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.
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.
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.
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:
- Luxury: El Silencio Lodge
- Standard Hotel: Hotel Mango Valley
- Budget: Cute cabin in the Woods at Pozas y Cascadas La Presa
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)
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.