The third largest waterfall in the world, measuring nearly 2,529 feet in height has been discovered in Peru near the city of Chachapoyas in the department of Amazonas. The waterfall has never been recorded on any known map of the area and was brought to the attention of the world by Stefan Ziemendorff, a German citizen working on a project with the Potable Amazon Water Company (Emusap). Locals in the department of Amazonas have named the waterfall “Gocta” which is derived from the local indigenous Quecha language.
The discovery was not a complete surprise to everyone in the Amazon region. Locals from small villages near the site of the waterfall kept its existence a secret for fear of ancient legends and myths that told of the presence of a siren and a serpent that ruthlessly guarded the area. The Gocta waterfall’s remote location also played a role in its relatively obscure existence. The only way to reach the site is a five hour trek on a dirt trail from the village of Cocachimba in the district of San Pablo.
Tourists can look forward to having their first glimpse of the Gocta waterfall in 2007 when the Regional Department of Tourism expects the area to be ready to cater to visitors. The project to share the Gocta waterfall with the world includes making improvements to accessible roads and developing accommodations and restaurants in nearby villages.
The goal is to offer tourists all the necessary elements to make their experience at the Gocta waterfall as pleasant as possible and to aid the growth of sustainable tourism in the area. In addition to the infrastructure improvements in the area, the project will also create programs to raise awareness and educate local villagers about the importance of conserving the natural environment.