Scroll To Top

El Macho Waterfall

el macho waterfall, el valle de anton, panama

Surrounded by dense verdant forest, the "El Macho" Waterfall stands approximately 210 ft. (70m) in height and is one of El Valle's most popular attractions and ideal for anyone looking for a low-impact excursion.

The waterfall resides just a few hundred feet off the main road leading to Cerro Gaital, one of the valley's most popular hiking trails. It is well concealed by lush verdant forest; the trails are dark even under sunny skies.

Visitors can choose between two well-maintained trails of differing lengths and costs; both pass directly in front of the waterfall and offer unobstructed views.

An entrance fee of $5.00 per person grants you access to the longer trail, and there are no time restraints. In addition to the hiking trails, the operation also offers a zip-lining tour. For more information, we recommend you visit their website.

el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama

The shared portion of the trail begins left of the welcome center and immediately descends in a zig-zag fashion. There are metal handrails on both sides, and the footing consists of cement and stone.

At the bottom, you'll need to walk across two short wooden planks that cross over the winding river; there is a single handrail on the left side. You'll then have the option of proceeding straight over a cabled suspension bridge or turning right.

Suspension Bridge & Short Trail

If you proceed straight, you'll cross over a cabled suspension bridge with wooden floorboards. It is very stable, and ropes on both sides help maintain your position and balance.

On the far side, a short cement and stone path leads to a staircase that comes before the waterfall lookout platform. A minute or two is all that is required.

Before reaching the platform and off to the left, you will see cables from the zip-lining tour.

el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama
el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama
el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama
Second (Longer) Trail

If you turn right, you'll embark on the second and longer of the two trails, which begins with a slight uphill climb. Alternating sections of dirt, wooden steps, and cement and stone make up the footpath, all of which I found easy to walk. Some portions have handrails of metal or rope, while others do not. The trail runs on the right side of the river, abutting a rocky neighboring incline. As you near the waterfall, the path descends until you reach a fixed cement bridge; the waterfall is off to your right.

el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama
Streams & Watefalls

From the waterfall's base, the river winds through the property towards the entrance before turning to the right, forming small pools of water and smaller cascading waterfalls.

el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama
el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama
el macho waterfall el valle de anton panama

The viewing platform is stable with a metal security fence in front on the side facing the waterfall. (You are not permitted anywhere near the waterfall's base.) There is ample space for several people and more than enough for anyone wanting to take photographs or videos. The view is unobstructed, though dense forest lines both sides of the river. The area directly above the waterfall is open, allowing light to illuminate the cascading water.

During the rainy months of September-November, the river swells considerably. The waterfall can be impressive, forming a large pool at its base. Further downstream and nearer the entrance are plenty of shallow rivers winding through the rocky, lush landscape.

Getting to El Macho Waterfall

Google Map - El Macho Waterfall

From the central market, continue along the main road until reaching the bridge. At the intersection that follows, turn right and continue along the paved road until you reach the waterfall. It is off to the left, immediately following the Canopy Lodge. If walking, the hike shouldn't require more than 15-20 minutes. It is mostly uphill. If you prefer not to walk, you can either hire a taxi or take one of the mini-buses that read "La Mesa."

All Categories