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The route by the Chillar River in Nerja

The tourist town of Nerja in Malaga has great attractions for visitors and also for nature and hiking lovers. Located in the foothills of the Sierras de la Tejera, Almijara and Alhama Nature Reserve, one of the options on offer is the Route of the Cahorros of the Chillar River. An itinerary that takes us literally up the riverbed, passing through the narrow gorges known as Los Cahorros, plunging into pools of crystal clear water and discovering the whimsical corners that the river Chillar has formed in its tireless flow.​

How to get to the Route of the Cahorros of the Chillar River

As we already know, to follow this route we must head for the town of Nerja, located on the coast of Malaga. Once in Nerja we should look for the parking area on Mirto Street on the corner of Avenue of the Constitution, close to where the Nerja street market is usually held, not far from the A-7 motorway. If we find this car park full, if we continue along this Street Mirto we will find up to three more car parks where we can park our vehicle and start the route. It is important to park in Nerja, as if you do so on the road that leads to the beginning of the section along the river, you may be fined.

Itinerary of the Route of the Cahorros of the Chillar River

From Nerja to the entrance of the natural park 1.5 km

We start our route along the river Chillar in Nerja, specifically at the main parking area on Mirto Street. We walk along this street until we reach a fork in the middle of a bend, shortly after leaving the parking area. We leave this street to head towards the nearby motorway, leaving Nerja for good. The asphalted road takes us under the motorway, a road that we will not leave at any of the crossroads we pass. After a while, when we reach a concrete factory, the asphalt gives way to a dirt track which we follow. We soon reach the barrier that marks the boundary of the nature park (0h 20min), and the real beginning of the Route of the Cahorros of the Chillar River.

From the barrier to The Cahorros 3 Km

From this point we fully enter the riverbed, although for the moment the width of the river and its flow do not give us a glimpse of what lies ahead. The wide path leads us to the old hydroelectric power station and its corresponding dam. From this point onwards the really entertaining part of the route along the river Chillar begins. After cautiously overcoming the dam we will have no choice but to walk along the river. We advance slowly to try to avoid slipping or falling.

Depending on the flow of the river Chillar, we will get wetter or less wet, as the water usually reaches up to our ankles, but this is very relative.

This stretch has some crystal-clear water as we approach the first section of The Cahorros. In front of us is the first of the narrow crevasses that we have to cross. These passages with vertical walls are spectacular and full of curious formations. When you cross the second one of The Cahorros (1h 15min), a large pool of water awaits you, which is usually the end of the route along the Chillar River for most of the walkers.

From The Cahorros to the Ford of the Ducks 3.5 Km

In our case, we decide to keep moving forward to get closer to the Ford of the Ducks This part of the route of The Cahorros of the Chillar river is somewhat more complicated than the one we have already done. The stones of the river force us to progress with more caution, but the beauty of this part of the route compensates for the effort required. When the time comes, the rocks become somewhat larger, forcing us to find a way to climb up the riverbed. After wandering from rock to rock we finally reach the Ford of the Ducks (3h 15min), where a beautiful waterfall and of course another crystal-clear pool await us. Here, after enjoying this natural spot, we have the option to continue to an old dam upstream, but this section is much more difficult and requires specific canyoning equipment and knowledge.

Tips for do the Route of the Cahorros of the Chillar River

1-Bear in mind that due to the type of terrain on which most of the route takes place, the speed of progression is not the same as on other routes.

2-It is important to proceed with caution to avoid accidents, the area is difficult to access for emergency services.

3-A large part of the route is along the river, although many people wear sandals and similar footwear, in this type of terrain it is important to protect the ankle from possible impacts by wearing specific boots.

4-Obviously the flow of the river influences the difficulty of the route, and it may not even be advisable to do the route, which is why it is important to find out about the state of the river beforehand.

Waypoints of the route
1-Nerja 0:00h 123m 0Km 30S 422176 4069097
2-The Cahorros 1:15h 185m 4,5Km 30S 422046 4072515
3-Ford of the Ducks 3:15h 280m 8Km 30S 423211 4073366

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

Profile of the Route of The Cahorros of the Chillar River

Profile of the Route of The Cahorros of the Chillar River

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 16Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 6:30h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Moderate

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 410m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 205m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 205m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 285m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 95m


Topographical map of the Route of The Cahorros of the River Chillar in Nerja

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 1054-2 y 1055-1 1:25.000".

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Route information updated on 18-05-2021. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.

All the times are approximate and take an orientative character, the stops have not been taken into account, no matter how small they are. All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns, and places of tourist interest are published as a guide, and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before undertaking any activity, assess your technical knowledge, your physical condition, find out about the weather and the variations that the route may undergo, equip yourself correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, and do not exceed your capabilities. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inappropriate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications as well as its electronic guides, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the aforementioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. We also encourage you to read books and specialised guides to complement the information described above.

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