Waterfalls of Costa Rica: Our mountain’s exotic adornments

Photo by IG: @verootremblay

Thousands of waterfalls adorn Costa Rica’s mountains. From those that are only a few meters high to those that seem endless, they all take your breath away. Here are some of the many waterfalls that as a visitor you can’t miss out on and everything you need to know about them.

Diamond Waterfall (Catarata Diamante)

To say you truly know our country’s waterfalls, you must visit the Diamante waterfall, one of the biggest waterfalls in Costa Rica. Located in Perez Zeledon, the waterfall has a medium to high difficult access with a 2 kilometer walk to reach its base and steep slopes. You will need comfortable clothes, sneakers, swimsuit, towel, pajamas, and a headlamp. The area has parking lot and despite it not being pet friendly and not having campsites, it has beautiful and fully equipped caves hidden behind the waterfall for those who wish to spend a night or two.  Visitors will be given the option to pay for a morning or a night tour. The tour begins in a garden that has all kinds of plants and exotic fruits that you can sample. After you leave the garden, you will have to walk about 20 minutes in order to reach the actual waterfall and the place where you will spend the night. Delicious food and breathtaking views, and unforgettable dives will be guaranteed when you come and visit Diamante waterfall.

Hidden Treasure Waterfall (Catarata Tesoro Escondido)

Located in Bajos del Toro, Alajuela, the Tesoro Escondido waterfall is surrounded by a river of celestial blue water and unsurpassed sights.The waterfall has easy access that consists of a 3 kilometer walk. The area has a parking lot, a camping site, it is pet friendly, and there are showers, bathrooms and eating areas. If you want to visit the site, it is important to wear comfortable clothes for walking, bring sunscreen, a bathing suit, a hat, bug repellent, jacket, drinks, snacks, and maybe some hot chocolate for after you take a swim since the waterfall’s water is freezing. But in spite of the ice cold water, the blue water and the relaxing atmosphere will make you want to stay here for days.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens 

Probably the place everyone knows about. La Paz Waterfall Gardens in Poas has a wildlife refuge for animals that they rescue, a rainforest, and an orchid garden within its area of 70 acres. The garden has 5 beautiful waterfalls for visitors to walk through, soak in and takes pictures. Its nature exhibits and hikes with lunch and garden enjoyment included can be done in about 4 hours but can be done in a minimum of 2 hours. The place has a lodge for visitors who want to spend the night and if you keep exploring the area, you will find the Poas volcano.

Llanos de Cortés Waterfall (Catarata Llanos de Cortés

If you are in Guanacaste and want to escape the heat, come and visit the Llanos de Cortés Waterfall in Bagaces, Liberia. The waterfall is near several beaches and has a parking lot. The road that leads to the waterfall is short but rocky and slippery so one must be careful. The entrance fee is less than $10 dollars and the place is open to the public from 8am until 4:30pm. If you are looking for some adventure and a place to beat Guanacaste’s hot weather, grab your swimsuit and come to Llanos de Cortés Waterfall.

Nauyaca Waterfalls (Cataratas Nauyaca

In Puntarenas you will find the Nauyaca Waterfalls; two grand waterfalls that are 60 meters high. The hike is of moderate difficulty and from Monday to Saturday they offer horseback riding tours all the way to the waterfall. You will initially reach the small waterfall that is about 20 meters high and 10 meters wide and is surrounded by a small natural pool (or as we call them here, pozos) and if you look up and continue hiking, you will reach the 40 meter waterfall. The place is ideal for swimming, jumping, enjoying the view and even for having a picnic.

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Celeste Waterfall (Catarata Rio Celeste)

The Celeste Waterfall and the Celeste river are located in San Carlos, Alajuela. This water source arises from the union of two bodies of water that come all the way from the Tenorio volcano and that, by chemical processes, when they converge, the water takes on that crystal clear and light blue color that the name mentions (celeste means light blue in spanish). Visitors may not swim in the natural pool that surrounds the waterfall to prevent its pollution but the view is worth the visit. You will be able to hike, have incredible views and soak in some hot springs while enjoying the blue color that characterizes this waterfall and river.

The waterfalls that adorn the mountains of our country are unique, nothing like you’ve ever seen before and they deserve to be visited. Come and explore our waterfalls and have a trip you will never forget!

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