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This waterfall is the baby of waterfalls, having recently been “discovered” in 2002 by a German engineer Stefan Ziemendorff and a group of Peruvian explorers. It is a gentle reminder that the world is still full of surprises we have yet to discover. The waterfall was located in Chachapoyas, Peru which is a five hour hike from the nearest village of Cocachimba.

After persuading the Peruvian government to map and measure the falls, Ziemendorff was stunned with his findings. The Gocta became the new third tallest waterfall in the world, measuring in at 2,532 feet tall. The Gocta is a tiered water fall, which means it hits a surface, like the cliffs, on its journey downwards, not falling straight down. Visitors to this stunning waterfall are inspired and in awe of its beauty, both from the ground and the air.

The water fall is fed by the Coahuayco River which spills over the cliff face creating a contrast to the rich jungle vegetation. Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate the mist from the falls and the dense clouds that weight down the mountainside. After falling nearly 1,000 feet, the falls are interrupted by a slim level plain on the cliff face, the water winds around the vegetation and falls over the side of the cliff from a small exit, growing wider until it falls into the water below.

The Peruvian government is working hard to turn this magnificent fountain into a tourist destination, designed to boost the local economy. The plan is to make a good road, create better accommodations, build restaurants and create programs that will educate visitors on conserving the environment.  They plan to create a nature preserve around the area of the falls.

The locals of Chachapoya’s knew about the waterfall for nearly two centuries, but out of fear, kept it to themselves. They believe that a beautiful blonde mermaid lives in the water of the falls, and if they told anyone of the falls existence she would curse them. However, the Peruvian government is not letting this stop their plan to better the economy, so tourist will simply have to take the risk of scorning the fetching mermaid!

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