Eco Chontales waterfall is a stunning 60 meters high waterfall in Costa Rica. Tucked away in the jungle and hidden between Dominical and Perez Zeledon, you can easily visit this waterfall during a day trip from Uvita and Manuel Antonio. At the bottom of Eco Chontales waterfall is a beautiful natural pool in which you can safely swim and admire the beautiful surroundings. Take into account that the power of the waterfall changes drastically depending on the season. After heavy rainfall it might be too dangerous to swim in the pool, but then the power of the falls are impressive to witness. In this complete guide you’ll find everything you need to know about visiting Eco Chontales waterfall.
How to get to Eco Chontales waterfall
Driving to Eco Chontales waterfall is a bit of an adventure in itself. Because you will drive along a dirt road for 12 kilometres until getting to the entrance, I would highly suggest having a 4×4 car. The driver also needs a bit of courage and driver skills as you will have to pass a few sketchy hanging bridges. Definitely a great adventure before experiencing the waterfall itself!
Located in the mountains to the south of Quepos you will find Eco Chontales waterfall. The drive towards the waterfall is already beautiful as you will pass a wonderful green valley that looks as if it came straight out of a fairytale. With cows grazing and tropical birds flying around, you absolutely have to stop at some point and take in the breathtaking landscapes.
Along route 243 you will find the turnoff which is the road between Dominical and San Isidro del General, also known as Perez Zeledon by locals. Here you will see a big sign towards the waterfall, but from this point it is still 12 kilometres along this bouncing dirt road where you’ll encounter the hanging bridges you need to cross with your vehicle.
Best time to go to Eco Chontales waterfall
Eco Chontales waterfall is one of those waterfalls that has lots of different forms when it comes down to water flow. After the rainy season it looks more like a wide curtain of water, while after the dry season it is just a beautiful straight fall that hits the crystal clear blue pool. We went to Eco Chontales waterfall in April and had beautiful circumstances to visit. The pool was lovely to swim and the waterfall was beautiful to see.
In terms of the best time of the day to visit, I suggest going in the morning before it gets too hot. It can also get more crowded later in the morning. So if you want to have a serene experience, then go directly after breakfast for a morning swim at this beautiful waterfall.
Entrance fee and opening times Eco Chontales waterfall
The entrance fee for visiting Eco Chontales waterfall is 3000 colones per person.
The opening times for Eco Chontales waterfall are from 8.30 AM until 4 PM.
What to expect at Eco Chontales waterfall
Once you’ve paid the entrance ticket you can start walking down for about 600 meters towards the waterfall via a short but beautiful trail. The walk down takes about 10 – 15 minutes depending on your speed. On the way back it can take a little longer as you will have to conquer the steep steps.
You will hear the waterfall soon enough once you get closer. The roaring sound reveals that this is huge waterfall. The water drops down from 60 meters height and plunges into the beautiful natural pool below. The more rain the wilder the waterfall will be. This can affect your experience as with more water there will also be more spray coming from the waterfall. Swimming in the pool then can also be more dangerous. However there are always life guards around, so listen to their advice.
Experiencing Eco Chontales waterfall
There are many smooth rocks in the canyon where you can sit or lay down and enjoy the beautiful Costa Rican nature. If you walk a bit further down towards the restaurant you can see a second waterfall which is smaller, but still nice to explore. There you’ll also see the restaurant where you can have a delicious lunch before you make your way back to the parking.
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.
- Llanos de Cortez Waterfall and Rio Celeste waterfall hike 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.
- 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.
- 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 Eco Chontales waterfall in Costa Rica.
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