Hiking to Devil’s Cauldron Waterfall

Welcome to the second Wellness Weekend link-up in 2020! I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s weekend and your wellness plans for 2020 have been going well. The optional prompt for February is Hiking so I’m sharing a moderate hike to the Devil’s Cauldron waterfall. My sister and I completed this hike when we were in Baños, Ecuador.

Where is Devil’s Cauldron Waterfall?

Baños (full name Baños de Agua Santa) is located about 180 km (112 miles) south of Quito. This town is known for its waterfalls, hiking trails, and hot springs. The Devil’s Cauldron waterfall (El Pailon del Diablo) is 18 km from the town centre. It’s one of Ecuador’s most powerful waterfalls and one of the top rated attractions in Baños.

How challenging is this hike?

I classify this hike as Moderate because although the path is clearly marked, it has uneven surfaces. It also involves stairs and a suspension bridge. As long as you watch your step and are not afraid of heights or suspension bridges, the hike is rewarding.

Let’s hike together!

We started following the Green River (Rio Verde) to the Isla del Pailon entrance. While there are other entry points, this entrance lets us see the full height of the waterfall. Entry fee was $2 per adult and $1 per child.

Green River (Rio Verde) in Banos, Ecuador
The Green River (Rio Verde) in Baños, Ecuador

The water flow was strong, rushing by the black volcanic rocks seen along the river banks. On the right of the photo below, the walking path is behind the low lichen-covered stone wall. We soon understood why the wall is essential for our safety.

The Green River flows towards a cliff
The Green River flows towards a cliff

We followed the stone path and reached the suspension bridge. On the left, we saw the side views of the Devil’s Cauldron waterfall which plunges some 80 meters (263 feet) over a sheer cliff to the rocks below.

Side view of Devil's Cauldron waterfall
Side view of Devil’s Cauldron waterfall

It’s necessary to cross the suspension bridge to see the full view of the waterfall and to understand why it’s called the Devil’s Cauldron. The maximum capacity of the bridge is 50 people. Of course it swayed as people got on it. Crossing the suspension bridge was stepping outside my comfort zone but I did it!

Suspension bridge at Devil's Cauldron waterfall
Suspension bridge at Devil’s Cauldron waterfall

At the other end of the suspension bridge, we faced the Devil’s Cauldron waterfall. It is beautiful and powerful. Its appearance and sheer force are mesmerizing. People who stood at the Lookout platforms below looked so small next to the waterfall.

Devil's Cauldron waterfall, Baños, Ecuador
Devil’s Cauldron waterfall, Baños, Ecuador

We continued to descend the path to the lower level. When we stood at the Lookout place, we could feel the mists, see the curtains of water, and hear the thundering sounds of the powerful waterfall plunging straight down to the bottom.

Devil's Cauldron waterfall
Devil’s Cauldron waterfall

We could see the rocky bottom where water was churning before it settled into a smoother flow and another suspension bridge looking like a thin stick at a distance.

It’s amazing that the stone path was carved out of the cliff side to allow visitors to get close to the waterfall. The surrounding scenery was also beautiful with cascades running down the mountain sides.

Cascades near Devil's Cauldron waterfall
Cascades near Devil’s Cauldron waterfall

We walked back to cross the suspension bridge and exited the same way that we came in. On our way out, we stopped to admire a variety of pretty flowers grown along the path. I’m sharing a small sample below.

Gratitude moment

I’m grateful for another amazing day and another wonderful hike in Ecuador with my sister. Altogether we did about 3 km return trip with stairs and suspension bridge crossings. We learned something new about the Devil’s Cauldron waterfall. The hike and nature gave me new energy. I’m looking forward to our next hike.

Click here to join in the Wellness Weekend 2020 link-up and share your wellness-related post. As your host, I will read your blog and leave a comment. For a full schedule of all Wellness Weekends in 2020, please see my Wellness page here.

Copyright © 2020 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

73 thoughts on “Hiking to Devil’s Cauldron Waterfall

  1. Retirement Reflections February 16, 2020 / 1:10 am

    Hi, Natalie – Thank you for taking us along on this amazing hike. Your words and photos made me feel like I was right beside you. I swear that I could hear the cascades rushing on the mountainside. Stunning!

    Like

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 10:22 am

      Thank you, Donna, for your kind words. I tried to be descriptive in my post. This waterfall took me by surprise with its height.

      Like

  2. restlessjo February 16, 2020 / 3:30 am

    What a beautiful walk, Natalie! A little nerve-wracking in places, but the scale of the fall is unbelievable 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 10:25 am

      Hi Jo, The suspension bridge was nerve-wracking for me. I waited for most people to pass before I got on it. The direct view of this waterfall was worth the crossing 🙂

      Like

      • restlessjo February 16, 2020 / 12:27 pm

        I’d have to take deep breaths too 🙂 🙂

        Like

  3. Jill Weatherholt February 16, 2020 / 7:52 am

    Wow! Thanks for taking us along on this beautiful hike, Natalie. Your photos are gorgeous. I think I’d have to crawl across the suspension bridge! Eek!

    Like

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 10:29 am

      Hi Jill, Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you liked my photos. The suspension bridge stopped me in my track. I waited for most people to pass before I got on it. Fortunately, once I crossed the bridge, seeing the waterfall face-to-face was worth the efforts. I ended up crossing it twice.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 10:30 am

      Thank you, Alice, for your visit and comment. It’s my pleasure to share this hike with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com February 16, 2020 / 6:32 pm

    What an incredibly steep fall. Almost completely perpendicular. I imagine the noise of the water is deafening. Quite a feat of engineering or planning on the overlooks and path leading beside the falls. So happy that you take us along on your adventures! #WW2020

    Like

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 8:52 pm

      Yes, the noise of the water is deafening especially when you stand at the Lookout in the lower level. The steepness of the waterfall surprised me at first sight. Thank you for linking up with me on this Wellness Weekend and for your comment. #WW2020

      Like

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 8:54 pm

      De nada! Banos is a good base to explore waterfalls, hiking trails and hot springs. It’s also one of the gateways to the Amazon rainforest.

      Like

  5. Joanne February 16, 2020 / 7:36 pm

    Wow, that looks like a spectacular hike but I am not at all sure I would have enjoyed walking over that bridge though.

    Like

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 8:57 pm

      The view after you cross the bridge is worth it. There is also a lookout place at the lower level where you’re behind the waterfall and can feel the water up close but won’t be able to see its full height.

      Like

  6. Laurie February 16, 2020 / 8:23 pm

    Beautiful! I am somewhat afraid of heights and suspension bridges but I could do the bridge you pictured here. The reward is so worth it!

    Like

    • Natalie February 16, 2020 / 8:59 pm

      Yes, I think so. This suspension bridge is not too long and is sturdy. I waited for most people to pass before I got on it.

      Like

  7. Jo February 16, 2020 / 10:15 pm

    Oh my goodness that would push my comfort zone limits as well. I’m a tad if-ish (okay more than a tad) about heights & suspension bridges & slippery rocks and… but your pics are amazing & the hike looks absolutely worth some momentary discomfort.

    Like

    • Natalie February 17, 2020 / 9:07 am

      After seeing the side views of this waterfall, I knew I had to cross the suspension bridge to see it face-to-face. The crossing was OK and was worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Debbie from Deb's World February 16, 2020 / 11:18 pm

    What a great looking walk and waterfall Natalie, although I hate suspension bridges too! The falls are magnificent and your photos show it off so well! #lifethisweek

    Like

    • Natalie February 17, 2020 / 9:11 am

      This suspension bridge was sturdy and not too long so I felt OK crossing it. It’s a reminder for me to go for adventures sooner rather than later.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Debbie from Deb's World February 19, 2020 / 12:24 am

        Hi Natalie, yes going for adventures sooner rather than later is great advice. Shared for #mlstl

        Like

        • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 7:54 am

          Hi Debbie, I’m hoping for a long healthy life and 10, 20 years from now, I’ll still look at this type of hike with wonderment and enthusiasm 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Annika Perry February 17, 2020 / 11:52 am

    Wow! Natalie, what an amazing hike and I’m so happy to have joined you and your sister! 😀 Did you hear that screech … my vertigo and fear stepping on the suspension bridge. It looks scary and I can imagine it was exhilarating to cross. The Devil’s Cauldron itself is awe-inspiring – the photos with the people in as well give a real sense of perspective and its magnificence. You do know your posts are making me curious about visiting South America …

    Like

    • Natalie February 17, 2020 / 12:13 pm

      The suspension bridge stopped me in my track, Annika. One look at the side view of the waterfall and I knew I was going to cross that bridge to see the waterfall face-to-face. I’m happy to say it was worth the effort 🙂 Central and South America is a gem with many natural wonders, a rich history, and fascinating Mayan and Inca culture. I love going there.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jo Boyne February 17, 2020 / 1:44 pm

    Wow! That is an impressive waterfall. Not sure if I would like walking across that bridge though. Lovely pictures!

    Like

    • Natalie February 17, 2020 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you, Jo, for your comment. I’m glad you liked my pictures. For visitors who don’t want to cross the suspension bridge, there is a lookout place at the lower level where you’re behind the waterfall and can feel the water up close but won’t be able to see its full height.

      Like

  11. Crystal February 17, 2020 / 5:54 pm

    My name is Crystal and I come to you by way of Esme’s Senior Salon.
    What breathtaking and awesome photos. I’ve got a question for you, Where is it that has an upside down waterfall? A college professor of mine once told me but it’s been so long I don’t remember.
    If you know please tell me.

    Like

    • Natalie February 17, 2020 / 6:34 pm

      Thank you, Crystal, for your visit and comment. The Upside Down waterfall that I know of is located along the Pali Highway in Oahu, Hawaii. Its official name is Waipuhia Falls.

      Like

  12. Erica/Erika February 17, 2020 / 8:13 pm

    Hi Natalie, I am already intrigued by the name. I am not too thrilled about heights if the path is narrow and a cliff on the edge. When I read your post and look at the photos, I find my breathing slows down. I appreciate all of the surrounding nature. I like the side view photo where I can see the perspective of the steps and the people. I extra like your descriptions “feel the mists, see the curtains of water and hear the thundering sounds…”. You have brought me along on this hike. I can appreciate how it gives you new energy. Great post!

    Like

    • Natalie February 17, 2020 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you, Erica/ Erika, for your thorough and kind comment. This waterfall took me by surprise at first sight (the side view photo) because when we walked along the river, there was no indicator that the water flow was going to plunge over a sheer cliff! It was a beautiful surprise though and one of the reasons I continue to be drawn to new travel adventures 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erica/Erika February 18, 2020 / 8:28 pm

        Hi Natalie, Revisiting from #MLSTL and sharing SM 🙂

        Like

  13. betty - NZ February 18, 2020 / 8:19 pm

    Wow, what a fabulous waterfall! I can’t imagine hiking up there, but I’m glad you made it and shared these wonderful photos. An awesome part of the world, indeed 🙂

    I’m so glad you are a part of ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!

    Like

    • Natalie February 18, 2020 / 9:11 pm

      Thank you, Betty, for your comment. I’m glad you like my photos. Have a wonderful week!

      Like

  14. Patrick Weseman February 18, 2020 / 9:48 pm

    Holy Cow, what a beautiful place to hike. So very lovely. #MLSTL

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 7:56 am

      This hike is pretty cool. Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.

      Like

  15. Denyse Whelan February 19, 2020 / 3:45 am

    Wow Wow Wow Waterfall…nothing like putting people in the picture for perspective.

    Thank you for being part of Life This Week. Next Week’s optional prompt is 8/51 Unusual 23/2/2020. Hope to see you link up again too! Denyse.

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 7:58 am

      Your comment made me smile. Thank you, Denyse. Interesting prompt for next week. I look forward to reading your post then.

      Like

  16. leannelc February 19, 2020 / 5:04 am

    Wow! That’s a pretty spectacular waterfall Natalie – and there’s a LOT of water pouring down that canyon. The photos certainly gave me a bird’s eye view – and a little bit of my fear of heights kicked in from looking at them!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 8:20 am

      This waterfall was a nice surprise in that when we walked along the river, it didn’t seem to be a lot of water but once we reached the cliff, it was unbelievable.

      Like

  17. Veronica Lee February 19, 2020 / 5:34 am

    What an impressive waterfall! I don’t think I would enjoy walking over that bridge though.

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 8:22 am

      Suspension bridges are not for everyone that’s for sure. Fortunately this bridge wasn’t too long.

      Like

  18. 3sistersabroad February 19, 2020 / 5:35 am

    Thank you for sharing such gorgeous photos. Im not sure I would have been able to go over the bridge….shaking…ewwww….#SeniSal

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 8:24 am

      You’re welcome, Bree. I’m glad you like my photos. I waited for most people to pass before I got on that bridge.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 8:28 am

      Yes, it was a very good hike 🙂

      Like

  19. Candi Randolph February 19, 2020 / 9:18 am

    What ruggedly beautiful surroundings you were in, Natalie! I loved seeing the waterfall photos and am impressed with your trek over the suspension bridge. I’d have to think about that!

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 9:29 am

      Hi Candi, The suspension bridge stopped me in my track. One look at the side view of the waterfall and I knew I was going to cross that bridge to see the waterfall face-to-face. I’m happy to say it was worth the effort 🙂

      Like

  20. Vanessa February 19, 2020 / 6:40 pm

    Waterfalls and moss are such a photogenic combination. Looks like an amazing walk.

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 8:09 pm

      Agreed 🙂 Thanks, Vanessa, for your comment. i greatly appreciate it.

      Like

  21. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond February 19, 2020 / 6:46 pm

    Hi Natalie, thanks for a wonderful hiking journey and taking us along with you. I remember about 15 years ago I went for a 4 day hike through the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and it was a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing and linking up at #MLSTL and I hope to be back at Wellness Weekend next month. x

    Like

    • Natalie February 19, 2020 / 8:13 pm

      Hi Sue, I read about the Blue Mountains in Australia. It looks like a wonderful place to explore. Thanks for hosting MLSTL. The next Wellness Weekend link-up is on March 15. Optional prompt is Spring Forward. I hope to see you there. Have a fantastic week!

      Like

    • Natalie February 20, 2020 / 7:51 am

      You’re welcome, Leanne. Hope you enjoyed it.

      Like

  22. Lisa | Handmade in Israel February 20, 2020 / 4:25 am

    What a wonderful hike! Such beautiful scenery and the waterfall is such an amazing sight! I am not sure I would have been too keen on the suspension bridge either but I would also be willing to give it a go! #teamlovinlife

    Like

    • Natalie February 20, 2020 / 7:53 am

      Thank you, Lisa, for your visit and comment. One look at the side view of the waterfall and I knew I was going to cross that bridge to see the waterfall face-to-face. The crossing was OK 🙂

      Like

  23. Carol February 20, 2020 / 8:35 am

    a beautiful area but I wouldn’t have liked the bridge

    Like

    • Natalie February 20, 2020 / 10:14 am

      Suspension bridges are not for everyone, that’s for sure.

      Like

  24. Christie Hawkes February 20, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    What a beautiful hike, Natalie! And good for you, stepping out of your comfort zone to cross the suspension bridge. Thanks for sharing your experience and these stunning photos.

    Like

    • Natalie February 20, 2020 / 4:26 pm

      Thank you, Christie, for your comment. I’m glad I crossed that bridge and that you like my photos.

      Like

  25. Jennifer Jones February 21, 2020 / 2:21 am

    This looks like a beautiful hike Natalie. I’m terrified of swinging bridges. I think I would have crossed it, but there would have been tears. Shared

    Like

    • Natalie February 21, 2020 / 7:52 am

      Hi Jennifer, I waited for most people to pass before I got on it. This bridge was sturdy and the crossing wasn’t as scary as I thought.

      Like

  26. Lorraine February 21, 2020 / 5:07 pm

    Natalie well done on crossing the bridge, i’m sure i’d have been really anxious but it would be a shame to miss those fantastic views. What a hike, it looks stunning.
    #MLSTL

    Like

    • Natalie February 23, 2020 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you, Lorraine, for your comment. I’m glad that I crossed the bridge to see the full view of this waterfall, and that you liked my photos.

      Like

  27. dailywriter April 12, 2020 / 1:16 am

    Wow that’s some amazing scenery and the suspension bridge looks like a bit of fun…maybe!

    Like

    • Natalie April 12, 2020 / 9:21 am

      Thank you for your visit and comment. It was a good hike with beautiful scenery. I’m glad I crossed the suspension bridge to see the full view of the waterfall.

      Like

  28. rowan_redleaf April 18, 2020 / 7:41 pm

    The stone stairs are so cool, but they look slippery! Aah! What a nice collection of photographs of the flowers at the end. Thank you for sharing your hike here!

    Like

    • Natalie April 18, 2020 / 8:05 pm

      Thank you, Rowan, for your visit and comment. The stone stairs were OK while exercising normal caution. Ecuador has an amazing variety of beautiful flowers.

      Like

  29. Dijana May 4, 2020 / 3:15 am

    Although I would probably be nervous on a suspension bridge, it is worth it as this waterfall looks stunning 🙂 And the flowers are lovely 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie May 4, 2020 / 8:12 am

      Thank you, Dijana, for your visit and comment. I waited for most people to cross the suspension bridge before I did and it was OK. The direct view of the waterfall is well worth the crossing. Ecuador has an amazing variety of beautiful flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

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