Located near the indigenous town of BriBri in the Limón Province of Costa Rica are some beautiful waterfalls to explore. The BriBri culture is very interesting to learn about. If you’re interested, you can book a tour including exploring the BriBri waterfalls and learn about the largest indigenous tribes of Costa Rica, the BriBri tribe. But if you want to explore only the BriBri waterfalls by yourself then it’s also possible.
If your accommodation is in Puerto Viejo or Cahuita then its only a 10 to 20 minute drive to the waterfalls, depending which one you go. In this blog post I share the BriBri waterfalls we have been to with clarification on how to get there. On Google Maps you might find a few waterfalls called ‘BriBri waterfalls’, but they actually all have their own name. Find the instructions in this blog post on how to get to the BriBri waterfall you want!
→ Important note. Robberies have taken place in BriBri, especially at Volio waterfall. For your own safety you should take a guide when going to the waterfall. Other safety precautions are not wearing jewellery and taking expensive cameras with you. Safe travels everyone.
Costa Rica is home to about eight main indigenous groups with the BriBri population being one of the largest indigenous tribes in Costa Rica. Located deep into the southern Caribbean region of Costa Rica, the BriBri indigenous people reside throughout the Talamanca Mountain range and southern islands isolated from others.
They welcome small groups into their village to experience the BriBri culture. During a tour you can learn about their respect for nature while a member of the BriBri society will share their knowledge of all the plants and trees amongst them and the amazing medicinal properties they have. The BriBri people strive for their independence and self-sufficiency allowing them to preserve their indigenous culture. They still have their own BriBri language and take good care of their indigenous reserve.
BriBri people and the cacao tree
Cacao plays an important cultural role in the history and life of the Bribri indigenous communities. It has helped to sustain their livelihood and sacred belief system. The BriBri people believe that the cacao tree previously was a woman but was turned into a cacao plant as a gesture of appreciation by Sibu, their main divinity and creator. Tradition is that only the BriBri women can prepare and serve the cacao drink in sacred rituals.
The BriBri waterfalls
The Volio waterfall is one of the BriBri waterfalls that is most hidden in the rainforest. This beautiful 15 meters high waterfall is located within the Bribri Indian Reservation.
Because it is a bit hard to find and robberies are possible, you have to get a guide when going to Volio waterfall. Once you have parked your vehicle and paid the parking fee of 2000 colones you can set off to the Volio waterfall with your guide by foot. You have to cross two shallow rivers before there is a small jungle trail going towards Volio waterfall. There were no signs pointing to the waterfall when we went here in April 2021, so therefore a local guide which you can ask you to join by the parking lot is recommended. Make sure to agree on a price beforehand. The guide can also bring you to the upper level of Volio waterfall where you will find natural pools and a great view into this impressive lush canyon.
How to get to Volio waterfall in BriBri
Volio waterfall is located at the end of Calle La Unión. Halfway the road changes from asphalt to dirt road once you enter the rainforest. The parking spot of Volio waterfall is well signed and here you will meet someone who can eventually bring you to the waterfall. On Google Maps you might find this waterfall under the name ‘BriBri waterfall’, but it’s the one closest to the town of Volio, so you can’t miss it!
Two waters waterfall
Another of the BriBri waterfalls is the so called Two waters waterfall at Finca Las Brisas. This waterfall is actually marked on Google Maps as ‘BriBri Hidden waterfalls’, but you can find a sign along the main road pointing towards the entrance of this small waterfall. We found this one to be the least impressive of the three waterfalls we have been exploring in this area. However, the two waters waterfall do have a great natural pool to swim in. So if you’re looking for a quiet place in the jungle to spend a few hours and take a dip in cool water, then this might be a great option!
How to get to Two waters waterfall
If you follow the 36 road towards BriBri you have to keep an eye out for a sign along the road that points you towards the entrance of ‘Waterfalls Two Waters’. Drive up this road and you will get to the entrance. Here you have to pay the entrance and parking fee for the waterfall. From the parking it’s about 5 minutes walking down a dirt path until you get to the waterfall and natural pool.
Catarata Ma-Cu – BriBri Sparkling waterfalls
The last one of the waterfalls near BriBri is also known as Bri Bri Sparkling waterfalls. This waterfall is pretty big compared to the other two BriBri waterfalls and is very easy to reach. A sign along the road says Catarata Ma-Cu, but there’s another entrance a little further down the road that says Bri Bri Sparkling waterfalls. A little confusing, but it is the same waterfall.
It’s only 5-10 minutes maximum walking down the well maintained path until you get to the open area around the waterfall. Be careful when walking around because the rocks can be slippery. Especially after rainfall.
The pool of BriBri Sparkling waterfall is deep enough to swim in. And if you feel like a little adventure, you can climb the rock to see the waterfall from another, higher perspective.
If you walk a little bit down you can see another smaller waterfall. This one is less impressive than the bigger waterfall, but it also has a great natural pool to swim in. Overall we think this area is a great spot to chill and to take a refreshing dip. There is plenty of space for everyone to relax on a towel and enjoy the beautiful waterfalls. Despite this waterfall being directly under the road, you don’t really hear the traffic. Being surrounded by so much green and foliage it feels as if you’re far away in nature.
How to get to BriBri Sparkling waterfalls
It is located along the 36 road towards BriBri at Corredor Caribe. There are actually two entrances to this waterfall. One with the sign Catarata Ma-Cu, and another entrance a little further down the road with a sign saying BriBri Sparkling waterfalls. From both sides it’s only a 5-10 minute walk down to get to the waterfall.
More things to do in Puerto Viejo
Besides exploring these fun waterfalls and the culture of these indigenous people, there are plenty of other things to do in the surrounding area. If you are located in Puerto Viejo then you should relax on some of the beautiful beaches. We suggest Cocles beach which is also great for surfing. And Punta Uva beach and Playa Negra are more local beaches and therefore less crowded, except in weekends or holidays. Other great activities to do around Puerto Viejo are a day trip to Manzanillo National Park and exploring the wildlife in Cahuita National Park. If you want to learn more about rehabilitation of wild animals, then you should go to the Jaguar rescue centre in Puerto Viejo.
Best tours in Costa Rica
If you want to explore the best of Costa Rica, then it is highly recommended to book a tour. During most of these tours you will combine a few locations on one day so you can see the diversity that Costa Rica has to offer. Because of Costa Rica’s popularity it is highly recommended to book your tours in advance as it is likely that tours sell out. So don’t wait with booking until you get to Costa Rica. Choose your favorite tours here and secure your booking! All of these tours include air conditioned transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes also lunch and the entrance fees. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
- Cahuita National Park and Tortuguero Canal boat tour. Explore Costa Rica’s Caribbean side with this wildlife-rich shore excursion to Cahuita National Park. Admire the biodiversity of the Tortuguero Canals, hike across Cahuita and enjoy Puerto Limon’s city highlights.
- 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion from San Jose. Visit one of the most important destinations in Costa Rica on a guided tour. Explore a beautiful natural paradise, tour the famous Tortuguero Canal and see diverse flora and fauna during this 3 day tour.
- Manuel Antonio National Park combo tour from San Jose. Explore the world-famous Manuel Antonio National Park and its beautiful white-sand beaches. Discover the abundant wildlife on the park’s rainforest trails. Enjoy included breakfast and lunch, and make stops to see crocodiles.
- Poas volcano, Coffee plantation tour and La Paz waterfall gardens. Visit 3 destinations in one day on this guided tour from San José. Learn about coffee production, visit the Poas Volcano Crater, and experience the incredible nature around La Paz Waterfall Garden.
- Irazú and Turrialba Volcanoes Guayabo Tour. Visit Irazu volcano and the “Central Town” at the foothills of the active Turrialba Volcano. Experience a unique history and culture, shaped by the tallest and most active volcanoes in Costa Rica.
- Night jungle tour Manuel Antonio tour. The best of the wildlife comes alive at night. Allow yourself to live amazing encounters that happen only at night in the rainforest. See wild night animals, and discover a whole new world.
- Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch from San Jose. Spend the day discovering the luscious landscapes of Tortuguero National Park. Explore this vibrant rainforest, see native wildlife in its natural habitat, learn about the local ecosystem and enjoy a delicious Costa Rican breakfast and lunch.
- Celeste River and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall from Tamarindo. Hike through Tenorio Volcano National Park and visit the beautiful blue river. Discover the rainforest and swim at Llanos de Cortez waterfalls while observing sloths, red-eyed leaf frogs, toucans, and butterflies.
- La Fortuna 4 activities on 1 day; base hike Arenal volcano, hanging bridges, La Fortuna waterfall and hotsprings
More Costa Rica travel inspiration
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about the BriBri waterfalls.
For more travel inspiration about Costa Rica, have a look at our other Costa Rica travel guides.