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!
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 from Samaipata to Santa Cruz if you’d prefer that over a taxi. 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.
Las Cuevas Waterfalls Overview
Cost: 15 Bolivianos entry per person plus transportation fare. We’ve seen some info that states that this entrance fee may have increased to 20 Bolivianos as of 2021, though we have not been able to confirm this. If you’d like to camp or use a picnic site, there is an extra cost to reserve.
Hours: The fee station usually opens around 8:30, but check the Facebook page for updates.
Hike Distance: Just over 1 kilometer to the farthest waterfall.
What to Bring: Snacks/lunch, towel, camera, swimsuit, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, bug spray
Hiking to the Waterfalls
After paying the entrance fee, we began the walk to the first waterfall.
The grounds were really beautiful, and there were various 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 pretty nonetheless.
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!
From the second waterfall, the trail crosses the river below the falls. It branches after a while, one path leading along the river and one heading up the hill. Both ways offered some pretty scenery and looped to the same spot. It becomes a bit steeper and rockier as you head away from the second waterfall.
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.
After a day of relaxing and swimming at the Las Cuevas waterfalls, we made our way back to the entrance of the park.