Most Famous Costa Rica Waterfalls

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The number of  waterfalls in Costa Rica is in the thousands. As a result, this endless array of waterfalls is world renowned for its beauty, bringing many visitors each year.  There is only so many you can visit when you come here, so we have rounded it down to the top ten waterfalls in the country:

La Paz1. La Paz

La Paz is located in the central part of Costa Rica very near to the Poas Volcano and thirty kilometers north of Alajuela.  It is known to locals as Catarata de La Paz meaning The Waterfall of Peace. La Paz is 37 meters tall (121 feet) and is fed from the La Paz River to keep the steady flow of water over the falls. This waterfall is unique in how well it is taken care of, and many trails surround the area for hiking to see this work of natural art. You can also spot many birds and butterflies in the surrounding gardens.


Rio Celeste2. Rio Celeste

Rio Celeste is well known for it bluish water, making it a famous attraction in Costa Rica. The blue water comes from a mix of volcanic rock within the water. Seeing it first hand is the only way to find out how attractive this fall is. The falls drop down 30 meters (100 feet) into a vibrant sky blue pool. Moreover, there are trails all throughout Tenorio Volcano National Park that are highly maintained. The Rio Celeste Waterfall is  located not far from the small town of Katira. This area is truly gorgeous.

La Fortuna3. La Fortuna

One of the most well-known waterfalls in Costa Rica is La Fortuna, close to the eponymous town. La Fortuna Waterfall is also very near  to Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chato.  The falls itself branches from the La Fortuna river and then has a sudden drop of 75 meters (250 feet) in the middle of the jungle.  Hiking down La Fortuna is a task in itself but well worth the walk to swimming in the river below. The entrance to the waterfall is easily reachable by car.


Nauyaca4. Nauyaca

Nauyaca is astonishing because it has a spectacular two level drop. The first one is 45 meters high (150 feet) and then it comes to another fall of 20 meters  (65 feet) totaling 65 meters (200 feet).  This is by far the best waterfall for swimming. Nauyaca has a huge pool with a size of 100 square meters (1000 square feet) at the bottom. This pool has a remarkable depth of 6 meters (20 feet).

Llanos de Cortez5. Llanos de Cortez

Llanos de Cortez may be one of the smaller waterfalls in Costa Rica but it certainly makes up for it with its beauty. The Falls are 20 meters (65 feet) tall and they have long divided wisps of water coming down the cliff.  Llanos de Cortez is located in the town of Bagaces which is in the Guanacaste province. You can reach the waterfalls  in just half an hour from the airport in Liberia. Another draw is that you only have to walk 10 minutes from the parking lot to get to Llanos de Cortez which makes it easily accessible for almost everybody.


Diamante6. Diamante

The Diamante Falls are the tallest waterfalls in Costa Rica with 200 meters (600 feet) in height. Even though they are very tall and spectacular, the Diamante Falls are rather unknown because they are a quiet hard to find. They are located in the small town of Las Tumbas, a 35 minutes drive from Dominical. You can look at the falls on the family owned property, but getting to it is recommended with a guided tour. The hike can be very arduous.  

Bajos del Toro7. Bajos del Toro

Bajos del Toro is yet another amazing site is located in the province of Alajuela, in the remote mountains north of the Central Valley. The amazing part of this sight is the water source, coming right from Poas Volcano. As the water drives over the rock edge, a mist is created that even stings the eyes. You will see plants that are torched because of the volcanic water.  The waterfall is surrounded by primary forest which makes it easy to spot a variety of wildlife. Bajos del Toro is 90 meters tall (300 feet) which makes it one of the taller waterfalls of Costa Rica.


San Luis8. San Luis

This Fall is just extraordinary and perfect for those that like to trek through the rainforest. The walk to the waterfall takes roughly three hours but it is totally worth it. If the hike doesn’t leave you breathless the falls surely will.  San Luis is shrouded with rainforest and endless amounts of animals not far from Monteverde.  The San Luis waterfall is 100 meters tall (300 feet) and it will leave you looking up in awe.

Montezuma9. Montezuma

Montezuma is another multi-level falls. It consists of three levels and each is getting bigger as you go down.  The first is five meters high and has a beautiful little pool to swim in. You have to swim across the first pool and then come to a 12-meter drop to access the second falls.  The last drop is the most amazing with a height of 25 meters. Thus, the Montezuma waterfalls are 40 meters (130 feet) high in total. At the bottom, you can see many locals swimming in the big pool. It is located on the Pacific coast near the town of Montezuma and right beside the Golf de Nicoya.


Los Chorros10. Los Chorros

Los Chorros is indeed the most accessible waterfall in Costa Rica. It is very close to Juan Santamaria Airport and just north of Grecia. Los Chorros also offers some very cool activities. Have fun while rappelling down the face of the falls, which are roughly 45 meters high (150 feet). Just imagine the thrill of climbing down such a tall waterfall!  The literal translation of Los Chorros is The Jets, coming from all the small but mighty rivers which come down from the mountain side.


It is a very big accomplishment to visit just these ten waterfalls. However, it is nearly impossible to see all the waterfalls in Costa Rica. There are just to many in the numerous rivers of Costa Rica! So go ahead, pick your favorite from our list and visit the beautiful waterfalls in the country of Pura Vida! However, it is always good to remember to take care in and around these waterfalls. Many people have passed away because they were incautious. But do not worry, you are safe as long as you are not reckless.

Costa Rica Waterfall Map

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