Llanos Del Cortez


Llanos del Cortez is a beautiful waterfall in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. It’s a little difficult to find, but asking the locals working the fruit stands on the Pan American Highway by Bagaces will get you fairly precise directions with only a couple of false positives – which is better than usual. Admission is a donation to a local school and it’s open from 8 am to 5 pm. There is a large area behind the waterfall that you can reach either through the waterfall (which is somewhat challenging to do) or from the side.


This is the first waterfall I’ve been to in many years and its power was quite surprising to me. As you swim up to the front of the waterfall, the spray and wind are blinding (you might want to bring swim goggles). Standing under the waterfall was at some times actually painful. There are rocks you can jump off of into the pool, but be careful as there are rocks in the pool near the waterfall. I really enjoyed climbing into the waterfall. The blinding water trying to wash you away from a precarious purchase on slippery rocks made me feel like I was doing something extreme (which for me isn’t saying much.) The rocks around the waterfall are covered with ferns and orchids creating a beautiful tropical oasis in a surprisingly dry part of Costa Rica.

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Jeff Chapple

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