit
  • sensible shoes (no flip flops)
  • sunscreen

While there are no services at the waterfalls, there are a handful of kiosk at the bus drop-off point where you can purchase drinks and snacks.

Safety

In the past there have been reports of robberies taking place on the trek out to the falls. As of 2013 there haven’t been any reports of trouble, however, due to the fall’s secluded location, we recommend checking with locals before departing to ensure the area is safe and secure.

Have you been to Las Siete Cascadas? Share your experience in the comments below: 

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