Visiting San Rafael and Rio Malo Waterfalls

Walking to the San Rafael Waterfall through the cloud forest

Few weeks ago we visited San Rafael Waterfall, which is the biggest waterfall in Ecuador. I had been waiting for this trip a while and finally we had a chance to go there, and I would say it was definately a place worth a visit! The waterfall is about 150 meters, but can’t say really accure measure for the waterfall, because all the webpages I looked had different height.

The San Rafael fall is situated in Napo province, at the foot of the active Volcano Reventador. There is also a hostel near to the falls if you want to visit the falls and spend the night there. From the entrance you have to walk about 20-30 minutes to the falls. The trail was a bit muddy when we went, so I would recommend hiking boots.


The area itself is beautiful, cloud forest with fresh air, I really enjoyed the nature there. This kind of hikes and nature are close to my heart.  And when you actually get to the San Rafael Waterfall it’s really stunning. If it was closer to our home, I would definately visit there more often.

The San Rafael Waterfall is on the way from Quito to Lago Agrio, so for example if you are going to Cuyabeno by bus, a one night stop at the falls is possible.

San Rafael waterfall

On our way back home we visited another waterfall Rio Malo for swimming. I would of enjoyed swimming there if the day had been warm. But it wasn’t warm, it was really cold, so I just dipped into the water quickly. On a sunny day it would be great place to enjoy the time.

Cascada Rio Malo
Rio Malo Waterfall
Rio Malo Waterfall Ecuador
Getting wet at the Rio Malo Waterfall


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