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  1. General

  2. Hydrology

  3. Conservation status

  4. Things to do

  5. Vegetation

  6. Animals

  7. Getting there

  8. Best tours


Protected in a small reserve of protective forest at an elevation of 1821 masl, with an average temperature of about 12 ° C, this reserve has a slightly warmer climate than much higher Quito, and therefore is ideal for picnics. 


Its entrance being free, the Peguche waterfall, Otavalo, Ecuador, is 18 meters high and 6 meters wide. The small reserve is very close to the city of Otavalo and is loved by Ecuadorians coming from all parts of the country as well as by foreign tourists who visit the market in the Plaza de los Ponchos.

In the culture of the indigenous people of Otavalo, the waterfall is a sacred place that inspires tales, myths and legends, rites and festivals. In their culture, lakes, waterfalls and rivers are places loaded with powers in which they  perform ritual purification baths or make pacts with the spirit of the place to strengthen and energize themselves for the rituals of the Inti Raymi the Inca solstice festival, which is celebrated throughout the former empire on June 24 but with different cultural manifestations in different  regions.



Entrance of the reserve.

Visitors walking the last part towards the falls along the creek.

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This waterfall originates at the slopes of the Imbabura Volcano, in brooks that feed into Lake San Pablo, 4 km south of Otavalo at 2,670 masl. From Lake San Pablo, the Peguche River reaches the reserve. After the falls, the river changes its name to "Jatun Yacu" which means "big water".


10 PEGUCHE WATERFALL OTAVALO, ECUADOR FACTS: The falls at all their splendor.10 PEGUCHE WATERFALL OTAVALO, ECUADOR FACTS: Enjoying from the bridge.

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Conservation status

The sacred waterfall is protected within the 40 hectares of protected forest "Forest Protector Cascade de Peguche" and is known as one of the nicest eucalyptus forests in northern Ecuador. The reserve is managed by the "Community of Peguche".

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Things to do

At the entrance is a small visitor center with a parking lot. From there one can take an interpretation trails and several very good trails through the forest leading to the waterfall as well as into the hills. Above the main waterfall is a second waterfall of 6 meters high, which can easily be reached by one of the trails.



The trails are excellent and pass through the entire reserve. There are many groups of friends and families enjoying nature.

The eucalyptus forest is one of the most mature ones in the country and you can see trees up to almost one meter thick.


  • Cabins are available throughout the year.

  • It is great fun to ride your bycicle, especially if you start out at ​​Lake San Pablo. All bike paths / trails can be used by cyclists of any level of experience.

  • During the "summer" solstice (December 22) the inhabitants of the nearby communities take ritual bath in the water of the waterfall. This ceremony prepares them spiritually for the new annual cycle that begins both in their fields and In their own lives. This ritual initiates a series of celebrations that last for a few days and that are the reflection of the enormous respect that these people have for nature.

  • During the Inti Raymi in Peguche, indigenous musicians perform two types of traditional music: transverse bamboo flutes and dance music on string instruments. In general, most of the wind instruments are indigenous to the Andean region. A wide variety of flutes and simple trumpets are of pre-Columbian origin, while most string instruments, including violins, guitars and harps, orignate from Spain and others other European countries.

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A very mature eucalyptus forest with trees of trunks up to one meter thick grows along the creek.

Further away is shrub vegetation, with even some , Polylepis shrubs.

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There is a hole suite of Andean animals  such as: dove, owls, hummingbirds, swallows, sparrows, lizards, frogs, toads and small snakes.

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Getting to the Peguche Waterfall, Otavalo, Ecuador

The Peguche Waterfall, Otavalo, Ecuador is located in the community of Faccha Llacta, 1.5 km from the community of Peguche and 3.3 km from Otavalo. You walk to the 3 km from the Plaza de los ponchos to the reserve or take a taxi.

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Best Tours

Dear visitor, our website gives you info about our National Parks Tours, Cuyabeno Loop, as well as our Cuyabeno  and Cofan Lodges in the Amazon.   For those who want to combine the Exuberant Nature of Ecuador with the Famous culture of Peru, we even have a 7 days Highlights of Peru extension! Here you can find our Prices. Our website gives you the best information on the internet, because we are the only tour operator run by professional biologists. There are hundreds of high-resolution pictures of National Parks and monuments of Ecuador, with thumbnails that open by clicking on them. If you love our pictures or find our info useful you can help others finding our pages too you can share them from the mobile menu bar with a

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Alto Quito


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