Top Waterfalls in Panama and Costa Rica to Visit

Explore the best waterfalls in Panama and Costa Rica, from hidden gems to must-see natural wonders. Discover breathtaking waterfalls in Central America and plan your idyllic waterfall adventure today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the top waterfalls in Panama and Costa Rica.
  • Experience the beauty of hidden gems and must-see natural wonders.
  • Plan your ideal waterfall adventure in Central America.
  • Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and refreshing pools.
  • Explore the diverse trails and activities available at each waterfall.

Montezuma Waterfalls, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

The Montezuma Waterfalls in the picturesque Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica are a natural wonder worth exploring. This three-tiered waterfall system boasts breathtaking beauty and invites hikers to dive into its refreshing pools. The top waterfall, with a drop of 15 feet, offers the perfect spot for adrenaline seekers to jump from the top and make a splash in the crystal-clear waters below.

Accessible via two well-marked trails, the Montezuma Waterfalls provide a unique experience for nature enthusiasts. For those seeking the lower falls, the Riverbed Trail guides visitors through lush greenery and alongside the mesmerizing riverbed. On the other hand, the Canopy Trail provides an elevated perspective, leading to the upper falls where the vista unfolds in all its magnificence.

Swimming in the pools beneath the Montezuma Waterfalls offers a refreshing escape from the heat and a chance to feel one with nature. The close proximity of the falls to hiking trails ensures an adventure-packed day full of exploration and natural beauty.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking a breathtaking sight, the Montezuma Waterfalls in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula are a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the serenity of this stunning three-tiered waterfall system and create memories that will last a lifetime.

La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal, Costa Rica

The La Fortuna Waterfall in Arenal, Costa Rica, is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This famous waterfall stands tall at 230 feet, creating a majestic display of cascading water. It is truly a sight to behold, surrounded by lush greenery and the beauty of Costa Rica’s natural landscape.

To reach the basin of the La Fortuna Waterfall, visitors embark on a picturesque adventure down 530 concrete stairs. The descent offers glimpses of the waterfall’s power and grandeur, setting the stage for an unforgettable experience. As you make your way down, the sound of rushing water grows louder, building anticipation for the stunning view that awaits.

At the bottom of the stairs, you’ll discover a natural swimming hole formed by the waterfall’s cascades. The crystal-clear waters invite you to take a refreshing dip, providing a welcome respite from the tropical heat. Immerse yourself in the cool embrace of nature as you swim in this magical oasis.

Please note that there is an entrance fee to access the La Fortuna Waterfall. The fee supports the maintenance and preservation of this natural wonder, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty. Your contribution helps sustain the ecosystem and supports local conservation efforts.

Gravity Falls, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Gravity Falls in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, offers an unforgettable outdoor adventure experience. Embark on a private canyon exploration led by expert canyoneering guides. Prepare to be amazed as you conquer thrilling obstacles and witness the majestic beauty of this natural wonder.

One of the main highlights of the Gravity Falls experience is rappelling down a towering cliff adjacent to a breathtaking 132-foot-tall waterfall. Feel the adrenaline rush as you descend into the canyon, surrounded by lush greenery and the powerful sound of cascading water. It’s a heart-pumping activity that will leave you with lasting memories.

Another exciting feature of Gravity Falls is the rope swing that plunges you into a natural pool. Swing from the edge of the canyon and make a splash in the refreshing water below. It’s a fun and exhilarating way to embrace the adventurous spirit of the falls.

“Gravity Falls is a hidden gem in Costa Rica. The combination of the stunning waterfall, thrilling rappelling, and rope swing makes for an unforgettable canyoneering experience.” – Emma Roberts, Adventurer

Gravity Falls also offers natural rock slides that let you glide down smooth, polished rocks into the crystal-clear water. Feel the thrill as you slide down with the rush of water propelling you forward. It’s an exhilarating activity that adds even more excitement to your adventure.

If you’re up for a challenge, test your skills on the climbing walls near the waterfall. Scale the sheer rock faces and conquer your fears as you reach new heights. The climbing walls provide an opportunity to channel your inner adventurer and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Tour Highlights:

  • Rappelling down a cliff next to a 132-foot waterfall
  • Swinging on a rope into a natural pool
  • Sliding down natural rock slides
  • Climbing sheer rock walls
  • A thrilling jump down a 36-foot waterfall

Discover the wonders of Gravity Falls and immerse yourself in the beauty of La Fortuna, Costa Rica. This extraordinary experience promises unmatched excitement and adventure for all thrill-seekers.

La Paz Waterfall, Central Costa Rica

Located in central Costa Rica, the La Paz Waterfall is a must-visit for those looking to unwind after arriving in San Jose. The waterfall offers a massive drop of 110 feet, providing a breathtaking sight for nature lovers.

Exploring the La Paz Waterfall is a treat for adventure enthusiasts and hikers as well. The park features several walking trails that offer stunning views of the waterfall from different angles. As you wander through the lush greenery, you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of Costa Rica’s diverse flora and fauna.

But the La Paz Waterfall experience doesn’t end at the cascading beauty. The park is also home to an animal sanctuary, where visitors can observe and interact with a variety of native wildlife species. From colorful birds to playful monkeys, the sanctuary is a paradise for animal lovers and photographers alike.

La Paz Waterfall

To make the most of your visit, consider staying at the onsite lodge. Nestled in the heart of nature, the lodge provides a peaceful retreat and allows you to immerse yourself in the serene surroundings. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the waterfall and wake up to the melodies of birds chirping.

Whether you choose to spend a few hours or a whole day at the La Paz Waterfall, this natural wonder promises a memorable experience that will rejuvenate your senses and leave you feeling truly connected to Costa Rica’s natural beauty.

Catarata del Toro, Central Costa Rica

The Catarata del Toro in central Costa Rica is a hidden gem that offers a truly mesmerizing experience. With a staggering drop of 270 feet, this waterfall is a breathtaking sight to behold. Nestled in a remote location, the Catarata del Toro flows into the crater of an extinct volcano, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring display of nature’s power.

While swimming is not allowed at the pools, visitors can still explore the incredible surroundings and immerse themselves in the beauty of the cascading waters. As you wander through the lush forest, you’ll be treated to the sight of vibrant bird species and an abundance of unique plant life.

To fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of this remote location, consider staying at the nearby lodge. Surrounded by nature, the lodge offers a peaceful retreat where you can relax and rejuvenate after a day of exploring the Catarata del Toro.

Experience the magic of Catarata del Toro, Central Costa Rica’s hidden gem, and let its beauty leave you in awe.

Key Highlights
270-foot drop
Breathtaking sight
Remote location
Swimming not allowed
Nearby lodge

Bijagual Waterfall, Jaco, Costa Rica

The Bijagual Waterfall near Jaco, Costa Rica, is a stunning natural attraction that offers a mesmerizing experience. With its impressive 590-foot fall, it is one of the tallest waterfalls in the country. The Bijagual Waterfall can be accessed through a guided horseback ride or a hike, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

The journey to the waterfall is an adventure in itself, offering scenic views of Bijagual village and the breathtaking coastline beyond. As you make your way to the falls, the sound of rushing water and the lush greenery will fill your senses, creating a serene atmosphere.

Visitors have the option to join a guided horseback ride, which provides a unique and memorable experience. Riding through the picturesque countryside, you’ll feel the gentle sway of the horse beneath you as you approach the majestic Bijagual Waterfall. If you prefer hiking, you can explore the well-marked trails that lead to the waterfall, surrounded by the natural beauty of the region.

Upon reaching the waterfall, prepare to be awed by its sheer beauty and power. The cascading water creates a mesmerizing spectacle, offering a moment of awe-inspiring tranquility. Take in the breathtaking views, capture memorable photos, or simply sit back and appreciate the wonders of nature.

It’s worth noting that there is an access fee to visit the Bijagual Waterfall. Many tours include the fee, along with additional perks such as lunch and a horseback ride. Check with your tour operator for the most up-to-date details and to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Bijagual Waterfall

Los Chorros Waterfalls, Costa Rica

The Los Chorros Waterfalls in Costa Rica are a natural wonder that are easy to access and offer two stunning falls – Zamora and Prendas. Zamora Fall boasts a magnificent 40-foot drop, while Prendas Fall is equally impressive. These waterfalls are nestled in the heart of Costa Rica’s lush forests, providing a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy.

To access the falls, visitors will need to pay parking fees and park fees. However, the amenities available at Zamora Fall, including bathrooms and picnic tables, make it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to spend the day. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing picnic by the water or an exhilarating adventure, Los Chorros Waterfalls have something to offer for everyone.

One of the highlights of visiting Los Chorros Waterfalls is the opportunity for riverbed activities. The crystal-clear waters invite visitors to explore the riverbed and engage in various activities such as swimming, wading, and rock hopping. The falls create a refreshing mist, providing relief from the tropical heat and adding to the overall experience.

Visitor Information and Park Fees

Fall Drop
Zamora 40 feet
Prendas 40 feet

Visitors to Los Chorros Waterfalls will need to pay parking fees and park entrance fees. These fees contribute to the conservation and maintenance of the park, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy this natural treasure. With convenient access, breathtaking falls, and riverbed activities to enjoy, Los Chorros Waterfalls are a must-visit destination in Costa Rica.

Rio Celeste Waterfall, Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

The Rio Celeste Waterfall in Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica, is a natural wonder known for its breathtaking picture-perfect blue color. This enchanting waterfall is nestled within the lush jungle of the park, creating a serene and captivating atmosphere for visitors.

To access the Rio Celeste Waterfall, there is a cash entrance fee required. This fee helps to maintain and preserve the park’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy. Once inside the park, visitors can follow a well-marked walking path that leads them to the magnificent waterfall.

The Rio Celeste Waterfall’s awe-inspiring blue color is caused by a unique combination of volcanic minerals and the scattering of sunlight. It’s truly a sight to behold, and a must-see for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

After marveling at the beauty of Rio Celeste Waterfall, visitors have the opportunity to explore another natural gem in Tenorio Volcano National Park. An additional attraction in the park is a natural hot spring, where visitors can relax and rejuvenate in the soothing and healing waters.

Whether it’s admiring the picture-perfect blue hues of the waterfall, enjoying a refreshing dip in the natural hot spring, or simply immersing yourself in the natural wonders of Tenorio Volcano National Park, a visit to Rio Celeste Waterfall is an unforgettable experience.

Llanos de Cortez, Costa Rica

Llanos de Cortez is a hidden gem located in the town of Bagaces, Costa Rica. It is often regarded as the most beautiful cascade in the country and offers a breathtaking natural experience for visitors.

The highlight of Llanos de Cortez is its stunning 50-foot-wide waterfall that cascades down from a height of 40 feet. The sheer force of the water creates an impressive display, truly mesmerizing to behold. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or photography enthusiast, this majestic waterfall will leave you in awe.

Exploring Llanos de Cortez is made easy with free entry for all visitors, making it an accessible attraction for everyone to enjoy. The short hike to the waterfall is both manageable and rewarding, allowing you to immerse yourself in the lush Costa Rican environment along the way.

One of the unique features of Llanos de Cortez is the natural freshwater beach located at the banks of the pool. After marveling at the cascading waters, you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear pool or relax on the pristine white sand. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and embrace the tranquil beauty of Costa Rica’s natural landscape.

“Llanos de Cortez is a hidden oasis, a natural wonder that showcases the true beauty of Costa Rica. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the power and elegance of the waterfall and the serenity of the natural beach. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a truly unforgettable experience in Costa Rica.”

At a Glance: Llanos de Cortez

Location Bagaces, Costa Rica
Key Features
  • Most beautiful cascade in Costa Rica
  • 50-foot-wide waterfall with a 40-foot drop
  • Short and manageable hike
  • Natural freshwater beach with white sand
Entry Fee Free

Best Waterfalls in Panama

Panama is a paradise for hiking and chasing waterfalls. With its lush rainforests and diverse landscapes, the country boasts some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Central America. If you’re a waterfall enthusiast, here are three favorite towns in Panama where you can discover the best waterfalls:

1. Boquete

Located in the Chiriqui Highlands, Boquete offers a gateway to stunning natural wonders. Here, you can hike through cloud forests and explore beautiful waterfalls nestled amidst the verdant mountains. One popular waterfall in Boquete is the Lost Waterfalls, a series of three impressive cascades that can be reached via an adventurous hike. Prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking beauty of these hidden treasures.

the lost waterfalls boquete

2. Santa Fe

Santa Fe, a picturesque town in Veraguas Province, is surrounded by lush vegetation and abundant waterfalls. One must-visit waterfall in Santa Fe is Cascada El Macho, known for its impressive height and power. You can take a refreshing dip in the natural pool at the base of the waterfall or simply marvel at its grandeur while enjoying the surrounding natural beauty.

3. El Valle de Anton

Nestled in a volcanic crater, El Valle de Anton is famous for its stunning landscapes and natural attractions. The town is home to several breathtaking waterfalls, including Chorro El Macho. This impressive waterfall plunges into a lush canyon, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Explore the trails and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance as you witness the power and beauty of these cascading waters.

Whether you prefer hiking through dense forests, swimming in refreshing pools, or simply admiring the sheer beauty of waterfalls, these three towns in Panama will offer you unforgettable experiences. Prepare to be captivated by the natural wonders that await you in Boquete, Santa Fe, and El Valle de Anton.

Conclusion on best Waterfalls in Panama and Costa Rica

In conclusion, Panama and Costa Rica boast some of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in Central America. From the iconic La Fortuna Waterfall in Costa Rica to the hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Panama, these two countries offer a paradise for waterfall enthusiasts. Whether you’re in search of thrilling adventures or peaceful serenity, these natural wonders should be at the top of your travel itinerary.

The best waterfalls in Panama and Costa Rica showcase the immense beauty and power of nature. With cascades tumbling down towering cliffs, crystal-clear pools inviting you for a refreshing swim, and lush landscapes surrounding every waterfall, there is no shortage of breathtaking scenery to explore.

Make sure to visit renowned gems like the Montezuma Waterfalls in the Nicoya Peninsula and the La Paz Waterfall in Central Costa Rica. But don’t forget to venture off the beaten path and discover lesser-known treasures that Panama and Costa Rica have to offer.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the natural wonders of Panama and Costa Rica. Get ready to be mesmerized and amazed as you witness the power and beauty of the best waterfalls in this captivating part of the world.


What are the best waterfalls to visit in Panama and Costa Rica?

Some of the top waterfalls to visit in Panama and Costa Rica include Montezuma Waterfalls, La Fortuna Waterfall, Gravity Falls, La Paz Waterfall, Catarata del Toro, Bijagual Waterfall, Los Chorros Waterfalls, Rio Celeste Waterfall, and Llanos de Cortez.

Where are the Montezuma Waterfalls located?

The Montezuma Waterfalls are located in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica.

Can you swim in the Montezuma Waterfalls?

Yes, hikers can swim in the pools of the Montezuma Waterfalls and even jump from the top waterfall.

How can I access the Montezuma Waterfalls?

There are two trails available to access the different falls of the Montezuma Waterfalls – the Riverbed Trail for the lower falls and the Canopy Trail for the upper falls.

Where is the La Fortuna Waterfall located?

The La Fortuna Waterfall is located in Arenal, Costa Rica.

How tall is the La Fortuna Waterfall?

The La Fortuna Waterfall has a height of 230 feet.

Is there a swimming hole at the La Fortuna Waterfall?

Yes, there is a natural swimming hole at the bottom of the La Fortuna Waterfall where visitors can take a refreshing dip.

How can I reach the basin of the La Fortuna Waterfall?

Visitors can reach the basin of the La Fortuna Waterfall by descending 530 concrete stairs.

Where is Gravity Falls located?

Gravity Falls is located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

What activities can I do at Gravity Falls?

At Gravity Falls, visitors can rappel down a cliff next to a 132-foot-tall waterfall, swing on a rope into a natural pool, slide on natural rock slides, and climb sheer rock walls.

Where is the La Paz Waterfall located?

The La Paz Waterfall is located in central Costa Rica.

What is the drop height of the La Paz Waterfall?

The La Paz Waterfall offers a massive drop of 110 feet.

What amenities are available at the Zamora fall of Los Chorros Waterfalls?

The Zamora fall of Los Chorros Waterfalls has amenities like bathrooms and picnic tables, making it a popular spot for locals to spend the day.

What is the entrance fee to Rio Celeste Waterfall?

Visitors will need to pay a cash entrance fee to access the Rio Celeste Waterfall in Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Where is Llanos de Cortez located?

Llanos de Cortez is located in Bagaces, Costa Rica.

Is there an entrance fee to visit Llanos de Cortez?

No, there is no entrance fee to visit Llanos de Cortez, and it offers free entry to visitors.

Where are the best towns for waterfall exploration in Panama?

The three favorite towns for waterfall enthusiasts in Panama are Boquete, Santa Fe, and El Valle de Anton.

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