Top Waterfalls in Costa Rica

Taking a trip to the waterfalls of Costa Rica is a MUST when coming to visit! You can make this a quick stop on a day trip or dedicate a whole day and hike to a more remote waterfall. After a hike through the rainforest in the tropical heat, a dip in these refreshing waters will make you feel connected to nature in a whole new way!

La Fortuna Waterfall

This waterfall is surrounded by lush green rainforest. People from around the world come to visit this beautiful natural wonder and the surrounding hot springs in La Fortuna. This waterfall flows from a cliff at the base of the dormant Chato volcano and falls 230-feet before filling the tropical pond below. If you wanted to hike, you can start from the cliff which can be combined with a hanging bridges canopy tour. It follows a hillside staircase that takes about 15 minutes. Then you can walk right out onto the boulders on the banks of the basin before taking the plunge into the fresh waters.

Rio Celeste Waterfall

This waterfall is located in Tenorio Volcano National Park in the northwestern Guanacaste region. According to local legend, when God painted the sky, he washed his blue brushes in the river, turning the waters an entrancing shade of turquoise. In reality, the water that flows through the park is the unique product of a chemical reaction between minerals from the volcano and the lush rainforest that surrounds it. The water is so blue it will take your breath away! The best time of year to visit is during the dry season between December and April. To access this waterfall you follow a tree-covered trail, it is not far to reach the waterfall but after visiting the waterfall the trail continues for an overall 2-hour hike. You will see local wildlife like the poison dart frogs, colorful blue morpho butterflies, and many types of monkeys. Unfortunately, swimming is prohibited here. We like to think is this one of the hidden gems of Costa Rica because it is often the least crowded because of its remote location off the beaten path.

La Paz Waterfall

These unique falls are located in the Cloud Forest. It is the most visited privately-owned ecological attraction in Costa Rica because it is a combination of a nature walk, five waterfalls, and a rescued wildlife preserve with over 100 species of animals. The preserve also includes a butterfly observatory, serpentarium, frog exhibit, and hummingbird garden. You can expect to see a ton of wildlife on this hike because this area is home to over 40-species of birds, monkeys, sloths, jaguars, pumas, and ocelots! We recommend that you carve out a bit more time for these falls because it is quite easy to spend an entire day touring the gardens and waterfalls.

Nauyaca Waterfall

These falls are remotely tucked into the deep rainforest just 20 minutes from Dominical in the South Pacific region of Costa Ballena. To visit the falls you can arrive by horseback, hiking, or by ATV. The hikers and horseback riders use the same well-maintained trail that is roughly 2.5 miles. It is an easy hike that isn’t too difficult for children. A unique feature of this attraction is that the falls are split into upper and lower cascades. Water pours over the cliffside to fall over 140 feet before the next 60-foot drop on the lower falls. Once you arrive the trail splits into two so you can visit either the upper or lower falls. The upper falls are impressive and the occasional mist blowing off the waterfall is refreshing after the hike. There are a number of smooth river rocks where you can sit to enjoy the impeccable peaceful view. The lower falls are a lot more fun! The cascade falls into a large natural swimming hole. There are often many visitors but there is plenty of room for everyone to swim, relax, or explore.

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

This attraction is said to be Costa Rica’s most beautiful waterfall and it is easily accessible. It is located in Bagaces about 30 minutes south of Liberia and the hike down the steep stairs takes only 10 minutes. A unique factor about these falls is they are actually wider than they are tall! The falls are 50 feet wide and 12 feet tall with streams of water that flow into the clear cool pool at the base. There is also a light sandy beach which can be nice for a wedding or to enjoy the view of the forest surrounding. Entrance fees to Llanos de Cortez currently run $7 per person for foreign visitors, and proceeds support the local community school.

Waterfalls are just one of the many attractions that Costa Rica has to offer! If you are looking for more travel tips or if you have any questions, drop us a comment below and we can answer them for you.

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Kerry Charlotte

Kerry Charlotte

My favorite thing about destination weddings is watching all of the guests explore a new place! I, myself, love learning more about this tropical paradise. I also really enjoy how every single event is completely different and really reflects the couple and their love story.

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