The Marquiri waterfalls

Stunning mountains
Stunning mountains

Taking advantage of a bank holiday in Bolivia, we decided to explore the nearby Marquiri waterfalls. Needless to say, we were amazed by this natural beauty hidden in a deep canyon!

Every 22nd of January, Bolivia celebrates the country’s cultural and ethnic diversity on the Day of the Plurinational State (Día del Estado Plurinacional).

Our local friends in Tarija had mentioned the Marquiri waterfalls (Chorros de Marquiri) were a must- see, so we had to go see them by ourselves! I am glad we finally went despite the bad weather predictions. In the morning, the sky was getting grey and cloudy but the temperature was perfect (around 25°C). We grabbed our snacks and gear, picked a couple of friends and drove towards Marquiri (see directions below).

In this remote rural area, the road to the waterfalls is steep at times but the views of the green lush mountains are just impressive and worth the effort. However, watch out during the walk as the road is a bit dangerous and not 100% prepared (there’s just a wooden handrail, which by the way we were told didn’t even exist a few years back); bear in mind the road follows the deep canyon, so think twice before getting distracted and falling God knows where!

Finally, after the walk, we got to the waterfalls. You could see them a bit before getting to the area where everybody was seating to enjoy a snack and the view, and it was wonderful to admire that much water falling from up in the mountains. I settled for a bit before going further to explore the waterfalls because a young man proposed to his girlfriend and their friends arranged a really surprising environment. Once he proposed (thank God she said yes!), I headed to the waterfalls for a close up and I found it quite risky: you had to climb some slippery rocks and beware of the strong cold water. In any case, after slipping and getting all wet, I managed to have a closer look at the spectacular waterfalls!

As you’ll see from the videos below, I believe the Marquiri waterfalls are a great option for a one-day getaway from Tarija. If you´ve already visited or would like to, please leave me a comment!

Trip details

Directions: to get to the Marquiri waterfalls, drive towards San Lorenzo and Potosí, then turn left when you see ‘Chorros de Jurina’. Follow that road in the middle of the countryside for 15 mins or so. Once you pass a checkpoint, keep going through a narrow and rocky road for 10 more minutes. We parked in a plain by the river. After that, all you have to do is walk up for 45 minutes following a road which indicates ‘Chorros de Marquiri’.

Entry fee: pay 5 Bs (0.65 euros) upon arrival to the checkpoint.

Tip: bear in mind that the rainy season in Bolivia lasts roughly from November to March, so I recommend visiting during those months to make sure there is water coming out of the waterfalls.

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