Costa Rica

Bajos del Toro – The Ultimate Guide to chasing the best waterfalls in Costa Rica

Bajos del Toro - Vuelta Del Canon

Bajos del Toro is a nature lover’s dream place, and it’s a must-visit, especially for those who want to chase the best waterfalls in Costa Rica. We call it the land of 1000 waterfalls, and once you get there, you’ll understand why. This little valley called Bajos del Toro only has a tiny town with few guesthouses, but there are signs for waterfall entrances every few hundred meters. The options for waterfalls to visit during your stay are enormous. This ultimate guide for Bajos del Toro will help you choose the best ones.


Best time to visit Bajos del Toro

The best time to visit Bajos del Toro is during Costa Rica’s dry season, which runs from December to April. The region of Bajos del Toro is very wet as it is all rainforest. It also has a higher altitude, so temperatures are usually cooler than on the coast of Costa Rica. So you will most likely experience some rain all year round, but it might be too rainy to visit specific waterfalls during the rainy season as there can be a risk of overflowing rivers.

How to get to Bajos del Toro

Bajos del Toro is located only 1.5 hours from San Jose, which makes it a great first or last stop on your route when flying in and out of San Jose. The most convenient way to visit Bajos del Toro is by rental car, as this will allow you to explore all kinds of waterfalls at your own pace. We recommend Discover Cars for the best car rental prices in Costa Rica.

You can reach Bajos del Toro by public bus from San Jose via Zarcero, but we don’t recommend that as you will be very limited in what waterfalls you can visit as there is no public transportation in Bajos del Toro, and the waterfalls are sometimes far from each other. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour with transportation included from either San Jose or La Fortuna.

Blue Falls Costa Rica

6 Must-see waterfalls in Bajos del Toro

Blue Falls of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has thousands of waterfalls. Each one is unique. But there is something magical about a bright blue waterfall. That’s why visiting Blue Falls, Costa Rica, was one of our highlights.

The Blue Falls of Costa Rica has hiking trails that lead to seven blue waterfalls and several swimming holes. The most famous waterfalls on the property are a set of two cascades called Las Gemelas. These sit right next to each other. Fittingly, las Gemelas translates from Spanish to “the twins.”

These bright blue waterfalls are one of our favorite waterfalls you can visit in Costa Rica, first of all, because it’s very unpopular and during the week there are very few visitors also because the trail leads to several different waterfalls which are all stunning. The entrace fee for the Blue Falls is 15 USD per person.

Catarata del Toro (Toro Amarillo) 

Catarata del Toro is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Bajos del Toro. The water spills nearly one hundred meters down into an extinct volcanic crater. This height makes it the largest waterfall in Costa Rica.

The waterfall is located across the street from Blue Falls, Costa Rica, and they both share the same entrance. You can buy a combo ticket for 25 USD per person if you want to visit them both. We recommend visiting Catarata del Toro first, as it attracts more visitors than Blue Falls.

Rio Agrio Waterfall

Rio Agrio is probably the easiest-to-reach waterfall in Bajos del Toro, but that doesn’t make it less worth it. The owners of the property have many dogs which follow and guide the visitors to the waterfall. The cutest guides we ever had! They waited for us for over an hour and came back with us.

The entrance fee is 3000 colones (4.50 USD) per person, and they have a restaurant and bathrooms at the entrance.

Paraiso Manantianles 

One of our forever favorite waterfalls in Costa Rica is Paraiso Manantiales. The path to the waterfall leads through the jungle for about 45 min. There is a cute little restaurant at the entrance, and it’s possible to camp here if you are traveling with a campervan. We paid 16$ for two people’s entrance fee and camping. If you visit on a sunny day, the river next to the waterfall is blue. It was rainy when we went but still very beautiful.

Two people standing near a picturesque waterfall.

Vuelta del Canon

It’s hard to choose a favorite waterfall in Costa Rica as there are so many incredible ones, but if we had to choose, Vuelta del Canon would be it for us. The trail that leads to the waterfalls is a two-hour hike each way, and it’s super scenic with lots of jungle walks, river crossings, and adventure. The waterfall itself is one of a kind and super picturesque. It has two levels, the vast waterfall towering from the cliffs into a pool and the lower small waterfall going down into another pool which is excellent for swimming and refreshing from the hike. The water is cold all year round but so clear and fresh.

We visited this waterfall with a local guide from Senderos del Toro. You can reach them on WhatsApp at +506 8982 0502. These are young, local guys that will show you their home. We love that this supports the local community of Bajos del Toro.

Quebrada Gata Waterfall

Quebrada Gata is a very unknown and untouched waterfall and also not easy to reach. There is no official path to get to the waterfall. The hike goes through a river, over many rocks. It can be very slippery, so wear the right shoes if you decide to go on this adventure. Please don’t go on a rainy day; the river rises quickly when it rains, making it dangerous.

We recommend visiting this waterfall with a local guide. You can contact the local company, Senderos del Toro, on WhatsApp at +506 8982 0502. These are young, local guys that will show you their home. We love that this supports the local community of Bajos del Toro.

Where to stay in Bajos del Toro

As we mentioned earlier, Bajos del Toro is a small town, and the options for accommodation are not huge. It all depends on your budget and what you are looking for. These are the places we can recommend in this area:

Alternatively, if you travel with a campervan, you can camp at most waterfall entrances. We camped at Paraiso Manantiales, for example, and it was lovely.

Travel Tips for Visiting Bajos del Toro

There are a few things you should definitely bring when visiting Bajos del Toro:

  • Swimwear (will probably be in your suitcase anyway for Costa Rica)
  • Rain Cover (Bajos del Toro is rainy all year round – so definitely expect some rain)
  • Sweater, long clothes (you might think Costa Rica is hot and tropical everywhere, but that’s not the case. You will want to have warm clothes in the evenings and early mornings in Bajos del Toro)
  • Water Bottle (some hikes are long, and it’s always good to have water with you)
  • Food (Especially if you stay in an Airbnb, Cabin, or Campervan like us, make sure to buy groceries and bring them. There are not many supermarkets around there, and the selection of healthy food is limited)
A waterfall in the middle of a mossy forest.


Bajos del Toro is one of these still underrated parts of Costa Rica. Many visitors skip it and directly go to the famous La Fortuna and then the coast. If you love nature and especially waterfalls, you should definitely spend at least 1-2 days in Bajos del Toro. It’s located halfway to La Fortuna from San Jose so it can make a great stop in between. Bajos del Toro is uncrowded and offers countless beautiful waterfalls and a real connection with nature. That’s why we love it.

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Hi there,

Since you’ve done both hikes, I’m curious whether you think it’s possible to do both Catarata Vuelta del cañón and Quebrada Gata Waterfall in one day, with an early start? We’re two active people, in our early 30’s. Thanks!

Sun Chasing Travelers
Sun Chasing Travelers
Reply to  Brittany

Hi Brittany First of, we’re happy to have you with us and would like to thank you for taking the time to read our blog posts :). Regarding your question. As the hike to Vuelta del Canon is about 5 hours (1 hour to enjoy the waterfall) of round trip time, we don’t suggest to do both in one day. But best would be to check with the guys from Senderos del Toro ( what their opinion is. We did the hike to Vuelta del Canon with them and they do both hikes. We hope this helps and are wishing… Read more »


Looking to do Quebrada Gata, was it safe to leave a car there? Are there people there that watch the car (the ones you pay, I heard that’s how it is there?) Just worried because I have a rental car and will have my luggage with me.

Also … I signed up with the group you mentioned, looking forward!


Sun Chasing Travelers
Sun Chasing Travelers
Reply to  Naomi

Hi Naomi. Nice to have you with us. Some time has passed since we did the Quebrada Gata hike. Back then, we just parked the car at the roadside where other cars were already parked. There wasn’t someone like a park guard. As the area is pretty far up in the hills, and from past experiences of never having any issues, we assume it should be safe to leave the car unattended. Even with luggage inside. Anyways, we usually take our valuable things like cameras and laptops with us if we don’t feel good about leaving them behind. Please check… Read more »


Thanks! Very helpful! And I know a while ago, but do you think a regular car would be ok to drive here? (This is my only location not on main roads), or would you suggest a 4×4 SUV?

Sun Chasing Travelers
Sun Chasing Travelers
Reply to  naomi

Hi Naomi. As far as we remember, it was all paved roads up there. Sometimes pretty steep, but paved. Therefore, as far as we remember (again), it should be doable with a 2×4 (regular car). But maybe it’s a good idea also to ask the guys you booked the hike with as they maybe have another meeting point. Not sure when you’re doing the hike but a good rule of thumb is to have a 4×4 when visiting Costa Rica in rainy season (May until October/November). When visiting in the dry season, and especially late dry season, a 2×4 (regular)… Read more »

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