Los Chorros Waterfalls is one of those hidden treasures that you want to bring all your friends to see! We couldn’t believe that there were such amazing waterfalls just outside San Jose. There’s not just one waterfall, but two! It’s easy to find, has great hiking and picnic spots, and is inexpensive. Step off the beaten path and visit Los Chorros Waterfalls in Costa Rica!
Hiking to Los Chorros Waterfalls
The waterfalls are a beautiful 15 minute hike from the parking lot down a jungly trail. It is really peaceful being away from the business of the cities, right in their backyard.
There are birds chirping in the trees, butterflies flitting in the air, and a wide variety of plants and trees.
The best part of it all? No mosquitos!!!
We’ve been there a few times in the wettest part of the rainy season and I haven’t gotten bit once! It’s at a little higher elevation than the surrounding areas (and the beaches) so it’s too chilly for mosquitos to survive. To us humans it is perfect!
That being said, bring your favorite repellent if you have tasty skin because there’s always one or two waiting under a leaf.
On that note, plan to go early to avoid the usual afternoon rains!
Keep an eye out for the thick line of leaf-cutter ants along the trail. They are really fun to watch!
We saw a quick, black snake sliding through the plants one time we visited, so keep an eye out and watch your children. Also be careful for the poisonous red-yellow-black striped Coral snake!
The trail isn’t wheelchair-accessible in the strictest sense of the phrase, but 2 guys pulling and 2 pushing could make it happen!
It’s actually pretty slippery, so be careful!
There is even a great viewpoint of the 2nd waterfall right along the trail. Be sure to check out the geocache I hid right there!
The first waterfall is right at the end of the trail, you can’t miss it! 200 feet before you get there are a few picnic areas with bathrooms and places to change into your swimsuit.
Keep to the left for the waterfall. The bridge is closed, except for maintenance people, they said.
The water is super refreshing!
There’s a good-sized pool right under the waterfall to swim in if you. There’s even a secret cave under the rock wall right below the waterfall!
If you go close for a free shower, be careful of logs falling down from the river above! That would make for a nasty headache.
The chunky rock makes it easy to climb! But, remember you still have to get down…
The Secret Second Los Chorros Waterfall
What second waterfall? There are no signs showing the way, not even a trail. Most people don’t even know there are two! Just follow the river to the left for 5 minutes and you’ll see where all the mist is coming from!
Hold onto your hat because it’s really windy in the canyon!
There IS a waterfall back there! It’s even bigger than the first!
It’s not a good idea to swim in the water at this waterfall because it’s really deep. Do you see any lifeguards in red swimsuits? There’s a lot more water than the first one so it could easily pull you under!
Be sure to check out the strange mini-waterfalls spraying out of the rock wall!
Driving Directions to Los Chorros Waterfalls
The waterfalls are a 45 minute drive from San Jose, but plan longer if there’s traffic. They’re between Alajuela and Grecia, near a little town called Tacares.
If you’re driving from Alajuela, there’s a sign to turn right just after the church.
Stay left at the “Y” and you’re about 5 minutes away. Keep an eye out for a sign on the right.
You’ll know it’s the right turn-off if it’s sort of a sharp turn to the right up a dirt/gravel road. Continue left past the house and follow the windy road down to the yellow guard booth.
The road is mainly gravel, so you don’t need 4WD to get there.
Los Chorros Waterfalls Entrance Fee
The entrance fee is $6 for foreigners, $5 for residents, $4 for Costa Ricans, and $2 per vehicle. Not bad for such an amazing place with no mosquitos! There is a nice grassy parking lot with a guard to watch your car, too.
They have good bathrooms, changing rooms, and running water. There are some picnic tables night next to the cars.
How to Take a Bus to Los Chorros Waterfalls
Bus From Grecia:
Take the bus from the San Jose/Alajuela Terminal to Alajuela and get off at Tacares. The turn-off up to the waterfalls is on the other side of the road from where the bus dropped you off, but just start looking for a taxi.
Or, it’s a 4-5 km walk to get there if you’re looking to eat a big pizza for lunch!
Anyone in the little stores or on the street can help call a taxi for you, or just flag one from the main road. Tell them Cascada Los Chorros, or Los Chorros Waterfall and they’ll know where to go. Be sure to get their number to call them for a ride back. The guard at the parking lot could probably help you find a taxi to get back to the main road too.
Bus From Alajuela:
Take the bus to Grecia and get off at Tacares. From this direction, the road to the waterfalls is on the same side of the road you got off the bus. Look for a taxi and follow the directions listed above.
Drat! I couldn’t fit all the pictures I wanted to share in this post! Be sure to check out the Photo Gallery for more!
Leave a comment if you’ve been to this amazing waterfall or are planning to go when you visit!