12 refreshing waterfalls in Costa Rica - Edventure Travel

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12 refreshing waterfalls in Costa Rica

Explore in this blog some of the most impressive waterfalls that Costa Rica has to offer. Cataratas, or cascadas, as they are called here, are not only a source of refreshment but also promise an unforgettable experience. The refreshing water attracts not only overheated travelers but also a variety of birds and animals.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous hike or just want to relax with a quiet picnic by the waterfall, there’s something for everyone. Discover it for yourself!

Waterfalls in Central & Northern Costa Rica

Catarata del Toro in Bajos del Toro

Just 1.5 hours drive from San José, this is a perfect day trip en route to your next destination or from Alajuela. It’s an adventurous hike of about an hour and a half with quite a few steps to climb. So, you’ll have to put in some effort, but it’s definitely worth it! Entrance fee: approximately 8,000 colones per person.

🛣️ When to visit? Ideal when traveling from San José to Boca Tapada.

La Cinchona in San Rafael

At La Cinchona, you’ll find four beautiful waterfalls, which require a sturdy hike. So, good grip shoes and a decent level of fitness will come in handy! You can enjoy a refreshing swim in the natural pools, and there are plenty of sodas nearby where you can grab a typical Costa Rican meal. The entrance fee is 6,000 colones per person.

🛣️ When to visit? From Alajuela or San Jose, for instance, en route to Arenal.

Paraiso Manantiales in Rio Cuarto

The path to these beautiful ‘cascadas’ isn’t far (1km), but it’s steep and quite challenging. However, it’s absolutely worth it as it’s truly picturesque and refreshing. The family who runs it also has their own restaurant, where they prepare delicious local food. The entrance fee is $5,000 per person.

🛣️ When to visit? Perfect when traveling from Sarapiqui to La Fortuna.

La Fortuna waterval in La Fortuna

One of the most popular and busiest waterfalls in the country. Go early to beat the crowds! You’ll pay $20 and descend down 530 steps (which you’ll have to climb back up afterward). That’s why you definitely deserve a refreshing dip in between! Entrance fee: around $20 per person.

🌋 Where to visit from? If you’re staying in La Fortuna or passing through on your way to places like Rio Celeste.

Waterfalls in the North, Guanacaste, and Nicoya

Caratata Rio Celeste in Bijagua

In the Volcán Tenorio National Park flows the Rio Celeste, a river with an intense blue color that feeds the beautiful waterfall. Getting there requires a hike and descending numerous stairs, but the reward is worth it. Swimming is not allowed, but the view is breathtaking. The entrance fee for the national park must be purchased online in advance and is $13.56 per person.

🦋 Ideal to visit when staying in Bijagua!

Catarata Llanos de Cortés in Bagaces

This beautiful waterfall is located right off the highway in Bagaces, and access is based on a donation. It’s a green oasis in a hot area, making it a great place to take a refreshing dip.

🛣️ When to visit? Ideal for a stopover on the way to the beaches in Guanacaste or during a visit to Rincon de la Vieja. For example, on the road from La Fortuna to Samara.

La Cangreja in Rincón de la Vieja

La Cangreja in Rincón de la Vieja is located in the national park, known for its active volcano and mud pools. The park also provides access to two waterfalls, including La Cangreja. It does require some effort, as it takes about 2 hours to get there, but it’s definitely worth it! Tickets need to be purchased online in advance and are $16.95 per person.

🥾 Ideal for a visit if you’re staying in Rincón de la Vieja or en route to your destination via Liberia.

Montezuma waterfalls in Montezuma

The Montezuma waterfalls in the tropical dry forest of Montezuma are freely accessible and a popular destination to spend a few hours, often with a picnic brought from home. Although it can be quite a hike and climb, the experience is definitely worth it.

🦶 Very enjoyable to visit if you’re staying in Montezuma or Santa Teresa.

Waterfalls in Central and South Pacific

Nauyaca in Dominical

The Nauyaca Waterfalls, located in the South Pacific near Dominical, offer a stunning hike of about an hour, or you can opt for a horseback ride or a ride in a 4×4 pick-up. These waterfalls are breathtakingly beautiful and delightful for swimming, making them perfect for a half-day of fun. Entrance fee is $10 per person.

🗺️ Visiting Nauyaca is ideal if you’re staying in Dominical, but it’s also easily accessible from Manuel Antonio, Uvita, and Ojochal.

Catarata Uvita in Uvita

The Catarata Uvita in Uvita is a small but beautiful waterfall that is easily accessible from the road. In addition to the refreshing water, the natural slide adds a fun extra dimension to the visit. There are several natural pools in the river where you can cool off, and there’s a small bar nearby where you can order something. The entrance fee is $4.

🛣️ When to visit? Ideal if you’re staying in Uvita, Dominical, or Ojochal!

El Pavon in Ojochal

This is a delightful little waterfall located 4 km from the Pan American Highway, accessible via a scenic bumpy road. You don’t have to take a hike as you can walk directly from the road to the waterfall for a refreshing dip. And the best part? It’s completely free!

🌳 Where to visit from? This waterfall is located near our accommodation in Ojochal, but it’s also great if you’re staying in Uvita.

Delightful waterfall at the Caribbean Coast

Bri Bri waterfall

This waterfall offers a refreshing escape from the salty waters of the Caribbean Sea. To reach it, head towards the village of Bri Bri, home to the indigenous Bri Bri tribe. Just a few kilometers past the village lies this waterfall, only a 500-meter walk away. The entrance fee is approximately 3000 colones.

🛣️ When to visit? Easily accessible from Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, and Playa Cocles, or as a day trip when visiting the Bri Bri indigenous community.

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