Hike to Nauyaca Waterfalls

Costa Rica Nauyaca Waterfalls

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking, Diving, Fitness, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    3.75 Miles

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

After a 3.75 mile hike to the falls, enjoy a beautiful view and a refreshing swim in crystal clear water!

With so much to explore in Costa Rica, I suggest you try and make time for Nauyaca Falls.

You start by going to a small office on the side of Route 243 between Dominical and San Isidro. There you can purchase your entry ticket ($8) and decide if you want to hike to the falls or take a horseback ride. We hiked it of course!

From there you can either park on the side of the highway and hike a steep dirt road 1.25 miles to the technical start of the trailhead, or if you have a 4X4 car you can drive down to the trailhead where there will be a parking lot (this is also where the horses are).

The trailhead starts will a small bridge and then you're off! The trail is a dirt road (which can get very muddy) and some sections are pretty steep. Keep in mind that the horses for the riding tours also travel the same path, so watch out for horse manure! There are lots of shady spots since you are in a jungle setting, but large portions are in direct sunlight. So remember to bring your sunscreen and hat!

The trail is about 2.5 miles to get to the falls and you'll know you're close when you see all the horses gathered waiting for their riders to finish enjoying the water. Past that is a small building to go to the bathroom and more importantly, refill your water.

Finally you're at the falls! There are two waterfalls to see. One is the lower waterfall with the swimming hole. The other is the waterfall above the first where you can look over the edge and see people swimming below. Both are stunning!

The water is clear and refreshing! You can climb the waterfall side and dive into the pool, or just sit at the edge on rocks that are underwater: just deep enough to cool down, but not too deep to have to commit to swimming.

Once you've had your fill, head out and start the trail all over again in the opposite direction!

Pack List

  • Comfortable Clothes
  • Comfortable Waterproof Shoes with Good Grip (can get slippery on the rocks)
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimwear
  • $8 (for admission)
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Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

If you have time in Costa Rica, are staying near the Pacific South, love hikes and waterfalls... this fall is a MUST! Really beautiful falls, take food with you and have picnic. Also don't forget the bathing suit 👌🏼

7 months ago
7 months ago

I've been to more than a few waterfalls living and exploring Hawaii and this one is up there. It's not as spectacular as the huge ones back home but this guy is laid out really well. The lower falls is the one you bring your girlfriend and hangout under the falls, after a short swim in not that cold water (got there around noon). I went in July and there wasn't much rain in a couple weeks so the amount of waterfall was perfect. There's flat rocks and big boulders to chill on, a good size stream downriver with baby falls to sit under and get a head and back massage and a decent sized pond to float in. On the right of the falls is a ledge about 10 feet up to jump from. There were plenty of foreigners and cr visitors. Note: I really think you could drive your 2wd rental down and up the hill to the parking lot at the bottom (saves 1.25mi one way) or hitch as we did both ways.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Lara Paul

if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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