Skip to main content

Top 5 Waterfalls in Costa Rica

As I promised in my last blog, here is my list of the TOP 5 waterfalls of Costa Rica.

I bet that if you come some weeks to Costa Rica, you will see more waterfalls that you have seen in your whole life visiting other countries during those days because here, you will probably get a great connection with nature that invites you to get to know more and enjoy more and more of its paradisaical scenes. 

Therefore, I will give you a list of the TOP 5 waterfalls, which I think are the best ones you can see in Costa Rica.

This country has a great number of rivers, navigable, narrow and mighty ones (perfect for tubing), rivers between rock canyons with rivers flowing underground, rivers suitable for rafting up to category IV, and also rivers that form incredible waterfalls. About those, I will tell you in this blog.

#5 – La Gata Waterfall – Marsella, San Carlos

Catarara Gata Marsella 2

This waterfall is not that known since they just recently discovered it and that’s why they opened the way just some years ago. However, I think that it deserves fifth place due to its beauty and location in the middle of a hidden paradise, like in a Hollywood movie.

How to get there

It’s located 2 hours and 30 minutes from San José. You should start at Marsella de Venecia in San Carlos, then to the hydroelectric Plant Toro ll, where you have to leave the car and walk the rest. Then go down to the Toro River and walk then up the river until you reach the waterfalls. The walking time is about 4 hours.

  • Difficulty: Very difficult
  • Barrier-free: NO
  • Recommended vehicle: car
  • Camping: NO
  • Picnic area: NO

#4 – Los Campesinos – Quepos

Cascada Los Campesinos

This waterfall is one of the most beautiful ones I have seen in person, and over this one is one of the longest hanging bridges in Costa Rica. There are trails to reach the bottom of the waterfall and a pool for those who want to go swimming, and there are also springs right beside it where you can also cool down.

The trails go around the whole place. There is a trail of 12 kilometres into the mountains, where you can see a great amount of wildlife and birds. 

How to get there

It’s just 25 kilometres from Quepos, you can go by car, but the best option is by 4-wheel drive car. It´s about 40 minutes of ascent to Londres de Quepos, along a path of exuberant scenic beauty. During our visit we were able to see monkeys around us, jumping from one tree to another.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Barrier-free: NO
  • Recommended vehicle: A high vehicle
  • Camping: NO (there are cabins to sleep)
  • Picnic area: There is a restaurant but you need to make a reservation when you get there

#3 – Waterfall Llanos del Cortés – Guanacaste

Cataratas Llanos de Cortes

This is the closest representation of a waterfall of stories for children. It is a magical place, surrounded by forests at the plain lands of Guanacaste. This place is quite hot, so if you find a refreshing pool it’s the best opportunity to enjoy it taking a bath, take some selfies and tell all your friends that you have been to a spectacular tropical destination.

How to get there

Llanos de Cortés is just 3 hours away from San José. To get there you have to take the North Interamerican Route to Liberia, then from Bagaces it’s about 3 km to the Río Piedras, right there is the entrance to the Finca. The price of the entrance is voluntary and with this, they help the school and sporty activities in the community.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Barrier-free: YES
  • Recommended vehicle: car
  • Camping: NO
  • Picnic area: NO

You’ve got the desire to visit Costa Rica?

Would you like to know more about us and why you can trust us for your trip to Costa Rica? Click here for more information:

Get to know us!

#2 – Waterfall Río Fortuna

Catarata Rio Fortuna

This is one of the most known and visited in the country, due to its beauty and because it is located in a highly visited tourist area. It is 27 meters high in the middle of the mountain and close to the Arenal volcano. You must go down paths and more than 480 steps to the pool (there are some rest areas). The river is quite cold, but that is no reason to not enjoy a bath in it.

How to get there

It is located just 10 minutes by car from the downtown of La Fortuna. From San José, it’s about 3 hours. The way is in perfect condition until the parking lot of the reserve, and then the descent down the trails.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Barrier-free: Accessible until the viewpoint.
  • Recommended vehicle: car
  • Camping: NO
  • Picnic area: There is a restaurant

#1 – Waterfall Río Celeste

rio celeste

In my opinion, this is the #1 of the Top 5 in Costa Rica and many others in the list of waterfalls of our world, and that’s because of its unique colour and beauty. Just imagine a turquoise waterfall that falls directly into a pool of the same colour, similar to the colour of the sky. It’s something that will leave any poet speechless. The beauty of this place has been recognized in the whole world. And even though it's not allowed to swim in the water or at the pool, it’s a tour which you should write on your bucket list of places to see in this world.

How to get there

It’s located at Guatuso de Alajuela, at the Tenorio Volcano Nacional Park. From San José, you have to drive to La Fortuna and from there until Upala. From there it is about 1 hour and 30 minutes more. The trip takes about 4 hours if you go by car from San José. After that, you have to walk down the trails, which are three kilometres (6 in total with the way back) and walk down many stairs. I recommend taking trekking shoes.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Barrier-free:  NO
  • Recommended vehicle: car
  • Camping: NO
  • Picnic area: NO

Honestly, Costa Rica doesn’t stop surprising us and with this list of waterfalls, it makes it a destination to add to your wish-list. I hope that everything I mentioned is useful and if you know another waterfall, which you think should be included, leave it in the comments below. 

You want to get to know Costa Rica and travel here?

No problem! We can help you by preparing an offer without any obligation for you.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Recommended Blogs

Would you like some inspiration about Costa Rica?

Sign up for our newsletter!

Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input

Nearby Hotels

Contact Information

WhatsApp: +506-8893-3863
Phone: +506-2232-0400
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Apdo 799 – 1007
San José, Costa Rica

All rights reserved - ARA Agencia de Viajes Internacional S.A © 2024