The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Nauyaca Waterfalls

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Nauyaca Waterfalls

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Nauyaca Waterfalls

Nauyaca Waterfalls is one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica, which is easily accessible from Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio.

We think this is one of the best waterfalls in Costa Rica that you shouldn’t miss.

You can visit two beautiful waterfalls, swim in the natural pools at the bottom, or spend a few refreshing hours.

In this post, you can find out how to get there, the best way to visit Nauyaca Waterfalls, including entrance fees, and tips for visiting.


Where is Nauyaca Waterfall

The Nauyaca waterfalls are located in a canyon deep in the jungle in southern Costa Rica.

The waterfalls are easily accessible, about one hour’s drive from Manuel Antonio and 30 minutes from Uvita, near Dominical.

Best Time to Visit Nauyaca Waterfalls

The best time to visit Nauyaca Falls is from December to April during the dry season.

Because there is little rain during this period, the trail is less slippery, and the weather is pleasant for hiking.

During the rainy season, there can be heavy rainfall, and the water level will be higher, making swimming and jumping in the pools unavailable.

Another stunning waterfall in Costa Rica La Fortuna

Nauyaca waterfalls, Costa Rica

How to Get to Nauyaca Waterfalls

Visiting the Nauyaca waterfalls is a popular day trip from Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio. Follow Route 243 from Dominical to San Isidro.

The best way to get to the waterfalls is by car, as the public bus is difficult, or you can join guided tours that include a transfer.

Nauyaca Waterfalls has two entrances.

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Cataratas Nauyaca Office

The original entrance is on the main road from Dominical to San Isidro, known as Don Lulo’s entrance.

This is a well-maintained road, so no 4×4 car is needed. The original access is the more popular, from where you can access the waterfall by hiking, horseback riding, or 4×4 truck.

The quickest and easiest way to get to the waterfalls is the 4×4 truck ride, which costs 32 USD, and includes the entrance fee and round trip.

The truck ride departs from the office with a minimum of 2 people.
The 4×4 vehicle leaves every hour between 7 AM and noon, the journey takes 20 minutes, and then you can spend 2 hours at the falls.

See also  Things to Do in La Fortuna

4x4 truck riding Nauyaca

Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park

The other access is a new entrance, the Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park, which provides entry from the east side.

The road to this entrance is unpaved for about 15 minutes. It is suggested to drive a 4×4 car on this route, but you can travel at your own risk in any vehicle.

This route is less crowded, so if you travel by truck, you have more flexibility to stay longer at the falls, and the hike is shorter.

Nauyaca Waterfalls Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to Nauyaca waterfalls will depend on which entrance you arrive at and which way you want to access the falls.

Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park

From Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park, the entrance fee is 30 USD for adults and 20 USD for children (3-12 years old).

It includes access to the changing rooms, bathrooms, showers, the hiking trail and trolley ride to the waterfalls, and parking.

Don Lulo’s Entrance

The waterfalls are in a private nature preserve owned by a Costa Rican family tourism company.

From the Nauyaca Waterfalls office, there is a 10 USD entrance fee for a hike to the waterfall.

You need a reservation to visit the Nauyaca Waterfall, which you can easily and quickly book through the original website.

You can also visit the waterfall by horseback riding for 80 USD per person or traveling by 4×4 truck for 32 USD, and a 4×4 premium tour with lunch for 80 USD.

Keep reading Guide to Visiting La Fortuna Waterfall

Horseback riding tour to Nauyaca Waterfalls

When you arrive at the office, you must register and buy a parking ticket for 2500 colones (4 USD).

Good to know
Horse ride tours start at 9 AM and are only available from Monday to Saturday.

Nauyaca Waterfalls Opening Hours

  • Nauyaca Waterfalls can visit from Monday to Saturday from 7 AM to 2 PM and Sundays from 8 AM to 2 PM.
  • Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park is generally open every day from 7.30 AM to 4.30 PM.

Nauyaca Waterfalls Hike

We chose the original entrance to Nauyaca Falls, where the office is located directly on Route 243. You can find the location here.

We made the reservation in advance, then purchased our tickets on arrival. The hike distance from the office to the waterfall is 6 km. If you have a car, you can continue to the parking lot and start the walk from there.

The trail from the parking space to the falls is 4 km, and it takes about 1-1.5 hours to reach the Nauyaca waterfalls.

Nauyaca Waterfalls opening hours

The trail to the Nauyaca waterfalls is a well-maintained path along a river in the jungle. This is an easy-moderate hike with steep, slippery, and muddy parts.

Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours at Nauyaca Waterfalls, Costa Rica.

We recommend hiking in the morning and taking plenty of water with you.

Good to know
You can stay at the waterfalls until about 3.30 PM.

Hike to Nauyaca Waterfalls

Cataratas Nauyaca

The Nauyaca waterfall has two stunningly beautiful waterfalls, and you can swim in the lower falls. When you arrive, a short walk takes you to the upper or lower falls, where there are stairs and handrails.

There is a fantastic viewpoint at the upper falls, or you can continue the stairs and take closer to the falls. However, the stones can be slippery so take care. Then enjoy a refreshing swim at the lower falls.

What to Pack

  • Quick-dry towel
  • Swimsuit
  • Hat
  • Biodegradable sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Water shoes
  • Dry bag
  • Camera gear
  • GoPro or Waterproof phone bag
  • Plenty of Water
  • Snacks
Cataratas Nauyaca

Tips for Visiting the Nauyaca Waterfalls

  • Arrive as early as possible!
  • Wear closed hiking shoes and light, quick-dry clothes, as the weather is always warm and humid.
  • As unexpected rain can happen at any time, bring a light raincoat.
  • Take plenty of water and snacks.
  • Wear a swimsuit under your clothes or use the bathroom near the parking or the waterfall.
Tips for Visiting Nauyaca Waterfalls
  • The best photo location is on the east side of the waterfall, which is reached by crossing the river.
    Or you can come from Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park and not have to cross the river.
  • Use a polarized lens to protect your camera and get better-quality photos.
  • Be careful, and don’t underestimate the strong current of the waterfall.
  • Always keep an eye on your valuables while swimming in the water.
  • Lock your car, and don’t leave valuables out of sight.
Nauyaca waterfalls tour

We hope you found our guide to Nauyaca Waterfalls helpful and will inspire you to visit.
If you have any questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments below.


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