Costa Rica

La Cataracta (the Waterfall), La Fortuna, Costa Rica

by Becabouttheworld on March 16, 2012

La Cataracta (the Waterfall), La Fortuna, Costa Rica

One really great option if you are looking for a cheap day trip you can do from La Fortuna amid the pricey tours, is to head out of town to the stunning La Cataracta.

Heading out of town, it is an easy hike from La Fortuna, and it is no more than a 10km round trip. First, you follow the main road out of town, and it is basically flat for the first hour, then you will see a large sign for La Cataracta Hotel, which is on the right side of the road where you turn and then start heading up the gentle (well, occasionally steep!) road, which leads up the hill to the park entrance for La Cataracta.

You shouldn't have any trouble finding it because the route is well signed the whole way and any local can point you in the right direction. After a nice walk up the hill (make sure to keep an eye out for the hedges in the garden of one of the hotels / conference centre which are all cut to look like dinosaurs!) you will have to pay the $10 entry fee and then head down the well-maintained stairs to the waterfall - and then the view that awaits you - wow!

The water free falls 70m into a little rock pool fringed with deep green moss and steep rocky walls. The park has built a great look out point where you can easily take your pictures and gawk at the beautiful falls in front of you. If you are feeling more intrepid, you can swim a little way out into the pools to see the powerful waterfall above you and to take a dip in the (refreshingly cold!) pool. Be careful not to go too far because the water is really powerful.

After you are done with pictures and swimming, the path heads further around the corner and you will find another tropical paradise with incredibly clear water flowing down the stream from the waterfall and it is safe to frolic in this water and bask in the sun on the rocky beach. You should be able to see lots of birds flying around, butterflies and the view back up the mountain of the forested hillside is simply gorgeous.

The park closes at 5pm so make sure to head off with plenty of time to make it up there with enough time to relax and enjoy the surroundings.


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