COCOTER, the Corporación Comunitaria de Termales, a community-based tourism enterprise in Termales, Colombia, offers a guided hike through the rainforest to an impressive waterfall and natural pool deep in the Chocó jungle.
The tour departs from the community of Termales. You set out on foot on the only road out of town, which leads past the hot springs, after which the community is named. Following the hot springs, the trail gets steep and you head into the mountains. Although the forest is dense here, there are occasional impressive views of the beach, the ocean and over the rainforest. The trail can be slick, especially after it rains, but it is rarely impassable. Keep an eye out along the trail for the many species of tropical frogs that live in the area. Bright red, green, and orange frogs are common here. In addition, this region has some of the greatest diversity of birds in the world. The trail has many benches where hikers can rest and quietly wait for birds to land nearby.
After an hour or so, hikers arrive at the Cascade de Cuatro Encantos or Waterfall of the Four Charms, so named for the four steps that the waterfall takes as it cascades down the mountain. At the base of the waterfall, the river forms a deep pool of crystal clear water. Swimming here in the middle of the jungle is a magical experience. And a refreshing one after a long, hot hike!
The hike out of the jungle is downhill and much faster. At the end of the hike, spend an hour or so relaxing in the hot springs at the edge of town. A nearby restaurant offers cold beers and fresh fruit juices.
Tours can be arranged through your hotel or at the COCOTER office in center of Termales.