Ouzoud Falls: A Complete Guide to Visiting from Marrakech
The Ouzoud Falls are one of the best and easiest day trips from Marrakech! As soon as I saw a photo of them, I knew I wanted to make a day of it to see them in person.
Our three days in Marrakech fell right in the middle of our Morocco itinerary. By then I wasn’t really looking forward to being in another city, especially one that was supposed to be more hectic than Fes, Chefchaouen, and Tangier. I also wasn’t planning on doing any major shopping in the medina, so I kind of wanted to remove myself from the temptation.
Cue a day trip to the Ouzoud Falls!
What are the Ouzoud Falls?
The Ouzoud Falls are a series of waterfalls that fall over the El-Abid River gorge in the province of Azilal. In French, they’re called Cascades d’Ouzoud and in Amazigh, it’s Imuzzar n wuẓuḍ.
There are 3 different drops and they all add up to 110m or 360ft high. The longest drop is 75m!
A part of an Ouzoud day trip is that there’s more to do than just seeing some incredible falls. In the same day you’ll be able to go swimming, do a little hiking, and maybe even have a monkey use you for a seat!
An Ouzoud Waterfalls Day Trip Itinerary
Here’s exactly how my tour to Ouzoud went!
Pick up in Marrakech
I was one of the first of my group picked up, so our driver came and got us around 8 am. Overall, it took about an hour to get everyone before we got on the road.
Arrive to the top of the Falls
Ouzoud Falls is a day trip from Marrakech, but it’s still kind of far away! I expected it to take us 3 hours to get there, so I was pleasantly surprised when it took less. They do stop off at a gas station midway if you want a quick snack or to stretch your legs.
The first stop you make is to the top of the falls, where you get the above scenery. I was pretty impressed already, but in reality this is actually the least interesting view!
Our guide, Ibrahim, then gave us a little history of the area including more about the olive trees and what exactly this beautiful mansion is below:
Hike down to the Bottom of the Falls to the Swimming Area
So, before you get going on your hike, your group is given the option of visiting some Berber villages or hiking down to a swimming area separate from the falls. At this point in my travels, I’m not one to politely be quiet while everyone tries to figure out who should speak up, so I immediately said the swimming hole. No one else felt strongly either way, and a few others chimed in on swimming, so we began our hike down!
It’s not a steep hike, but it does get kind of rocky in some places, so you’ll want to wear tennis shoes or hiking sandals at the bare minimum. I had on my white tennis shoes but probably would have preferred wearing actual sneakers.
30-40 minutes for swimming
It’s weird because I basically grew up in pools but I always forget how much I love being in the water! This swimming hole is away from the main falls area, so it was just our group. Most people hung out under the pavilion and got some drinks, but a few of us hopped in to swim. Most people jumped off the cliffs, but I quickly discovered my suit top was not fit for that haha.
Trust me, the swim was more than welcome after the heat and that hike down!
Go Over to the Main Falls Area
After swimming, Ibrahim rounded us up to go over the the main Ouzoud falls area. Now this is where you’re going to get the best views. Like look at the above photos!
Take a boat, swim, or walk across
We basically had to cross over to the other side, and there are three options:
- Walking across this little bridge
- Swimming over
- Paying 20 MAD ($2 USD) for one of these fun boats
Ibrahim held my camera (and took a bunch of photos) while I took the boat over. It goes right up to the bottom of the falls, so you’re definitely going to get wet! You can enjoy our reactions above haha.
Walk up to the first view point
Once everyone had crossed over, we began the trek back up. This side is much easier as it’s all stairs and different landings to hangout instead of just dirt. Our first view point was quite lovely and gets you pretty close to the falls from the side.
Climb up to a view point with monkeys
The next view point is where you’ll find some monkeys hanging out! They reminded me of the monkeys that hang around the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur except maybe both gentler and cheekier. They had no issue hopping onto people if you were holding food, but they’re not as grabby or aggressive as the KL ones. You can tell they’re very used to visitors but also do what they want when they want, how they want.
If you walk a little past the area all the monkeys tend to gather, there’s another view point that gives you some stunning views of the gorge itself. Maybe not the best point for anyone afraid of heights though!
The whole tour ends with lunch at 2 before going home. I only got a soda as I wasn’t really hungry and I’d rather just wait and get a good dinner. The restaurant they take you to is okay but nothing worth writing about.
Tips for Your Ouzoud Falls Day Trip
- Name: Ouzoud Falls
- Other Names: Cascades d’Ouzoud, Imuzzar n wuẓuḍ
- Cost: Free
- Open: 24 hours
Ouzoud Waterfall Tours
The easiest way by far is taking a tour. If you’re driving I would, of course recommend going on your own as you’ll have way more time to swim and relax at the bottom of the falls. I remember looking up public transport and it just sounded way too convoluted for me.
I really liked my tour! It’s super inexpensive (like a little more than $20 USD), and Ibrahim was awesome. He was funny and kept a good pace for the whole tour. I didn’t feel rushed at all even though we did a lot in basically 3 hours!
You can check out more of the tour here.
What to Wear to the Ouzoud Falls
As long as you have decently sturdy shoes and a swimsuit, you should be fine! I went to the falls with my bikini bottoms on with a pair of long linen pants and my favorite Everlane t-shirt. This made it easier for me to slip on my bikini top without needing to go to a changing room.
After the swimming, I just walked with my bikini top on since it covers a lot and I put my linen pants back on. Yes it was a little wet, but it’s pretty hot out, so everything dries quite quickly!
Have you done an Ouzoud Falls day trip? How’d it go?
for more on morocco
If you’re looking for more advice on visiting, check out my tips for which cities to visit in Morocco on your first trip and my super long guide on what to eat! Some other places we visited in Morocco were the beautiful Essaouira, the mini-Hollywood town of Ouarzazate, and the Sahara Desert near Merzouga.
And, of course, don’t miss my post with tips on how to get around Morocco – from renting a car to figuring out the bus system!
While Morocco’s healthcare is pretty inexpensive (rabies shots are free, for example), you do want to make sure you’re protected regardless. Depending on your budget and how long you’re traveling, you may want to get a quote from World Nomads and/or Safety Wing. I personally had Safety Wing as I was traveling for a month, and it was quite inexpensive!
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