Day Trip to the Uvita Waterfall

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Visit the pristine Uvita Waterfall — Catarata Uvita in Spanish. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the lush Costa Rican jungle… take a short walk to the waterfall for a lovely view and refreshing swim, or simply relax and do yoga on the spacious deck. You will be in awe of the natural beauty of this area of the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica.

Uvita Waterfall in Costa Rica

Uvita Waterfall details & tips

  • Starting time: Anytime, recommended for midday
  • Duration: As long as you like, 2-3 hours recommended
  • Recommended for: All ages. Individuals need to be able to walk on rocky, steep, slippery terrain for a short distance (5-7 minutes) to get to the waterfalls. There is a rubber handrail, but this location is not accessible to people with significant physical disabilities.
  • What’s included: Entrance to the waterfalls, parking
  • Price: $2 entrance fee(1000 colones) per person (note: this trip is included with the Bodhi Sessions Surf & Yoga Camps)
  • Departs from: Anywhere in town; from Bodhi Surf + Yoga it is about a 10 minute car ride
  • Recommended to bring: sunscreen, swimsuit, hat, towel, shoes with good traction, water
  • Important notes:
    • There is a bar/restaurant that serves food and drinks on-site (note: they do not have vegan or vegetarian options)
    • See terrain details above
  • Address: Barrio Los Ángeles, Uvita

Uvita Waterfall highlights

  • A rise in elevation offers a different perspective than that at sea-level
  • The cool water temperature is sure to be a refreshing relief from the heat and it’s only a short distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga
  • A great place to escape the mid-day heat between noon-3pm, where you can also get a smoothie, something to eat, or relax in a hammock
  • The Uvita Waterfall is family and kid-friendly!

Refreshing pools at the Uvita Waterfall

Why it is “Bodhi Recommended”

The Uvita Waterfall attraction is owned and operated by a local, Costa Rican family. This offers a direct opportunity to engage with people of the community. Because the falls are freshwater, the water is significantly cooler than the ocean. Plus, the area is largely shaded by the abundance of trees, which makes for an extremely revitalizing experience.

First-hand experience

After a 10-minute ride through the town of Uvita and up a steep hill, a colorful building revealed itself on the road. We jumped out of the truck to see a restaurant that served an array of food (think smoothies, fish tacos, hamburgers and fries…) and a large, inviting deck overlooking the jungle, complete with hammocks, tables, and chairs.

After paying the man at the restaurant, we began our short hike to the falls.

I did the walk barefoot because I felt more comfortable gripping the path with my toes than my sandals. I would definitely recommend wearing shoes with good traction, especially if your feet are sensitive as the walkway can be rocky and slippery, and there are also some uneven steps to descend. However, there is a strong rubber handrail to help guide your footing. The path is lovely and full of life, as it is surrounded by the jungle — tall bamboo, lush green leaves, and flowers of all colors and types abound.

When we emerged from the jungly path, the small falls revealed themselves first. Be sure to stay low to the ground when the handrail ends, as you are left to walk on the slippery rocks without support. You could spend all of your time here, enjoying the beauty and serenity of falls that drop only a few feet into a large, open pool. Some people slid down these mini falls, but I chose not to. There didn’t seem to be enough water to provide a certain “cushion” from the rocks beneath. We each took a very short jump off the rocks and Ahhh… instant satisfaction. The water was cool and super refreshing! This was the most satisfying relief from the heat of Bahia Ballena yet, as the sun gently hit through the trees, and the water was fresh and calm. There was plenty of room in the pool for everyone to jump in and swim around leisurely. A short climb up from the pool brings you to another, higher jumping off point. The “platform” is maybe 15-20 feet above the pool. For me, this allowed for enough fun. But for the daredevils, there is a rope swing from this same elevated point. It looked pretty sketchy — the rope was short and not very thick. However, I did watch with nervousness as one young man swung off the rope and landed successfully in the water.

Visiting the Uvita Waterfall

The bigger falls, which were a 3-minute walk down the path, rose up about 30 feet, and had a stronger flow. To my surprise, more people were sliding down these falls! Again, the water flow did not seem full enough to ensure being carried away from the rocks. Most people seemed to make it down successfully, but one man hit his hand on the rocks. This is definitely an at-your-own-discretion-and-risk portion of the attraction, and safety probably depends somewhat on the amount of water flow. The larger falls were moderately crowded with maybe ten people scattered on the rocks and in the water, but there was still plenty of space in the pool below to splash around. There is certainly no lifeguard on duty, but even for non-swimmers, it would be pleasant to sit on the rocks and feel the water with your feet.

While the Uvita Waterfall is located very close to the town of Uvita, it also feels like you are in the middle of the jungle, and provides a welcome relief from the heat of the day.

Swimming hole at the Uvita Waterfall

Written by Sam Rose

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About the author

Bodhi Surf + Yoga

A surf and yoga camp providing community-engaged travel experiences in beautiful Uvita, Costa Rica. Learn about what makes Bodhi Surf + Yoga different and don't hesitate to contact us.

1 Comment

  1. Su Perry Luxton on February 7, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Great blog. Very detailed descriptions .I felt I was with on the journey to the Uvita Falls. Helpful for future reference. Thanks,Sam

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