Best Waterfalls in Costa Rica

The 7+ Best Waterfalls in Costa Rica You Must Visit

I can confidently say that the best waterfalls in Costa Rica are some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you the 7+ best waterfalls in Costa Rica that you absolutely must visit. I’ll give you all the details you need to know to make your visit as smooth as possible, including location, accessibility, and tips for visiting each waterfall. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. La Fortuna Waterfall – Best Waterfall in Costa Rica

La Fortuna Waterfall - Best Waterfalls in Costa Rica

Located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the most popular and best waterfalls in Costa Rica. And it’s no wonder why! The waterfall is a stunning 76 meters (249 feet) tall and is surrounded by lush vegetation.

To get to La Fortuna Waterfall, you can either take a guided tour or drive to the park and hike the 1.5-kilometer trail. The trail is relatively easy and takes around 45 minutes to complete. Once you reach the waterfall, you can take a dip in the pool at the base of the falls or hike to the top for a different perspective.

2. Catarata del Toro

Catarata del Toro Waterfall

Catarata del Toro, located in the northern province of Alajuela, is one of the tallest waterfalls in Costa Rica at 140 meters (459 feet). The waterfall is located in a remote area and can only be accessed by a 4×4 vehicle or by taking a guided tour.

Once you reach the waterfall, you’ll be able to hike to the base of the falls for a swim or hike to the top for a panoramic view. The hike to the top is quite steep and can be challenging, but the view from the top is well worth it.

3. Nauyaca Waterfalls

Nauyaca Waterfalls

Nauyaca Waterfalls, located in the southern province of Puntarenas, is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Costa Rica. The waterfall is actually made up of two separate falls, the upper fall and the lower fall. The upper fall is 30 meters (98 feet) tall, while the lower fall is 20 meters (66 feet) tall.

To get to Nauyaca Waterfalls, you’ll need to take a guided tour or hire a 4×4 vehicle and a driver. The drive to the waterfall is bumpy and takes around 2 hours. Once you reach the waterfall, you can swim in the pools at the base of the falls or hike to the top for a different perspective.

4. Rio Celeste Waterfall

Rio Celeste Waterfall

Rio Celeste Waterfall, located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, is one of the most unique waterfalls in Costa Rica. The waterfall is known for its bright blue color, which is caused by a chemical reaction between the minerals in the water.

To get to Rio Celeste Waterfall, you’ll need to take a guided tour or hike the 3.5-kilometer trail. The trail is relatively easy and takes around 2 hours to complete. Once you reach the waterfall, you can take a dip in the pool at the base of the falls or hike to the top for a different perspective.

5. El Silencio Waterfall

El Silencio Waterfall

El Silencio Waterfall, located in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, is one of the most secluded waterfalls in Costa Rica. The waterfall is located in a remote area and can only be accessed by taking a guided tour.

Once you reach the waterfall, you’ll be able to hike to the base of the falls for a swim or hike to the top for a panoramic view. The hike to the top is quite steep and can be challenging, but the view from the top is well worth it.

6. Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, located in the Guanacaste province, is one of the most accessible waterfalls in Costa Rica. The waterfall is located just a short drive from the popular beach town of Tamarindo and can easily be visited on a day trip.

To get to Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, you can either take a guided tour or drive to the park and hike the 1-kilometer trail. The trail is relatively easy and takes around 30 minutes to complete. Once you reach the waterfall, you can take a dip in the pool at the base of the falls or hike to the top for a different perspective.

7. La Paz Waterfall

La Paz Waterfall

La Paz Waterfall, located in the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, is one of the most popular waterfalls in Costa Rica. The waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and is part of a larger eco-park that also features butterfly and hummingbird gardens, a snake exhibit, and a frog exhibit.

To get to La Paz Waterfall, you’ll need to visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which can easily be visited on a day trip from the nearby city of San Jose. Once you reach the waterfall, you can take a dip in the pool at the base of the falls or hike to the top for a different perspective.

8. El Chorro Waterfall

 El Chorro Waterfall

El Chorro Waterfall is a true natural wonder, and one of only seven waterfalls in the world that falls into the sea. It definitely deserves a spot on this list of the best waterfalls in Costa Rica.

Located at Playa Cocalitos, part of Romelia Refuge, five miles (8 km) north of town, this beautiful waterfall cascades stunningly from a cliff into lava rock pools and the ocean.

The falls are incredibly beautiful and often reflect rainbows, making for a truly magical experience. In addition, the waterfall features a beach cove with an incredibly scenic look, making for an ideal photo opportunity. It’s like a poster come to life and you get to be in it!

To get to El Chorro Waterfall, you’ll need to take a guided tour or hike the trail. The hike to the top is quite steep and can be challenging, but the view from the top is well worth it.

Tips for Visiting The Best Waterfalls in Costa Rica

  • Be sure to wear sturdy shoes as the trails can be steep, rocky, and muddy
  • Bring plenty of water as the hikes can be strenuous
  • Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at the base of the falls
  • Bring a waterproof camera or protective case as the mist from the falls can be heavy
  • Be sure to bring mosquito repellent as the area around the waterfalls is known for having a lot of mosquitoes

Conclusion

In conclusion, Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, and these 7+ best waterfalls in Costa Rica are just a small sampling of what the country has to offer. If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, Costa Rica is a must-visit destination.

If you plan on visiting Puerto Rico, check out my post on the 15 best waterfalls in Puerto Rico.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to visit the best waterfalls in Costa Rica?

The cost to visit the best waterfalls in Costa Rica can vary depending on the specific waterfall and whether you choose to take a guided tour or visit independently. On average, you can expect to pay around $20-30 for entrance fees and $40-50 for guided tours.

Is it safe to swim in the pools at the base of the waterfalls?

It is generally safe to swim in the pools at the base of the waterfalls, but it is always important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. It is recommended to not swim near the waterfall itself as the currents can be strong.

Is it recommended to visit the waterfalls in the rainy season?

The rainy season in Costa Rica is typically from May to November, during this time the waterfalls are more spectacular, but the trails can be muddy and slippery. It is recommended to visit the waterfalls during the dry season ( December to April) as the trails will be more accessible and the waterfalls will be less crowded.

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The 7+ Best Waterfalls in Costa Rica You Must Visit
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