Nauyaca Waterfalls, Costa Rica

This is truly one of the most incredibly beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life.

We were at a festival / market a few weeks ago and there was a fellow painting a scene that had numerous waterfalls.  In my head I though, that’s a little overkill – there’s no way there would be that many waterfalls in one location.  Ha, silly Canadian girl.  He wasn’t making it up in his head – he was painting Nauyaca.

The falls are outside of Dominical – about a 35 minute drive from Ojochal.   Sophie was with us for this adventure and we wished that Chad had seen these falls.  He would have LOVED them.

We drove to the falls having no idea what to expect.  We stopped in the office and was told that we would need runners – not flip flops, as there was a 4km hike into the falls.  We drove down the road to see the “parking” area and to see what we could see.  The drive down to the parking area was a huge, ongoing, forever-long hill down. On the way down, we saw a couple – hoofing it UP the hill.  Drenched in sweat.  Looking exhausted.   On the way back up – we stopped and offered them a ride.  They were so very thankful and found out they were from Quebec. Thankfully Sophie was with us and she and the lovely couple chatted.  They told us the falls were amazing.

So, the next day, we started out early, with bottles of water and our runners. We stopped in at our favorite cafe in Dominical for the banana-flour brownies and made our way to the falls.  Tickets purchased, car parked at the bottom of the hill, sunscreen and bug spray applied and we were on our way.

The road – which is not really a road – but was actually quite similar to the road leading up to our house in Ojochal was rocky, bumpy, muddy in some areas with quite a bit of both uphill and downhill.  Lots of sun and not a lot of shade. As with all long walks or hikes it feels like it takes forever to get there and in this heat, it did feel like forever.   It was incredibly peaceful, we saw three other people on the walk there, other than the horseback riding tour of people leaving the falls.

We finally arrived and saw the falls that was definitely worth every long, sweaty, step.

Words can’t really describe – so hopefully the pictures (and video that will be added later) will do.

We stayed and swam for a few hours and then made the long trek back.  Homeward bound wasn’t as long – and we were smart and drenched ourselves in the water before the walk home.  Definitely helped keep us cool-ish.

While the hike was long and hot – this place is just to beautiful not to visit again.  See you soon Nauyaca!


Ila on the rocks


We swam across and stood under the lower falls. Amazing!


Rohan at the upper falls.


Loving the falls

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Update: Trip #2 to Nauyaka with Kat and Caleb

This hike to Nauyaka was very very different from the first trip. First, and thankfully, there was cloud cover so we were not hiking in the blazing sun as we did the first time.  We were still hot and sweaty from the hike – and the water at the falls was still incredibly refreshing and so cold-but delightful to plunge into.  The water level was crazy different though – the amount of water coming over the falls was so powerful and so forceful – also causing the swimming area to be much more choppy.   We should have thought of this, as the other two smaller waterfalls we had taken them to had also changed – the water level was much higher due to all the rain fall we have had in the last two to three weeks.

There was no swimming to the rocks under the falls.  The water was much too choppy.  But Rohan, Kat and I did have fun climbing over all the big rocks to the other side of the river.

It was spitting rain when we got there but by the time we were done and had seen both the lower and upper falls, and started our hike back, it was full on raining.  The trail home was wet, slippy, muddy and wet.  By the time we got back to the parking area we were absolutely soaked, as were all our belongings – including Rory’s phone, our money and our passports.

I’ve separated the visits to Nauyaka into two albums – make sure you take a look at both as I took many more pictures on the 2nd trip of the trail and the hike there.  I’ve posted the difference in water levels below.



Edgar family – first trip to Nauyaka


Second trip to Nauyaka – the difference in water level and force is amazing.


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