There are many different excursions and day trips from Marrakech. If you're staying in the city, after a few days you'll be ready to venture out and see the beautiful landscapes. Our favorite tour was the Ouzoud falls day trip to amazing waterfalls and the Atlas Mountains just outside of Marrakech.
We booked our tour through our riad. We thought we got the best deal after hearing how much someone booked their Ourika Valley day trip in the Medina AFTER haggling. But after going on the Ouzoud Falls day trip, we found even better prices online - WITHOUT haggling! Click here to book your day trip online with no hassle.
The tours meet at Jemma El-Fnaa around 8-8:30AM. There are only a few juice stands open at this time and the Medina is relatively quiet. The drive to Ouzoud takes about 2-2.5 hours. They make a pit stop and it's a great time to get some Moroccan mint tea!
Upon arriving at the Atlas Mountains, your driver passes you over to a local tour guide that will bring you to the Ouzoud Waterfalls. Our guide spoke Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. He also announced at the beginning that he would be asking for 30 dirham (~$3 USD) per person once he brought us back to our driver. So remember to bring extra cash with you!
The hike down wasn't too strenuous, we wore our hiking boots but others on the tour wore sandals and slippers/flip-flops. Sometimes the path was a bit muddy or there were a couple of slippery rocks, so I'd recommend wearing footwear that you don't mind getting dirty and has good grip.
Our guide told us that the waterfalls used to have a lot more water and the falls were much wider but due to global warming the amount of water in the area had lessened. The water comes from an underground source and does not come from snow or glaciers in the Atlas Mountains as many believe before visiting the Ouzoud falls for themselves.
The water from the waterfalls also creates stalactites and stalagmites around the area. You can see them along the trail down to the bottom of the valley.
Near the bottom of valley there are rafts that take you up-close to the main waterfalls. Each raft can hold 8 people and you're seated across from each other to balance the weight. Even though the last row is a bench seat, the rowers will ask you to sit apart on each side.
After taking the raft around near the bottom of the waterfalls, you'll be brought across to the other side of the river. When we went in May 2018, it cost 20 dirham (~$2USD) per person for the raft ride.
It was absolutely worth it! You will probably get sprayed a bit when you get close to the waterfalls, but it is a breathtaking view and the water will feel great on a hot sunny day.
After the raft ride you'll be in the shops and restaurant area. Time for lunch! Our guide brought us to a restaurant and told us we'd have 2 hours before meeting up again. I'm not sure if our group just finished early but we ended up getting back together after about an hour and continuing.
The restaurant we were taken to was offering tajin lunches for 120 dirham (~$12USD). We had brought our own food though so you can definitely do that if you want to save money. Another option would be to walk a little farther ahead on the trail as there were restaurants offering ala carte items for around 30 dirham (~$3USD) and also tajin lunches for 60 dirham (~$6 USD). The cheaper restaurants might not have had views of the waterfalls like the one the guide brought us to, but by now you should have taken enough photos.
Past the restaurants there is a little viewing area overlooking the Ouzoud Falls. If it’s a nice sunny day, you can usually see rainbows in the spray from the falls.
After lunch, you’ll get to meet some Barbary apes up close and personal. There are boys handing out peanuts for you to feed the apes and if you hold it up near a tree or railing, the apes will climb on your shoulders and eat the peanut over your head. Great for a unique photo opportunity but then you'll need to tip the boy for providing the peanut and brush the shells out of your hair.
This was probably our favorite day in Morocco. We also enjoyed the Ourika Valley day trip, but the Ouzoud Waterfalls really make you say "WOW!"
Things to note:
You'll want to bring extra cash/change with you for your local guide (30 dirham), the raft (20 dirham), and if you decide to feed the apes (tip for the peanuts).
Expect lunch to be about 120 dirham (~$12USD/person) if you go to the restaurants the guides bring you to. It's okay to pack your own lunch and bring it with you.
Bring water and snacks.
We paid 29 euros/person for the tour. You may be able to haggle the price in the medina.
UPDATE: We found a better deal online without haggling. Get the best price (even better than ours) by booking here!
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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore