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Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls… I cant’t describe how much I love them. Tall and narrow, small and hidden, wide and volumnious. No matter the type, I always go out of my way to visit waterfalls when I’m travelling. Indeed, during my journeys to South America and Africa I have visited countless types of waterfalls ranging from the massive Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to small, out-of-the-way streams hidden deep within the Colombian jungle, and no matter they never cease to amaze me. Consequently, when I visited Arequipa and discovered that my hostel, the Arequipay-hostel, offered a cheap day-tour to the nearby Pillones waterfall, I immediately signed up for the trip leaving the subsequent day. 

A typical trip to the Pillones waterfall is normally purchased as part of a full-day tour, which also includes a visit to the stone forest of Imata, and as with most other tourist activities in Peru you’ll have to get up early. In my case I was picked up at my hostel 6am and what followed was a smooth 2-3 hours drive only interrupted by a 30 minute breakfast stop and some quick photos of willd llamas, alpacas and vicuñas.

I have to admit that upon arrival at the site of the Pillones waterfall my initial reaction was disappointment. The entrance is located in the middle of nowhere marked only by a small sign and a shed charging a small entrance fee. The initial disappointment was fortunately quickly brought to shame, when we climbed down the narrow canyon guarding the waterfall and had a first view of what was awaiting us. What a sight! Pillones is an impressive cataract of large, volumnious columns of water characterized by a steep 10m drop and split in the middle by a curious rock formation.  Of the many waterfalls I have visited, it is to this date one of my favourite ones. It is not the tallest I have seen, but this was fully made up for by its broadness and volume, as well as how close we could actually get to it. Indeed, my experiences at other waterfalls have often suffered from the fact that they could only be enjoyed from distance. This was certainly not the case for Pillones, and at the time of writing my phone is filled to the brim with photos and videos of me getting soaked in its water spray.

Having spent an amazing hour at the Pillones waterfall, we made our way to the next destination of our trip: The stone forest of Imamba. I have to admit I had never heard of a stone forest before, and while the meaning of the words was immediately clear, it did leave me chuckling a bit. We reached the stone forest after a short drive, and the place was as peculiar as its name. With its mushroom-shaped rock and cliff formations dating back to pre-human times, this place was unlike anything I had ever seen before and I thoroughly enjoyed simply walking around the place and having the sense of being on another planet. 

Would I recommend a trip to the Pillones waterfall and Imata stone forest? Based on my enthusiastic writing you can probably guess the answer to this question yourself. Indeed, the impressive, forceful Pillones waterfall and the strange, otherworldly rock formations of the Imata stone forest were one of the highlights of my stay in Arequipa and there’s simply no excuse to miss this experience. .

Do you want to take this tour: ckick here TOURS IN AREQUIPA




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