Pailón del Diablo – Complete Guide (Which Entrance to Go?)

Pailón del Diablo is a majestic waterfall located about 17 km (10 miles) from Baños. It definitely belongs to the most stunning waterfalls in Ecuador. Once you are in Baños, you shouldn't miss it, because it's a truly impressive art of nature.

There are two options (two entrances) for visiting Cascada el Pailón del Diablo. In this guide, we have prepared practical tips, descriptions, and photos of both, so you can decide which entrance to Pailón del Diablo is better for you.

How to get to Pailón del Diablo from Baños

Getting to Cascada el Pailon del Diablo from Baños is easy, the waterfall is located on the road from Baños to Puyo, so there are a lot of buses going in that direction.

If you like cycling, you might like going there by bike, because Pailón del Diablo is a part of the famous Ruta de las Cascadas – a scenic road leading through the valley, where you can stop at many places to see more beautiful waterfalls.

Pailón del Diablo by Bus

From Banos, there are regular buses going to Pailón del Diablo. Ask at the Baños bus terminal for the next bus to Pailón del Diablo (village of Rio Verde), they usually go every 15 to 30 minutes.

The last bus from Rio Verde to Baños leaves at 19.30.

Pailón del Diablo by Bike

If you would like to do a very nice one-day trip from Baños, we would highly recommend you rent a bike. It costs only about $5, and you can go down the beautiful valley all the way to Pailon del Diablo. This route is called Ruta de las Cascadas – the waterfall route, because of the many beautiful waterfalls you can see on the way. The road is most of the time downhill, or flat, which makes it very easy.

If you are wondering how to get back to Baños afterward, don't worry. There are pickup trucks going from Rio Verde to Baños that cost $3 per person with a bike. You can find the trucks by the old entrance. They don't leave regularly, but always when there are people with bikes, who want to get back to Baños.

Pailón del Diablo by Taxi

The last and most expensive option is to take a taxi.

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Cascada el Pailón del Diablo

Pailon del Diablo is a massive 80 meters tall waterfall. It translates as Devil's Cauldron. You may wonder – how did “Pailón del Diablo” get its name? The name comes from the shape of the rocks that are under the waterfall, and if you look closely you can see the shape of the devil's face that is formed in the rocks, hence its name.

Getting to the Pailón del Diablo waterfall

In the village, there will probably be men directing you to the old entrance across the bridge (nothing else than the business competition). In case you want to go to the New entrance, don't listen to them and turn right, right before the bridge.

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Which entrance to Pailón del Diablo is better?

There are two different entrances and two different views of Pailón del Diablo. Both entrances cost the same – $2 per person.  We have prepared several photos and descriptions of each entrance, so you can choose which one you want to go to. Well, if you have enough time, you can go to both, if not, keep reading. We would personally recommend the new entrance.

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Nueva Entrada – New entrance to Pailón del Diablo

  • Entrance fee – $2
  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Time – 30 – 45 minutes (15 – 20 minutes of walking there and back)
  • Location – right riverbank of Río Verde (route map)

The New entrance offers a view from the top of the waterfall – from here you will see the complete body waterfall. And not only this, you will have a chance to see another part of the cascade – the big waterfall right above the Pailon the Diablo. We personally think that the viewpoints on this route are better than from the old entrance.

The path is nice and easy. There are two suspension bridges, which offer nice viewpoints. The next viewpoint takes you a little bit down to the waterfall. The trail takes you at one point to the place right behind the falling water which is amazing! The strength of the water is incredible!

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The old way – Pailón del Diablo Hike

  • Entrance fee – $2
  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Time – 2 hours (1 hour of walking there and back)
  • Location – left riverbank of Río Verde (route map)

If you have enough time, you can do the Pailon del Diablo hike, which takes you to the bottom of the waterfall. It takes about half an hour (and a lot of stairs) to walk down to the bottom of the waterfall. All the trail close to the waterfall is usually wet, so the place where you will need the raincoat is right there. So be prepared for a lot of tiny drops.

The trail which leads to the point where both trails used to be connected is tiny – I mean VERY tiny, you will need to get to all four, to squeeze there. The wettest part is also at the end – you will surely need a raincoat if you want to go there, otherwise, you will be soaked wet.

After you finish with the waterfall from close proximity, you can return back and cross the suspension bridge across the Pastaza river. There is also a nice view of the lower part of the cascade.

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Conclusion

If you have time, you can visit the waterfall from both sides, in that case, I recommend going first to the old entrance and hiking down the waterfall. Later you can go to the New entrance and enjoy better views from the top viewpoints (and you might want to wait until dusk there).

Pailón del Diablo at night

If you stay long enough, you will have a chance to see the spectacular show of colorful lights enlightening the waterfall. If you are visiting Pailon del Diablo around sunset it's well worth waiting a few more minutes, to enjoy a completely different experience.

If you plan to do so, it's better to watch it from the viewpoints at the New Entrance, because you will be much faster in the town and the path is very nicely enlightened, so you won’t need the flashlight.

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Facilities in Rio Verde

There are several restaurants and shops in the town, you will also see a lot of small souvenir shops along the way to the waterfall. There is also a bike parking lot, where you can leave your bikes for free.

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What to pack?

The most important piece of your equipment today should be the raincoat or rainproof jacket. If you want to get close to the waterfall you will need it! The water is splashing and dropping everywhere at some point on the trail (mainly down there, where the old way takes you).

In case you forget, there are stalls where they sell plastic raincoats by the old entrance.

Pailón del Diablo Tours

If you don't want to go to Pailon del Diablo independently, there are plenty of tours that can organize the whole trip for you. This day trip tour takes you to Pailon del Diablo, Tree House, and some other beautiful places.

Where to stay in Banos?

Budget

There are a lot of places where to stay in Banos. We stayed in Transilvania with a beautiful waterfall view from the balcony.

Mid-range

If you prefer a hotel over a hostel, choose Hotel Casa Santa Lucía, which is perfectly situated in the city center.

Luxury

If you prefer something more luxurious, you can go to Sangay Spa Hotel, which is also perfectly situated in the city center.

Check our other Ecuador guides:

More tips for your travels:

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Pailón del Diablo - practical tips

How to get to Pailón del Diablo from Baños

Which entrance to Pailón del Diablo is better?

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