Near the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, there is a small town called Girón, located in a beautiful, green and peaceful valley. It was founded by the Spanish captain Fernando Hernandez Girón during his stay in the area in the 16th century. A long time before the Spanish conquered Ecuador, in the time of Inca civilization, the whole area was called Pacaybamba which means tree valley.
Only 4 miles from Girón, in the hills above the town, there are incredibly beautiful, 100-meter high majestic waterfalls. These waterfalls look amazing as they cascade over the rocks.
To get to the first waterfall is very easy and the hike is incredibly pleasant. The wooden stairs are taking the curious visitors to the bridge which is the first view point of the magnificent falls.
There is a crystal clear natural pool formed at the bottom of the El Chorro. The 4 meters (13 feet) deep pool is not recommended for swimming because no matter how high the temperatures are outside, the water is always freezing.
To get to the second waterfall is a bit of a hiking adventure. On the way up there is no clear path, but you can still manage to work your way through the high mountains and rivers where the water is clean and drinkable. The second waterfalls look like water curtains creating an almost half-circle wall. It is an exciting experience to go behind the water curtain because you are feeling the power of all the water falling just in front of you.
It is always good to have a rain jacket if you want to go behind the waterfalls. It’s not very pleasant to walk back in wet clothes, especially if it’s not a sunny day.
During the rainy season, these mountains are very famous for their wild mushrooms that grow near the waterfalls. Local shamans use them in the rituals for spiritual cleaning.
A lot of people visit the waterfalls because of the famous local legend. They say that the waterfall is enchanted by spirits and when visitors arrive at the top, a mist is created, and it begins to rain and does not stop until visitors leave the place, it is said that the water of this cascade purifies the body and the spirit.
This misty phenomenon happens only at the third and the highest waterfall of all the three. There are only a few local people who know how to get there because the forest is so dense and the trees and the bushes form a thick canopy that is almost impossible to walk through.
Only the most experienced hikers from the area can climb to the top of the enchanted waterfall. And the ones that did are saying that the legend is real.
The mountain is keeping a secret that no one can reveal. If you are brave enough and you’re looking for adventure you should visit this place. For all hiking and waterfall lovers, Las Chorreras of Girón is a must see if you are traveling to Ecuador.
Some of us never believed the waterfall is enchanted, but there is only one way to prove it. Put on good hiking boots, and climb to the foggy top of the waterfall with an experienced local guide. Good luck!
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