Posted on December 21, 2018
By Carlos Garzón Gutiérrez, Products Team Pure! Colombia
The End of the World is not an apocalyptic scenario, as one might imagine. It is actually quite the opposite: La Cascada del Fin del Mundo is one of Colombia’s best kept secrets and natural paradises! At this end of the world, life flourishes, the water of the rivers is pure and crystal clear and different species of flora and fauna can be observed. It is here where the impressive Colombian Amazon begins.
The impressive waterfall can be found in Putumayo, a department located in the southwest of Colombia, which borders Ecuador and Peru. It is a department with a mostly humid and tropical climate and boasts 25.000 square meters of ecosystems, including the Amazonian piedmont, plains and the Amazon rainforest. It is a region which is home to great rivers, biodiversity, culture, history, and twelve indigenous peoples.
My trip to the End of the World began in Guaduas, a town in the department of Cundinamarca, located around three hours from Bogotá. On this occasion, I traveled by car and the estimated time of travel to Mocoa, the city where the waterfall is located, was around twelve and a half hours. In my case, I left Guaduas on Thursday and made a six-hour trip to the city of Neiva, where I stayed one night to continue the journey the next day. On Friday afternoon, after a journey of six and a half hours along the Magdalena River, I was able to see the mountains of the central mountain range and the change of the Andean to the Amazonian landscapes. Finally, I arrived at Mocoa, the capital of the department of Putumayo.
The waterfall is located between the mountains of Mocoa and Villagarzón. The entrance to the site is located 6 kilometers from the road that connects Mocoa with Villagarzón, in a place called Posada Turística Dantayaco. Once there, I crossed a suspension bridge over the plentiful Mocoa River and, once on the other side, I started the trek to the End of the World. The beginning of the hike is mainly stairs of stone and wood, but the path becomes more rugged as you go on with forest that seems to grow thicker and thicker. The path was not very demanding, but there were some slopes followed by sections where it was hard to catch your breath. The air is pure and the jungle is humid; it is a journey to establish a deeper connection with nature.
Along the road, there were some gorges and canyons of pure water, and there were also several wooden bridges. After a hour´s walk, I arrived at the first of a series of natural pools where it is possible to swim and cool off. This first well of clear and pure water was eight meters deep. With some snorkel goggles I was able to see fish and the vegetation below the surface of the well. I jumped in the water several times and enjoyed it as if I was a child. I was very happy.
I continued my journey half an hour later. After some time, I arrived at the well of the Almorzadero where there was also a pool of three meters deep and a kind of spa under the rocks. Here, I had lunch and rested a little. It is a great place to rest and to have some drinks to cool off.
I must admit that I swam in almost all of the wells I was allowed to swim in. I had never seen such clear and pure water and the rivers of Putumayo are all really incredible. A few meters after this place, I crossed a natural bridge over the Dantayaco creek, home to the famous waterfall. After walking for 4 kilometers, which took me about 2 hours, the mountain disappeared. There was nothing else, just an imposing drop of water of 75 meters. That is the End of the World. It is called this way, because the people who discovered this waterfall could not find anywhere to continue walking once they reached its edges. Although the world ends there, literally 75 meters down the thick and dense Serranía de los Churumbelos begins; a natural reserve that extends through the departments of Caquetá, Cauca, Huila, and Putumayo.
It is possible to climb to the edge of the mountain and observe the impressive jungle landscape. You can even see a part of the city of Mocoa. The reward is undoubtedly listening to the sound of water, relaxing in the middle of nowhere, breathing in the fresh air, and admiring the greatness of the surrounding nature. Although I felt a bit of vertigo leaning over the edge because of the height, it was worth every minute of observing the landscape. I had discovered one of the best kept secrets in Colombia.
After a while, I started the return journey of an hour and a half. In total, it is around a four to five hour round trip. The duration may vary depending on your physical condition and also the number of stops you make to bathe and to take in the jungle.
On the way to the End of the World Waterfall there is the option of making a detour to visit other waterfalls such as the “Ojo de Dios”, a waterfall where the water drops 35 meters down a natural opening in the rocks that is also pierced by sunlight. It is a spectacle. In Mocoa and Putumayo there are more options, such as visiting the Amazon Experimental Center; a scientific and natural observatory where flora and fauna of the region are protected.
Also, a must-see is the Paway Nature Reserve, which has a butterfly garden where you can see several species of butterflies, as well as learn about the importance of the Amazon as a lung of the world. In the surrounding areas there are plenty of options for accommodations, with sleeping arrangements varying from hammocks to dorms to private rooms. The area is very easy to reach by land and air travel. For more information on this beautiful destination, please do not hesitate to contact us!