Las Cuevas Waterfalls: Paradise in Samaipata, Bolivia

If you’re looking for a little slice of paradise in Bolivia, look no further than Las Cuevas waterfalls just outside of Samaipata. We saw many beautiful waterfalls during our South American travels, and the beauty and serenity of Las Cuevas definitely sticks out in our minds. These falls are easy to reach and make for a relaxing and awesome adventure in Bolivia’s jungles. If you find yourself in Samaipata, visiting Las Cuevas waterfalls is something you shouldn’t miss!

Despite the name, there are no caves at Las Cuevas waterfalls
Despite the name, there are no caves at Las Cuevas waterfalls

Getting to and from Las Cuevas Waterfalls

The easiest way to get to Las Cuevas waterfalls is by taxi from Samaipata. We recommend visiting on a week day because the place is a local favorite on the weekends and can get pretty packed. We caught a taxi from the main square in the early morning on a weekday. It cost us 40 Bolivianos and took about 30 minutes to reach the entrance of the park. Many people ask the taxi drivers to wait, in which case it generally costs 100 Bolivianos round trip with two hours to visit the falls.

If you don’t ask your driver to wait for you at the entrance, you can walk to the other side of the street after your visit and catch any passing bus heading towards Samaipata. There are also buses heading the other way to Santa Cruz. We took a bus back because we wanted more time at the falls, and we didn’t have to wait long for one to pass.

Stunning cliffs jut out of the jungle around Samaipata
Stunning cliffs jut out of the jungle around Las Cuevas

Hiking to the Waterfalls

After paying the 15 Bolivianos per person to enter, we began the walk to the first waterfall. The grounds were really beautiful, and there were some cabins and picnic areas for groups to hang out at. The first waterfall was only a short distance from the entrance, and the trail leading up to it was well maintained. It was fairly small in comparison to the other waterfalls, but was beautiful nonetheless.

A nice natural perch at the first waterfall
A nice natural perch at the first waterfall

The second waterfall was only a few minute walk from the first one. This one was much taller and there were some pretty spots to lay out a towel and relax. The ground beneath the waterfall is sandy, so it was fine to swim and walk around barefoot. There were many butterflies fluttering around as we took a dip. The water was pretty chilly!

The water level was low at this time of year, but there were still some spots to swim
The water level was low at this time of year, but there were still some spots to swim

From the second waterfall, the trail crosses the river below the falls. The trail branches after a while, one path leading along the river and one heading up the hill. Both ways offered some pretty scenery. It becomes a bit steeper and rockier as you head away from the second waterfall.

Looking down at the waterfalls from the trail above
Looking down at the waterfalls from the trail above

At the third waterfall, there is a larger ‘beach’ than at the others. While we were hanging out in the sun, a couple visitors scaled the slippery wall near the falls in an attempt to make it to the top. Other than that, we had the whole place to ourselves.

Matt braving the chilly water at the third waterfall
Matt at the third waterfall

After a day of relaxing and swimming at the Las Cuevas waterfalls, we made our way back to the entrance of the park.

Las Cuevas Waterfalls Overview

Cost: 15 Bolivianos entry per person plus transportation fare

Hike Distance: Just over a kilometer to the farthest waterfall.

What to Bring: Snacks/lunch, towel, camera, swimsuit, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, bug spray

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