Up the River Palo Maria Without a… Clue

Bienvenido, loyal reader. Please join Bruce and Mary as they explore the Rio Palo Maria, disfutala!

RioPaloMaria 057We’ve boarded the Boca/Mismaloya bus and we are on our way to las cascadas de Rio Palo Maria. While surfing the internet I had come across a blog about these waterfalls being, according to the blogger, only about a twenty minute hike along the river, we thought we’d check it out.

RioPaloMaria 002We’ve debarked the bus at the Palo Maria Bridge, a couple kms past El Nogalito, on the way to Mismaloya.

RioPaloMaria 004This is a view of Rio Palo Maria from the bridge, during the dry season.

RioPaloMaria 005And we’re off. This is an easy trail.

RioPaloMaria 068This may be the largest termite nest I have seen.

RioPaloMaria 011If we’re not mistaken these are Brazilian Ironwood Trees.

RioPaloMaria 013What causes a tree to grow into such a shape?

RioPaloMaria 072The trail seems to have left the river banks and strayed into this, tall grass in a tropical jungle. I feel the same way Mary looks as we generally try to avoid unclear trails in tall grass… in the jungle.

RioPaloMaria 008Now the trail seems to lead us back toward the water.

RioPaloMaria 073We are surprised to find this dock. It would make a great spot for a picnic, but our mission is… see las cascadas!

RioPaloMaria 033A young couple overtakes us and in the process agrees to be our guides. Turns out they do not know the way any better than us but they are happy to scout ahead and pick the trails.

RioPaloMaria 050This is the first of many fords as we switch from one side of the river to the other trying to find the best way to the waterfalls. After much slipping and sliding among these rocks, bearing our gear, we take a break as Mary is literally having a panic attack, and I ain’t far behind her. We realize that this 20 minute trek has taken us nearly an hour now and we are about to give it up when our young guides hail us from the path ahead and exhort us on because…

RioPaloMaria 034The first of las cascadas is right around the bend.

RioPaloMaria 075We’ve found a nice comfortable boulder and are relaxing with some cold ones as we enjoy the view, which is somewhat tainted by these pipes and lines. I have no idea what they’re for.

RioPaloMaria 037Our guides are happy to pose for us.

RioPaloMaria 047He’s half way to the top before his girlfriend convinces him to come down. We did see a gringo with his chica guide make this climb up to the series of waterfalls above. Mary and I had decided before we began that una cascada would be sufficient.

RioPaloMaria 044The water here runs crystal clear.

RioPaloMaria 039It’s time to head back but first we must take care of some collateral damage. My big toe lost a battle with a submerged boulder and we’re hoping the combination of band-aid and dental floss will keep the nail on until we get home.

RioPaloMaria 077Let’s see, I remember this spot.

RioPaloMaria 052And this spot and… that is about it. Luckily that couple that made the climb to the higher falls has overtaken us and generously, even though we slow them down, agree to guide us back.

RioPaloMaria 053Finally, after 40 minutes we are back to the road. With our experienced guide the trek back is 2/3rds the time and only tricky instead of treacherous. Our strong advice is that this adventure is only for the young and agile. We are glad to have had this adventure but it is safe to say… never again!

Juaquin 022In a semi-regular feature, please meet blog follower Charlotte. Charlotte is a fellow Minnesotan and hails from NE Minneapolis. See ya tomorrow, Charlotte!

Thanks for visiting, gentle reader. Bruce and Mary would love to hear of your adventures, here in PV, or anywhere for that matter, so please feel free. Hasta proximo Domingo!

February 22, 2015 · Bruce · 18 Comments
Posted in: Life in Puerto Vallarta