Gocta is a perennial waterfall with two drops located in Peru's province of Chachapoyas in Amazonas, approximately 700 kilometres (430 mi) to the northeast of Lima. It flows into the Cocahuayco River. Although the waterfall had been well known to locals for centuries (it is in full view of a nearby village), its existence was not made known to the world until after an expedition made in 2005 by a German, Stefan Ziemendorff, with a group of Peruvian explorers.
At the time of the discovery Ziemendorff successfully persuaded the Peruvian government to map the falls and to measure their height. On 11 March 2006, following his third expedition to the falls, he held a press conference, the contents of which were published by several of the world's wire services. He stated that the total height was measured at 771 metres (2,530 ft), which ranked Gocta as the third tallest free-leaping waterfall in the world after Angel Falls in Venezuela and Tugela Falls in South Africa.
However, this was apparently based on outdated and incomplete information gleaned from the National Geographic Society, and Ziemendorff's comments as to the waterfalls' ranking have since been widely disputed. Citing various encyclopedias, reference books, and webpages accessible through Google, Gocta Cataracts are unofficially listed as the world's fifth-tallest, after adding Ramnefjellsfossen (Norway) and Mongefossen (Norway). Furthermore, The World Waterfall Database ranks Gocta as the 16th tallest. (For definitions of waterfalls see also discussion.)