The 15 Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a mesmerizing tropical haven renowned for its stunning natural beauty. Waterfalls are one of the region’s many captivating features that occupy a particular place in the hearts of residents and visitors.

This Central American treasure provides a paradise-like experience with its lush jungles, bright flora and fauna, and abundance of tumbling waterfalls.

In this post, we’ll take you on a tour of the top 15 best waterfalls in Costa Rica while giving you crucial details like path lengths, interesting places to visit nearby, and exhilarating activities to try out while you’re there.

La Fortuna Waterfall 

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica
Photo : (Ram-Man)/ Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the lush rainforest near Arenal Volcano, the La Fortuna Waterfall is a sight to behold. With a majestic drop of 70 meters, it is a popular attraction in the Arenal region.

Visitors embark on a scenic 15-minute hike through the vibrant rainforest to reach the falls. The trial can be termed challenging, but the reward is worth it.

Foreign visitors must pay $15 in cash at the entry to the fall for admission. The park is run by a sustainability nonprofit that collects the entrance fee.

After soaking in the beauty of the waterfall, adventurers can take a refreshing dip in the natural pool below.

Nearby, you can explore the charming town of La Fortuna, indulge in soothing hot springs, or enjoy thrilling activities such as zip-lining or hiking the Arenal Volcano.

Oropendola Waterfall

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica
Photo: Alanatoby/ Wikimedia Commons

The Oropendola Waterfall in Costa Rica’s rainforests is a well-kept secret. This captivating cascade in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, provides tourists with a breath-taking spectacle. The Oropendola bird, famed for its unusual call frequently reverberates across the verdant surroundings, gave the waterfall its name.

The trail, which is around 4 kilometers long, offers the chance to see the many plants and fauna that flourish in this protected area.

Oropendola Waterfall is a truly breathtaking sight once you get there. The waterfall creates a striking display of natural beauty as it cascades down from a height of about 25 meters.

Nauyaca Waterfalls 

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

The Nauyaca Waterfalls, located near Dominical in the southern region of Costa Rica, is a natural wonder that consists of two magnificent cascades.

Visitors can choose between a shorter, 4-kilometer trek and a longer, more challenging 6-kilometer trail. Both routes offer breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest.

When you arrive, get ready to be astounded by the waterfalls’ incredible beauty and force. Take a refreshing swim in the pools beneath the falls or bask in the tranquility of the surroundings.

Nearby, explore the bohemian town of Dominical and its picturesque beaches, or embark on horseback riding adventures in the lush hillsides.

Montezuma Waterfall 

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

The Montezuma Waterfall, located in the Nicoya Peninsula’s center, is a treasure just waiting to be found.

Visitors embark on a 20-minute hike through a lush tropical forest to reach this enchanting spot, crossing streams and small bridges.

Upon arrival, you’ll be met by several falling waterfalls that have formed natural swimming and relaxation pools. The surrounding area is a paradise for nature lovers, with opportunities for wildlife spotting, bird watching, and exploring nearby tide pools and beaches.

Please don’t miss the chance to visit Montezuma, a bohemian town renowned for its active art scene and relaxed attitude.

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall 

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

Situated near the town of Bagaces in Guanacaste province, the Llanos de Cortez Waterfall is a breathtaking sight accessible via a short 10-minute walk from the parking area.

As you approach, the sound of the cascading water grows louder, building anticipation for the grand reveal. The waterfall descends into a large natural pool, inviting visitors to take a refreshing swim.

Because of the abundance of animals nearby makes it an excellent place for photography and birdwatching. After your visit, consider exploring the nearby Palo Verde National Park, famous for its wetlands and diverse ecosystem.

La Paz Waterfall 

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

The La Paz Waterfall, tucked away within the privately owned La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, provides a singular opportunity to discover several beautiful waterfalls in one place.

The park features five waterfalls accessible via a series of well-maintained trails. The main waterfall is the most iconic, with a drop of approximately 37 meters.

The park is open for visitors to explore independently while taking in the gorgeous scenery, thick rainforests, and varied fauna. Don’t miss the chance to visit the park’s hummingbird and butterfly gardens and animal sanctuary.

Catarata Del Toro Waterfall 

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

Situated in the lush mountains of Bajos del Toro, the Catarata Del Toro Waterfall is a hidden gem worth seeking.

This impressive waterfall plunges approximately 90 meters into an ancient volcanic crater, creating a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Visitors embark on a short yet steep trail through dense rainforest to reach the falls. You may enjoy the misty spray at the base and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Afterward, take a stroll around the area to enjoy the stunning views of the crater and the picturesque countryside.

Bijagual Waterfall 

Tucked away in the Central Pacific region, the Bijagual Waterfall is a majestic cascade that stands 600 feet tall.

The trail leading to the falls is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, offering a moderate hike through the dense jungle. As you get closer, you will be mesmerized by the waterfall’s incredible beauty and power.

Enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings while taking in the expansive vistas.

Afterward, consider exploring nearby national parks, such as Carara National Park, renowned for its abundant wildlife, including scarlet macaws and howler monkeys.

Diamante Waterfall 

The Diamante Waterfall, located in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, is a breathtaking site that a lovely 3-kilometer route may reach. Watch for the various animals that inhabit this area as you hike through the deep rainforest.

Upon arrival, you’ll be rewarded with the majestic waterfall cascading down into a pristine pool. Take a dip in the refreshing waters or revel in the tranquility of the surroundings.

After your visit, consider exploring the nearby town of Dominical and its beautiful beaches, or engage in adrenaline-pumping activities such as zip-lining and canyoning.

Del Rio Savegre Waterfall

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica
Photo : Dennis / Wikimedia Commons

 Located in the enchanting Los Quetzales National Park, the Del Rio Savegre is a mesmerizing waterfall accessible via a moderate 2-kilometer hike.

As you traverse the trail, you’ll be immersed in the beauty of the cloud forest, with its misty atmosphere and rich biodiversity. When you get to the waterfall, a falling curtain of water surrounded by beautiful vegetation will welcome you.

Enjoy the area’s tranquility for a minute and pay attention to nature’s music. Afterward, explore the park further and watch for the elusive quetzal, a magnificent bird species that call this area home.

Cascada El Pavón Waterfall

Nestled in the southern region of Costa Rica, the Cascada El Pavon Waterfall is a hidden gem that rewards visitors with its pristine beauty.

The trail to the waterfall is approximately 4 kilometers long and offers a moderate hike through dense rainforests and across rivers. As you approach the falls, the sound of rushing water grows louder, building anticipation for the breathtaking sight ahead.

The waterfall cascades into a series of natural pools, providing the perfect setting for a refreshing swim.

After enjoying the waterfall, consider exploring the surrounding Piedras Blancas National Park, known for its incredible biodiversity and opportunities for wildlife sightings.

Tesoro Escondido Waterfall 

Tucked away in the Osa Peninsula, the Tesoro Escondido Waterfall is a true hidden gem that rewards adventurous souls.

Accessible via a challenging 3-kilometer trail, this secluded waterfall is surrounded by lush rainforest and offers a serene retreat. Keep an eye out for unusual species and tropical plants as you travel along the trail.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the magnificent sight of the waterfall cascading into a picturesque pool. Take time to savor the tranquil atmosphere.

Afterward, consider exploring the Corcovado National Park, renowned for its untouched wilderness and abundant wildlife.

Toro Amarillo Waterfall 

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica
Photo: Steve Jurvetson/ Wikimedia Commons

Situated near Manuel Antonio National Park, the Toro Amarillo Waterfall is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

The trail leading to the waterfall is approximately 3 kilometers long and takes visitors through dense rainforests, showcasing the region’s incredible biodiversity. As you approach the falls, you’ll be mesmerized by the crystal-clear waters cascading into a tranquil pool.

Dip in the refreshing waters or relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. After your visit, consider exploring the nearby Manuel Antonio National Park, famous for its stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and thrilling activities like surfing and snorkeling.

Rio Celeste Waterfall

Best Waterfalls In Costa Rica

Located in the northern part of Costa Rica, within the borders of the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the Rio Celeste Waterfall offers a truly magical experience.

The trail to the waterfall spans approximately 7 kilometers, taking visitors through dense rainforests and alongside the mesmerizing blue-colored Rio Celeste River.

For foreign visitors, Tenorio Volcano National Park admission costs $12 and must be paid in cash. As you approach the waterfall, you’ll be greeted by its majestic beauty as it cascades into a turquoise pool.

Take a moment to soak in the enchanting scenery, explore the park further, and witness the stunning Rio Celeste Lagoon and the captivating Tenorio Volcano.

Los Chorros Waterfalls

Waterfalls called The Jets, or Los Chorros, are relatively simple to get to. There are two falls: Prendas, which takes a short climb and has a 40-foot plunge, and Zamora, which is extremely easy to reach and has a comparable drop.

Zamora Falls has amenities like a bathroom and picnic tables. Parking costs $4, and admission to the park costs $6 per person.

It would help if you traveled from the parking lot to a trailhead and then take a short, 15-20 minute stroll on well-maintained pathways to reach the falls.

On the weekends, this location is quite popular with residents who picnic here all day while lounging by the riverbed.

Even though you can tour this waterfall in an hour or two, give yourself time to take in the surrounding natural splendor.


Waterfalls in Costa Rica are evidence of the nation’s breathtaking natural beauty. Each of of these 15 best waterfalls in Costa Rica presents a unique experience.

Exploring these cascades allows visitors to connect with nature, embrace serenity, and marvel at the wonders of this tropical paradise.

In addition, neighboring attractions, including national parks, cities, and beaches, present opportunities for more exploration and a chance to partake in various activities.

From hiking and wildlife spotting to swimming in natural pools and immersing oneself in the vibrant culture, Costa Rica’s best waterfalls promise an unforgettable adventure.

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