Taking on the 7 Waterfalls Hike in Juayua (+Photos)

The quaint city of Juayua is best known as a popular stopping point along El Salvador’s picturesque Ruta de la Flores. While Juayua is undeniably charming, it also has plenty to offer adventurous travellers. If you do one thrill-seeking activity during your visit, make it the adrenaline-pumping 7 Waterfalls Hike.

Its name perfectly sums up what this hike entails. In short, you’ll spend a few hours trekking between waterfalls, clambering above rocks and hiking through lush rainforest to reach each spot.

For those eager to embark on this exhilarating adventure, I’ve crafted a practical guide based on my own heart-stopping experience.

Getting to Juayua From Santa Ana


Before you set off, you’ll need to make your way to Juayua. Depending on where you’re visiting from, this will likely take a few hours.

I began my journey through El Salvador in Santa Ana, a city about an hour’s drive north of Juayua. Though the two cities are relatively close together, I opted to travel by local bus (which, in most cases, is an old-school former American school bus), so it took me under two hours to get to Juayua.

You’ll need to catch the 238 bus that departs from Francisco Lara Pineda bus station in Santa Ana several times a day. Though they operate on a rough schedule, there’s no telling exactly when the bus will arrive. For this reason, it’s best to arrive early to avoid spending the day waiting at the station.

As you board, it’s worth telling the conductor the specific place in the city you want to go. That way, they can advise you where to get off. Most locals speak very little English, so it might be better to show them where you’re headed on a map unless you’ve got some Spanish up your sleeve.


When you touch down in Juayua, you’ll likely be able to walk to your accommodation, as the city is super compact.

Pro-tip: The local bus generally costs around €0.90 ($1) for this journey. Payments can only be made in cash, and drivers often have little change, so try to have small notes on hand.

How to Book Your Tour

Juayua tour

Initially, I was unsure how to book the 7 Waterfalls Hike. I’d been told that only guided visits were permitted, but I couldn’t find many tour operators offering this excursion online.

Luckily, my guesthouse owner had plenty of contacts and connected me with a local family-run tour company. Within minutes, I’d organised the hike for the following day.

The tour guide gave me a short list of essentials to bring, including a waterproof phone case, comfortable shoes with good grip, and drinking water. As you can imagine, you get pretty much soaked from head to toe on this hike, so I suggest sticking to quick-drying clothes that you don’t mind getting wet.

This outing cost €9.30 ($10), which included the guide, transport to and from the hike’s start and end points, and a snack. As this was a very affordable price for the duration and quality of the tour, I’d advise adding a small tip for your guide.

Pro-tip: I recommend paying the guide in advance unless you have somewhere to keep your cash dry, as many people in my group had to pay with half-wet bills!

Setting Off on the Hike

Juayua hike

The following morning, a pick-up truck arrived at my guesthouse around 8.30 a.m. I hopped in the back and joined a handful of others as we made the bumpy 15-minute journey to the start of the hike.

Once we jumped off, we headed downhill for 10 minutes and walked through a stream of knee-deep water to reach the first of many incredible waterfalls. For the initial hour of the tour, we didn’t have to pass under cascading water, as we had the choice to climb around it. However, the soaring humidity convinced me and many others to venture beneath the water early on to cool down.

Over the next few hours, we stumbled upon what seemed like more than the seven waterfalls the hike suggests, each more beautiful than the last.

Among the most nerve-wracking parts of the trek was the scramble up a rather powerful waterfall. With nothing more than a rope and a few pieces of rock that serve as stepping stones to keep you in place, this was when I started questioning my decision!

After we completed the climb, we continued upwards and passed over slippery rocks until arriving at the next waterfall. After this point, the path became much more straightforward and noticeably drier.

Pro tip: We weren’t provided with helmets and harnesses, so it’s best to ask your operator about this in advance to avoid the same situation.

Cooling Off With a Swim

Chorros de la Calera

Towards the end of the hike, we made it to two gorgeous swimming spots at the foot of two different waterfalls. Of course, getting in was optional, but the refreshing water was a welcome relief for most of us in the group.

Our guide provided fresh pineapple at the first pool, a much-needed pick-me-up after an action-packed few hours.

Juayua Swim

The water in the first pool was shallow, but the second was much deeper, so keep this in mind if you’re not a confident swimmer. Even if you don’t take a dip in the second pool, you’ll have a blast watching the daredevils in your group ascend the waterfall and make the hair-raising jump into the water.

Getting Back to Juayua


From the final swimming spot, we had just a short, uphill walk ahead of us. As we reached the roadside, the pick-up truck was waiting to take the group back to Juayua, dropping us off at Central Park.

Like the trip to the start of the hike, this took around 15 minutes, but it was significantly rockier on the way back!

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