Marrakech is an amazing city, but it’s so overwhelming. Yes, it was incredible and beautiful, but I needed a vacation from the vacation. Everywhere I turned I was either faced with someone trying to aggressively barter with me, women grabbing my hands and squeezing henna onto them, men chasing me with chained monkeys and snakes, people running me over with tiny motorcycles, or giant hanging slabs of beef or octopus smacking me in the face. Enter Ouzoud Waterfalls.
With eight days in Marrakech, we knew we’d be wanting a break from it. We booked a few day trips, and our first was to Ouzod Waterfalls. We booked ahead of time through I Go Morocco, which I highly recommend. It was really competitive pricing, better than you would’ve gotten by bartering in the street. We paid $25 each for the full day tour, which was unbelievable for everything we got, but I would keep that price mark in mind whilst bartering! Also, knowing that the tour company was local yet still had a reliable internet presence made it less scary as we waited at our Riad to be picked up by a stranger at 7am for a long drive through the Moroccan countryside…
After a couple hours in the car, we stopped on the edge of a Berber village and piled out. We were handed over to a local Berber tour guide, who lives in the village, to guide us through the olive groves to the waterfalls.
After a steep downhill hike, we were brought to a little cliffside cafe to rest for a moment. It happened to have fresh orange juice… and amazing views of Ouzoud waterfalls.
After about thirty minutes of snapping photos and relaxing in the shade, we started the even steeper hike down the cliffside to the “Berber jacuzzi” – AKA the pools at the base of Ouzoud waterfalls!
From there we were greeted by some very persistent/friendly Berber men and some very bright, velvety, flower adorned floating rafts. After all the hassling of Marrakech, we’d become very wary of tourist traps. However, our fellow travelers convinced us to try the boat trip and it ended up being my favorite part of the whole day! For 20 dirhams (about $2), we were rowed right up, under, and through the cascades!
It was all very magical, misty, and giggly!
And we even got a plate piled high in orange slices for dessert!
And ended the day with our last stop at the top of the cliff – Berber Monkeys! (Also known as Barbary Macaques). For just a few coins you can purchase some peanuts to feed the monkeys,who will come and eat right out of your hand! This is also a much better place to get photos of/with the monkeys, as the monkeys in Marrakech are undoubtedly mistreated and owned as pets. These monkeys are wild, but pretty tame!
Disclaimer: my housemate who’s doing her masters in conservation zoology says peanuts are very bad for monkeys and can give them diabetes. When I was feeding the Berber monkeys they just opened the peanuts and threw them away, like they were putting on a show for me but didn’t actually like the nuts. Maybe they were full. Either way, maybe think twice before you feed to monkeys peanuts!
Ouzoud waterfalls was such a fun day out, full of hiking, laughing, food, monkeys, and amazing views.