Visiting Costa Rica for the first time can be confusing. So many things to do and places to go can be overwhelming.  The golden rule can be: visit at least 1 beach, 1 volcano and 1 waterfall.  Today, we focus on waterfalls and bring you the best 3 Costa Rica waterfalls to visit when staying in Guanacaste.


Costa Rica Waterfalls

Our small country has been blessed with a rich water network.  It is estimated that Costa Rica has just over 110,000 million cubic meters of water. A map of the rivers of Costa Rica is a dense tangle of lines that cover the entire national territory.  Thanks to this abundance of water and a national territory marked by an abrupt geography, waterfalls can be found everywhere.

There are hundreds and hundreds of search results when looking at Costa Rica Waterfalls, but the truth is that is difficult to use these lists as a guide. All of them show waterfalls all over the country.  And if you are not planning to spend at least 2 months in “Tiquicia” these lists will not be helpful at all.

costa rica rivers


That is why we will be focusing on the waterfalls you could visit while staying in Guanacaste, and that you will be able to squeeze in a 5-day itinerary.   These Costa Rica waterfalls will also offer you more than just watching a free-fall of water, but a great overall experience.


3 Costa Rica waterfalls close to Guanacaste


Guanacaste is the most touristic area of Costa Rica, so during your research of things to do on your next visit to our country, you would have probably read about it and will probably stay some days here.  But don´t be scared by the word “Touristic” we guarantee you will love our province even if you prefer less touristic places.  Guanacaste has it all in our golden rule: beaches, volcanoes and waterfalls.

So, if you already booked your hotel in our “Pampa Guanacasteca”, our recommendation of the 3 Costa Rica waterfalls you have to visit are:


La Fortuna Waterfall

This magnificent waterfall is located in the small town of La Fortuna, which name means fortune.  Even though La Fortuna is not located in Guanacaste, its vicinity makes it a must place to visit when staying in Guanacaste.

Among Costa Rica waterfalls, La Fortuna is probably one of the most popular, due to its outstanding neighbor the Arenal Volcano.  Note that you will be able to cross out two of the three things on our bucket list. In one trip you will be visiting a waterfall and a volcano.

With 230 ft high, this waterfall is part of a biological reserve of 210 acres. The property offers also an orchid garden, a restaurant, a souvenir shop, lockers, showers, parking, accessibility and more.

Costa Rica Waterfalls La Fortuna waterfall

Site’s map by ADIFORT

Jump into the clear waters of the waterfall after the beautiful hike among the dense rainforest or just feel amazed contemplating the beauty of nature on the shore.

Costa Rica Waterfalls La Fortuna waterfall by NLA

Our Arenal rainforest experience tour, includes a visit to the waterfall, an ecological hike, lunch and hot springs.


La Cangreja Waterfall

Our second favorite Costa Rica waterfall to visit when staying in Guanacaste is La Cangreja.  Like La Fortuna waterfall, this 130-ft tall cascade is located close to a volcano and is part of a National Park.  The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is one of the three active volcanoes in Costa Rica.

When visiting the National Park you will have the option of different trails with different attractions. Like the Las Pailas trail where you will be able to witness different volcanic manifestations like fumaroles, clay pots, water pans, fumarolic lagoon, among others.

The Waterfalls trail will lead you to see two different waterfalls surrounded by the tropical dry forest and its abundant wildlife including monkeys, butterflies, a great variety of birds and iguanas.  After an easy walk of 5 km you will discover the impressive 131-ft waterfall which name literally means female crab.  Its intense blue waters that fall from a wall of rock surrounded by the lush vegetation, will make you feel in paradise.  If you feel more adventurous at this point, you still have the option to continue to the Escondida Waterfall.  Its name means Hidden waterfall because it is located at the end of a path on a steep slope of about 2.6 miles.

Be sure to check our Rincon de la Vieja National Park tour to discover this wonderful place by the hand of our certified guides and experts in personalized experiences.


Rio Celeste Waterfall

Costa Rica is a natural treasure and one of its more “valuable” gems could be Rio Celeste.  Located within the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the Río Celeste or light blue river is a lifetime memory experience and our third recommendation for Costa Rica Waterfalls

The extensive national park comprehends 5 different ecosystems and is home to an amazing number of species of flora and fauna. A 1.8 miles hike trail through the mysterious rainforest takes you to the amazing phenomena that takes place in the Rio Celeste and that gives the name to its river and waterfall.

costa rica waterfalls Rio Celeste waterfall

Scientists have discovered that the impressive color of Rio Celeste is actually an optical phenomenon and not a chemical one. This means that if you take a sample of the water, the color is not different from any other river in the world.  But nature has orchestrated a number of variables that allow the human eye to be able to perceive the bright blue color of this river.  In simple words, a whitish substance which is a mineral called aluminum silicate, covers all the stones of the bottom of the river that reflects the light blue tones of the light that reaches the river.

Pictures do not make justice in this magical place, so we recommend you experience it by yourself.

Our Rio Celeste National Park & Sloth Reserve tour will truly charm you.



No matter where you go within our amazing country we know you will love it.  But if you are lucky enough to visit our unique province of Guanacaste, be sure to get in contact with us and we will custom-made your experience and take you to incredible places!  Contact us now!