Just by looking at a waterfall you get this sensation of bliss and serenity. Meditating in front of the waterfall is an experience we should all do at least once in a lifetime, either from the distance or right in front of it as you feel the drops of water sprinkle on our face.
Thanks to Costa Rica’s geographical features waterfalls surround this country. Some waterfalls are quite popular and visited on a regular basis, while others have yet not been discovered. Some waterfalls are located along the main roads, while others are only surrounded by nature, that you can only get there on a hike.
Some of the most popular waterfalls in Costa Rica are:
Guatuso Celeste River Waterfall:
This is a beautiful waterfall of about 30 meters tall, found inside Tenorio Volcano National Park. It’s called “rio celeste” which means “light blue river” by it’s unique emerald and neon-blue color. It’s captivating color makes you wonder how incredible nature is as a whole, providing us all this hues naturally. It takes an average intense hike to get to the waterfall, and due to it’s natural trails is better to take closed shoes because at times when it rains there is accumulation of mud on the trails. It’s not permitted to swim inside the national park, but with the hike and it’s color it is a must see in Costa Rica.
Bajos del Toro Waterfall:
Bajos del Toro waterfall was given its name by it’s location in “Bajos del Toro” (which means “under the bulls”), which is near a small touristic town called Sarchí in the province of Alajuela. This area is known by it’s beautiful mountain views overcrossing the valley and mountain ranges, where you can se rainforest, farm lands and river streams. This waterfall is located in a private reserve where nature is almost untouched. You can hike around this waterfall and swim in nearby river streams. After hiking and swimming you can enjoy an array of restaurants, to reenergize and enjoy the view. This is an unforgettable experience that you shouldn’t miss.
Nauyaca Waterfall in Dominical:
This waterfall is located in the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the people living around this waterfall feel blessed to live near such a majestic attraction. Nauyaca waterfall is located inside a private reserve where besides offering beautiful scenery it provides great hiking trails. It is a real wonder for those who love adventure and nature. Luckily you can swim at this waterfall, after long and sweaty hikes you can refresh on this pristine fresh water. This waterfall is formed of two waterfalls where one falls on top of the other one forming small pools at he bottom, a perfect place to swim, jump and hike.
Rio Fortuna Waterfall in La Fortuna of San Carlos:
When you come to La Fortuna it is a must to come to this waterfall given by the same name as the town, which measures around 70 meters high, located inside Arenal Volcano National Park. To get to this waterfall you need to take 500 steps down trail, once you have gotten to the bottom you can refresh by swimming at the bottom of the waterfall or simply walking around the waterfall and admiring the view. It seems like a lot of steps to get down there, but it’s totally worth it, once you get there you will forget about it. It’s one of Costa Rica’s number 1 wonders.
La Paz waterfall, north of Poas Volcano:
This waterfall can be easily seen from the main road going from Poas Volcano going towards Sarapiqui or towards Arenal Volcano area. This is a must stop for many local and tourist travelers. There is some restaurants near by, and an entrance to get closer to the waterfall as well as other smaller waterfalls that are around the area. You can enjoy this waterfall just by looking at it from the road or taking your time to stop and walk around the waterfall.
If you are a lover of wildlife, adventure and being surrounded by nature, Costa Rica is your number one place to visit. In this country more than 20% of it’s territory are protected areas, where more than 600 thousand hectares are national parks, in which they encounter an extraordinary amount of virgin flora and fauna from distinct ecosystems that are a must for you to meet.
Costa Rica has 28 National Parks, from which we will give you a brief description of the most visited:
Manuel Antonio National Park:
Located in the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica, in the province of Puntarenas, with an extension of 1.983 terrestrial hectares and 55.210 marine hectares. It’s beautiful white sand and clear ocean beaches is one of its highlights, but the main attraction of this national park is it’s abundant and diverse wildlife located right at the edge of the ocean right at the view of everyone that passes by. Here you can find white-faced capuchin, which will try to sneak up on you and grab your food or open your backpacks. It’s not permitted to feed the wildlife, but they will find their way to steal your food. You can also find sloths, iguanas, toucans and all kinds of different species of birds right there on the beach.
Poas Volcano National Park:
Located in the province of Alajuela part of the Volcanic Central Mountain Range of Costa Rica, which is surrounded by other smaller inactive volcanoes. This is one of Costa Rica’s most recent active volcanoes. At the moment due to it’s increase activity of ash and gas eruptions the park it’s only open to the public depending on the authorities. What is mostly known worldwide about this volcano is its color-changing crater due to its acidity that can be seen as neon emerald blue to bold grey. This area is also admired for being a botanic sanctuary for insects, birds and mammals that have been under protection since 1971.
Tortuquero National Park:
This park is located in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, in the province of Limon. This reserve is the most important area for the Green Turtle spawning, as well as other species as the leatherback sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, and leatherhead turtle that is now an in-danger species. The turtles lay their eggs in certain period of the year between July and October. This area is know for its beaches, lagoons and mainly for it’s boat tours around the canals. These tours will take you through the mangroves where you see crocodiles, manatees and other beautiful exotic species.
Tenorio Volcano National Park:
Located in between the province of Alajuela and Guanacaste in the Northwestern part of Costa Rica. This volcano is what gives life to the magnificent Celeste River waterfall. Here you can find an abundant amount of fauna, like monkeys, tapirs, pumas, jaguars and a wide variety of tropical birds, perfect for bird watching as well. There are several hikes provided around the volcano and the Celeste River waterfall.
Whale-Marine National Park:
Locates at the tip of the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the province of Puntarenas. Its main attraction is the site seeing of humpback whales, which come to visit around this area in the months of July to October and December to March on their migration route. To see the humpback whales you need to go on a small boat tour and you can enjoy watching them from a short distance as well as other fishes and sea turtles. Also a funny fact about this area is its natural beach coast formation that is in the shape of a whale’s tale. This is also a great place to snorkel and scuba diving, here you can find a wide range of marine species such as dolphins, sting-rays, sharks and many other colorful and distinct sea creatures.
Arenal Volcano National Park:
Located in the province of Alajuela near the town of La Fortuna de San Carlos, its one of the major attractions in Costa Rica and an area that is mostly catered to tourism. Here you can enjoy a wide variety of tours, from zip lining, volcano hikes, water rafting, wildlife sightseeing, rock rappelling, farm tours and even cooking classes. Here you can enjoy natural hot springs that are naturally warmed by Arenal Volcano. At the moment this volcano has not made an eruption since 2010, but its internal heat makes vapor clouds after a heavy rain. Arenal Volcano has been one of Costa Rica’s only volcanoes with lava flows since 1968 to 2010, and one of the most perfect cone-shaped volcanoes in the world. The town La Fortuna was formed after its first major eruption and it became one of the most attractive volcanoes in the world
Leatherback Turtle Marine National Park:
Located near the beach town of Tamarindo in the province of Guanacaste, at the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica. By its given name this national park was formed to protect the in danger species of the leatherback turtles who have chosen this beach as their nesting area from October to February. It is surrounded by 445 hectares of mangrove forests and rugged coastlines, the Las Baulas National Marine Park has four beaches, Playa Grande, Playa Langosta, Playa Avellanas and Playa Carbón. The visits to this park during the spawning season are controlled due to poachers who steal the eggs and from people damaging the protected area. Either way if you come during the spawning season or not, the beaches around this park are truly one of a kind, with breathtaking sunsets, great surf, and a wide range of beautiful accommodations.
Costa Rican cuisine offers much more than the traditional gallo pinto and casado: fresh products. The fusion cuisine is growing more and more, and not only in San José. Everywhere in the country, you can taste good dishes at local dishes with local ingredients and international know-how.
The basic elements of typical Costa Rican cuisine are rice (arroz), black or red beans (frijoles), plantains, eggs, vegetables, chayote, yuca (cassava), chicken, beef and the fish.
Afterwards, these are variations with sauce, onions and small vegetables. a small bottle of Lizano salsa, chilero or Tabasco always hangs on the restaurant tables. Casados, rice and beans mixed with all kinds of vegetables, are more tasty. Beef, pork, chicken or fish (pescado) accompany these vegetables. When there is fish, it is always very fresh.
Costa Rica is known as the happiest country in the world and any foreigners is welcome and well cared for all the nice "Ticos". In the population reigns a great tranquility that goes hand in hand with stability. There is no army.
Respect for people, nature, life, social peace and democracy is firmly rooted in the country,
Nature itself is lenient because, if the risk of volcanic eruptions is still present,
Finally, in conclusion, it can be said that there is a philosophy of life that characterizes the national slogan "Pura vida".