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Pailon Del Diablo


A must-do hike to a stunning waterfall!

Hiking Moderate

1.9 km
127 m
126 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
1.5 km
Pailon Del Diablo Map

El Pailon del Diablo is a gorgeous rainforest hike to one of the most spectacular waterfalls—not just in Ecuador, but just about anywhere!


This is definitely a tourist hike, so it will cost $2 per person to get into the trail. (You'll also need to pay a buck or so for parking.) You'll begin by descending a steep but well-built trail into the heavily forested canyon and then pay the entrance fee once you've reached the bottom. Even though the initial stretch of the hike isn't close to the waterfall, be sure to appreciate the stunning beauty of this edge of the Amazon Rainforest—it's otherworldly!

Once you've paid the entrance fee, you'll pass through a tourist restaurant and then begin climbing up a gorge to the right toward the waterfalls. You'll soon hear the pounding of the falls, and the crashing water will come into view!

The most photographed spot on this hike is a spectacular stone staircase that descends toward the water, providing a beautiful view of the falls above. Once done there, be sure to keep clambering uphill. To continue upwards, you'll have to duck under a low-hanging rock and crawl through a tunnel in the mountainside (which is open on one side to provide some airflow). You'll then have to scramble up some steep rock moves in a small cave to reach a landing and another view of the falls. But for the final pitch, another crawl under some rocks will lead you to a small staircase that goes all the way behind the waterfall—an absolutely surreal experience! Be sure to bring a rain jacket or buy a cheap poncho for this section, as you'll be doused with spray from the waterfall.

On your way back down, be sure to walk across the suspension bridge across the gorge and look back up at the falls for a totally different perspective.

Even though Pailon del Diablo is extremely developed and touristy, the natural beauty is unforgettable and is well worth dealing with the kitschy tourist attractions. You have to do this hike if you're anywhere close to Banos.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation