The trio or should I say the multitude of waterfalls were a great adventure near the top of Santa Fe. Several small waterfalls were the prelude to a big waterfall at the end of the trail. Alto de Piedra Waterfalls Hike is one of the easiest, most accessible adventures in Santa Fe.
HOW TO GET TO ALTO DE PIEDRA WATERFALLS HIKE
From Santa Fe town you have three options. Walk, Bus, Taxi (or private car). Normally, I am all about the walk. This is an adventure blog, not a luxury travel blog that pretends to be adventurous from time to time. However, this walk was not that fun!
The walk is on a road the entire way from Santa Fe town. It is 5km of pure incline on a road as cars speed past you. It didn’t feel like hiking and it was far from it. It is, of course, the cheapest option and wasn’t a horrible afternoon but the other options might provide a better option and one I would suggest. If you do walk this is the road to the left you will take.
I think you should catch the bus from Santa Fe town. Catch the bus headed to Guabal from the central bus stop and tell the driver to let you out at Alto de Piedra Waterfalls. The bus driver will know the one as he drives past the sign every single day and it is a pretty common hike.
If for some reason the bus is a no-go the taxi to the trailhead would surely cost less than $10 possibly even $5 and could be split amongst friends.
There is a very clear sign that lets you know you are in the right place, which while handy is not very common in Santa Fe or Panama so enjoy that luxury. The only other trail in Santa Fe, which had any such sign was Bermejo Waterfall Trail
Once you find the sign there is then a broken wooden gate. Here you will find two or three trails and then further down the road you will find another trail. At some point, they all seem to link up. An old man told me to go down the one that wasn’t near the gate, past the initial trails and begin there so I did. It worked okay for me. I just tried to go down every single trail I find that day and I believe I found all the waterfalls. However, if you showed me a photo of a huge waterfall I had missed I honestly wouldn’t be surprised. They seemed to just keep popping up all day.
ALTO DE PIEDRA WATERFALLS HIKE
I began down the first trail and was immediately into the mud. Not long after the jungle had engulfed me on all sides as I descended down to the first of the Alto de Piedra waterfalls. The trail is pretty easy and worn as this is a common hike for many tourists staying Santa Fe. However, it is still pretty wild and not for everyone.
The first waterfall was a beautiful 20-footer that quietly flowed into a small blue pool. Vines and ferns crowd the small amphitheater in what as a very peaceful spot. I hung out here for almost half an hour by myself taking photos and then I just sat on the rocks taking the tranquility in. That’s the beauty about Santa Fe, you don’t have to share it with many other tourists.
I continued on the trail for a little bit. At this stage, I didn’t know if this was the only waterfall or there were many. I was already satisfied but I usually explore all possible trails if I have the time. In no rush, I headed down a trail I found nearby. It led me to a tree bridge and a small waterfall with a pool deep enough to swim.
I continued on to another trail that I stumbled across and this waterfall was quite unique. It was several tiers in a slot canyon. The landscape here was quite bizarre with water flowing in all directions. I had never seen something quite like it and climbed down as far as I could to explore.
I now backtracked all the way to the front gate and decide that I would try the trail on the far left. It was the only trail I had not yet visited because I entered the far right trail and emerged in the middle trail. I had seemingly done a loop. But I hadn’t yet visited the far left trail so off I went. It turns out that this is actually the trail to the biggest waterfall and maybe the most popular as the trail had tires placed to help with the mud and was the most well defined and easy to follow.
At the bottom of this trail was a huge waterfall, the biggest of the day. I felt like the waterfalls in this region just never ended but that’s Panama for you. A shallow pool once again collected the water at the bottom of this pool. It wasn’t the best place for swimming in waterfall pools. However, there were lots of swimming spots along the route. Just none at the foot of a waterfall per say. Having a shower under the waterfall would definitely be possible.
I explored the trail further until I reached a fence and barb wire so I figured that was the end of Alto de Piedra Waterfalls Trail and called it a day. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t sure about the bus and just decided to walk the 5km back down the hill to Santa Fe town.
ADVENTURE BAG FROM ALTO DE PIEDRA WATERFALLS HIKE
This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!