Visiting Bajos del Toro
Bajos del Toro Costa Rica is a unique private reserve in the Central Highland area next to the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. It’s home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, Tesoro Escondido (hidden treasure) and Toro Amarillo (Yellow Bull). Bajos del Toro is located near the Central Valley, only 90 minutes from the capital city, San Jose. Its also located near two other popular tourist destinations, the Poas Volcano and the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
If you’re looking for a day trip from San Jose and you want to get off the beaten path, visit Bajos del Toro and visit its famous rivers, natural pools, waterfalls and tropical flora and fauna.
Catarata del Toro (Toro Amarillo)
In the Bajos del Toro area you will find one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Costa Rica – the Catarata del Toro. This amazing waterfall offers numerous opportunities for great hiking and exploring. The water spills nearly three hundred feet into an extinct volcanic crater, making it the largest waterfall in Costa Rica. There are trails that offer you high vantage points. You can also take a more challenging hike down to the bottom of this beautiful waterfall. Along the way, you will be able to spot many of the beautiful butterflies, tropical birds and lush plants of the area. Another attraction, the unique rock formations that were formed by the volcano. In addition to the great trails, there is a famous waterfall rappel that runs alongside the falling water. This is perfect for those who like a little extra adrenaline rush!
Catarata Tesoro Escondido
Another stunning destination within Bajos del Toro is the Catarata Tesoro Escondido. This waterfall is a well-kept secret in Costa Rica. Not many by foreigners know about it, meaning that most of the visitors are Ticos. And only recently was this area discovered by locals! Now, it’s a favorite destination for everyone. Tesoro Escondido Waterfall is one of the most beautiful and unique waterfalls in Costa Rica. The water is brilliant blue, similar to the water in Rio Celeste. In addition to being beautiful, Tesoro Escondido is a great location to do some hiking, swimming and picnicking.
Juan Castro National Park and Bosque de Paz Biological Reserve
Juan Castro National Park borders the Bajos del Tor area and it is a birding paradise! Quetzals, hawks and many other varieties of unique and beautiful birds can be spotted in the Juan Castro National Park. In addition to birds, you can see jungle cats, monkeys, and coatis. The extensive trail system offered by the National Park makes exploring this rugged area possible for anyone in good physical health. The park is covered in dense vegetation and foliage. Some species include exotic hardwoods, cypress, and oaks, as well as many different plants – including wild orchids. Local history suggests that this might have been an ancient meeting place for traveling tribes. At an elevation of over 7000 feet, the hiking can be challenging, but well worth the effort!
Bordering Bajos del Toro is the spectacular Poas Volcano – one of the largest volcano craters in the world! Poas is a very active volcano with regular geyser activity. Visitors have a chance to look down into the crater’s 1000 feet deep abyss. The air is heavy with the smell of sulfur and surrounding plant life. This is a result of the acid rain that is caused by the volcanic activity. The area surrounding the actual crater is full of unique and plentiful animals and plant life. Almost eighty different species of birds live in the area, including hundreds of hummingbirds. Poas has recently seen a lot of volcanic activity and is no longer as accessible as it was before, but it is still possible to see the awesome crater and volcanic activity.
Visit during the dry season:
The dry season is safer for hiking and swimming in the waterfalls. It’s from December-April.
What should I bring to Bajos del Toro?
Bring comfortable, quick-dry clothing, a swimming suit, sunscreen, bug spray, hiking shoes, water, snacks and a jacket. And a camera!
Because the area is becoming more and more popular, it’s best to get there early and beat the crowds.
Be ready for cold water:
You can swim beneath the waterfalls, but the water is quite cold!
Closest International Airport: Juan Santamaria (SJO)
Getting to Bajos del Toro isn’t too difficult, but you will need 4-wheel drive because not all the roads are paved. Some of the roads getting there are paved, but are also very steep with a lot of potholes. From San Jose it’s about 2 hours and you’ll take the Cañas/Interamerican Highway (Carretera 1) towards Carretera 202. If you are renting a car, make sure to read about driving in Costa Rica!