la fortuna waterfall

Costa Rica Waterfalls – Plan Your Visit

Costa Rica is a great beach destination, but it is also an amazing jungle destination. One thing that we love (and we think you will as well) about the jungle is all of the waterfalls. 

Find out all about the most popular Costa Rica waterfalls and discover some secret ones as well.

There are so many amazing waterfalls in Costa Rica that it was hard to narrow down a list. However, these are the most popular falls that we are sure you will love.

La Fortuna Waterfall

The La Fortuna waterfall (located in La Fortuna) is often considered the highlight of waterfalls in Costa Rica. It is seriously impressive. Plus, if the water level is good you can swim under here!

Find out all the details in our La Fortuna waterfall guide

You can also pre- purchase your ticket here

Montezuma Waterfall

The Montezuma waterfall is located in the cute bohemian seaside town of Montezuma. This is not just one waterfall, but actually three in a row along a river. 

People do tend to jump off of the highest two waterfalls, but we suggest that you don’t attempt these jumps for safety reasons. 

For more information, check out the Montezuma Waterfall guide

Rio Celeste

Yes, the Rio Celeste waterfall really is that blue. Crazy right?

Rio Celeste is located about 1.5 hours north of La Fortuna in a national park.

This is a great place to spend the dat hiking and admiring the cray blue color of the river.

For more info, check out the Rio Celeste guide

Nauyaca Waterfall

The Nauyaca waterfalls are located in the Southern Pacific region of the country in the town of Dominical.

The hike to these falls can be intense on hot days, but you can reward yourself with a nice swim under the falls when you arrive.

Check out our Nauyaca waterfall guide for all the info. 

Catarata del Toro

Catarate del Toro waterfall is located in a cool and cloudy area about 1.5 hours north of the San Jose airport.

The hike to these falls is very manageable, but to get to the bottom you will have to go down a lot of stairs. 

Check out our guide to Catarata del Toro for more info. 

llanos de Cortez

Llanos de Cortez waterfall is located near Liberia airport. In fact, if you are flying into Liberia and then driving to either La Fortuna or Monteverde, this is a great little stop to make along your way.

We love this waterfall because you can swim under it!

Find out all the details in the Llanos de Cortez guide

Catarata el Chorro

This waterfall is one of our favorites because it looks so pretty with the ocean in the background.

To get here you will need to walk along the beaches from Montezuma. It is an intense walk that can only be done during low tide, but it is worth it!

Find out more with our guide to the Montezuma Beach walk

King Louis Waterfall

King Louis Waterfall is located in a remote area near the town of Puerto Jimenez.

If you visit this area to go to Corcovado National Park, this is another good day trip option. There are also some really beautiful beaches near the waterfall.

You can find out all the details in our King Louis Waterfall guide

Rincon de la Vieja Waterfalls

Rincon de la Vieja is an impressive volcano area near the Liberia International Airport. 

We love this spot for hiking, hot springs, adventure such as zip lining or rafting, and of course the waterfall!

This particular waterfall is located within the national park.

You can find out more with our Rincon de la Vieja guide

Manuel Antonio National Park

In Manuel Antonio National Park there is a trail to a small waterfall. 

We like this path because it is a bit more rugged and not as popular as some of the paths in the park. 

Just note that the hike here is a bit strenuous and involves a lot of stairs. 

You can find out more in our Manuel Antonio National Park guide

Uvita Waterfall

During the rainy season it is possible to slide down the Uvita waterfall. So cool, right?

This waterfall is located near downtown Uvita and only costa a few dollars per person to enter.

It is always best to just check when you buy your ticket and ask if the water level is good for sliding down. 

La Paz waterfall

The La Paz watefall is located inside the La Paz Waterfall Gardens complex. 

This is a great place to spend a day learning about Costa Rica flora, fauna, and history. Plus, it is located only about one hour from the San Jose airport.

You can find out more in our La Paz Waterfall Gardens guide

If you would like to pre-book your tickets you can do so here

Map of waterfalls

Just click on any of the waterfalls marked above to find out the name. 

Waterfall safety

Please keep in mind that many of the Costa Rica waterfalls are not regulated for safety. That means whatever you do at most Costa Rican waterfalls is at your own risk.

There have been multiple deaths and accidents in recent years from people getting too close to the edge of waterfalls and slipping, jumping from the top and hitting rocks on the way down, as well as from people swimming under powerful waterfalls which suck them under.

Please, just be cautious!

Fun Waterfall Activities

You can actually swim under many of the waterfalls in this guide. Just be careful because the push from the falls can be strong.

Another fun activity is to repel down the side of a waterfall. You can do this through many tour companies in La Fortuna and Monteverde. It is definitely a thrill!

What to Wear

We suggest wearing shorts and a tshirt with your bathing suit underneath. That way, you can easily swim if you want to. 

For shoes, we swear by shoes that can get wet and also have great grip. Our personal favorites are Keen.

What to Bring

It is always a good idea to bring a waterproof bag, water to drink, snacks, bug spray, sunscreen, and a towel for after your swim. 

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