Have you ever hiked in a river through waterfalls, pools and narrow gorges? If not, Rio Chillar offers a perfect opportunity to get off the beaten track and enjoy nature from an entire new perspective.
The Rio Chillar is located in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. It takes you through a picturesque riverbed surrounded by lush vegetation, imposing cliffs, and crystal-clear water pools. The river features numerous natural pools and small waterfalls along the way that provide excellent opportunities for swimming, a refreshing dip, or simply enjoying the serene surroundings.
Facts about the Rio Chillar hike
- Duration: 7 – 8 hours
- Length: Roughly 2 x 8 km (you have to return on the exact same route)
- Best season to hike there: Spring and autumn
- Difficulty: Moderate
How to get to Rio Chillar
The starting point of the Rio Chillar hike is located on the outskirts of the city of Nerja. Head for the neighbourhood known as “Urbanización Los Tablazos (you can use a GPS to guide you to this area) and look for the signs directing you to the trail head.
The Route Down the Rio Chillar
Initially, you’ll be walking along a dirt road that leads to the entrance of the Rio Chillar. The road is relatively easy to navigate, and you’ll pass by some rural houses and olive groves along the way.
As you venture into Rio Chillar, you’ll be greeted by a gentle river. The water originates from the nearby Sierra de Almijara mountains, cascading down in a series of small waterfalls. The river’s turquoise and emerald hues contrast beautifully with the surrounding rocky cliffs and verdant foliage.
Another great thing about this track is the opportunity to experience solitude and tranquillity in nature. Unlike popular hiking trails in Spain that attract crowds of people, Rio Chillar allows you to immerse yourself in nature without the distractions and noise of a busy trail.
After app. 5 kilometres, you’ll reach the point where the trail enters the gorge, known as Los Cahorros. This is where the adventure truly begins. You’ll find yourself surrounded by tall limestone walls and rock formations that have been sculpted by the water over thousands of years. These formations create a picturesque environment, and in some areas, they narrow down, forming exciting and narrow passages.
Until this point the walk is pretty easy. However if you want to continue to the endpoint, the Vado de Los Patos, you must prepare your self for a bit more challenging stage. As mentioned above, you have to return on the exact same route. So, your hike can be 10 km to Los Cahorros and back, or 16 km if you want to proceed to the endpoint at Vado de lot Patos and back to the starting point.
Vado de Los Patos, the Endpoint of Your Adventure
Eventually you’ll arrive at the waterfall area known as Vado de Los Patos, the endpoint of your Rio Chillar hike. The area features a large pool at the foot of a water fall. Make sure to stop here, jump into the water and enjoy this rejuvenating moment before you head back to your starting point.