Experience the Nauyaca Waterfalls in Costa Rica

The Nauyaca Waterfall Experience

These two waterfalls are nestled in a vast canyon surrounded by lush jungle about 30 minutes from Dominical. The Nauyaca waterfalls are the ultimate “natural paradise” and one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica – an experience not to be missed!

Enter a green forest, cross bridges and pass small waterfalls until you hear the powerful sound of water crashing on the rocks. It’s Nauyaca!

Visit the upper falls to look over the edge of the lower falls and the natural pool. There is no deep pool at the upper falls, which is why most people swim at the lower falls.

Admire the full extent and beauty of the Nauyaca falls from the Lower Falls. At the Lower Falls, discover a natural pool 6 meters (or 20 feet) deep at one point. On weekends, locals climb the waterfall and jump into the pool, giving a spectacle to passers-by. There is also a small cave to the side to explore.

Swim by the pool or sit in the waterfall for a powerful shower! Please note that this is at your own risk as old trees can fall into the waterfall, especially during the rainy season.

How to visit the waterfalls of Nauyaca?

The Nauyaca waterfalls have two entrances. The first is the original entrance on the main road from Dominical to San Isidro. The second is a new entrance called Nauyaca waterfall Natural Park. Let’s compare the two options:

The entrance of Don Lulo

The original entrance to the Nauyaca Falls is directly on the main road. It is a well-paved road, and there is no need for a 4×4 car. This is the location.

You can get to the waterfall from the parking lot in several ways: on foot, by truck or on horseback. The well-maintained path runs along a river, followed by a moderately steep descent.

We personally went for the second entrance (written below) because we wanted to be flexible with the schedules and get in and out whenever we wanted.

Nauyaca Falls Nature Park

The new entrance gives access from the east side of the Nauyaca falls. The entrance to the Nauyaca waterfalls natural park is located on the main road, a much less crowded option! The road to the entrance is unpaved and we have to follow it for about 15 minutes. Halfway you will find signs indicating the entrance. If you drive slowly, it can be done with any type of car. This is the location.

You have a few options from the main parking lot to get to the falls. Walking, by truck or a combination of both. We preferred walking (because everything goes downhill) and going up the 10 minutes by truck because it’s really steep. In total, it takes about 35 minutes to go down to the waterfalls and 50 minutes to get to the entrance. There is no schedule for the truck; they get in and out when needed.

It is good to know that the truck does not go to the foot of the waterfall, only to the starting point. From ranger point, it still takes about 10 minutes to walk through the beautiful green jungle, but it is well done (even with children).

Visit to the waterfalls of Nauyaca

If you do not have your own transport, you can also choose to visit the Nauyaca waterfalls. Most tours include entrance fees, lunch, drinking water and transportation to and from your hotel. Prices for a (half-day) excursion range from 130 USD to 180 USD per person.

Tips for visiting the waterfalls of Nauyaca

Do you want to visit the waterfalls? Here are some final tips for visiting the Nauyaca waterfalls.

  • Avoid the crowds and be there for 10 hours.
  • It is a large space, so even if it gets busier, you can go back and enjoy the water.
  • Take your swimsuit and towel.
  • Wear shoes in the water. The rocks in the water are extremely slippery.
  • Take enough drinking water. There are no shops near the waterfall, only pure nature! 🙂

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