The Rio Chillar, also known as Cahorros, runs through the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. It is one of the few routes suitable for summer walking as there is plenty of shade, and several pools along the way to cool down in. Considered a summer classic, the Rio Chillar makes for a great family day out.
Where to start
The best place to park is on the car park on Calle Mirto, Nerja. This is near where the market is held (there is also plenty of parking in Almijara, close to the market area- you will be unable to park here on Tuesdays and Sundays.) To access the river you will need to head in the direction of the A7 motorway, following the road Carril de los Almachares. Please note that parking on this road is forbidden. Continue straight down this road, passing under the motorway bridge until you reach the concrete factory. Just past the factory you will arrive at the entrance to Natural Park in an old quarry with the Rio Chillar trickling through it. The river is now your guide as you head up stream.
The first part of the walk is easy going as the path is wide and the river isn’t very deep. About 2km in you will reach a steep ramp next to a hydroelectric power plant. This a good spot for a photo and there is also a little pool that you can cool off in.
Gradually as you head up the river, the path will become narrower and the depth and speed of the water increases and you find yourself in a series of cahorras (rapids). These rapids are easily negotiated, just take care on the slippery rocks. You’ll pass through several gorges, some as narrow as one metre, allowing you to touch both sides at the same time. At this point you’re roughly 4km from the quarry.
Vado de Los Patos
After the gorges, the river widens out and you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy a picnic or just rest a little. As you continue upriver the walk gets a little more difficult. You will pass another pool and some large rocks. At around 8km you will arrive at a pool with a waterfall, this is Vado de Los Patos. A great spot to enjoy your picnic and bathe in the pool.
What you should know
The distance from the start of the Natural Park to Vado de Los Patos is roughly 8km there and 8km back. Approximately 7 hours in total depending on how many stops you make. If you’re taking younger children you can make the walk shorter by going as far as the first pool (2km) or until the Cahorros (4km). It gets very busy on weekends and local holidays, so it is always best to leave early on these days.
Help protect the environment
This walk is in a Natural Park which means we must take extra care to protect it. It is completely forbidden to litter in this area so please take your rubbish home with you. It’s also prohibited to start fires in the area due to the risk of wild fires in summer. Help protect the plants by not picking any fruit or flowers.
What you’ll need to take
- Comfortable shoes with grip (that you don’t mind getting wet)
- A picnic Plenty of water Sunscreen and a hat
- A walking staff can come in handy on the wet rocks
- Shorts and swimming gear