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Discover Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica: The ULTIMATE Guide

Ready to visit one of the best waterfalls in Costa Rica? You are in the right place! Nauyaca Waterfalls in Costa Rica is magical.

This guide will offer a breakdown of the two park entrances that run tours to the two tiered wonder.

When we visited Nauyaca Waterfall last year, we chose Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park and had one of the best days of our Costa Rica trip.

This waterfall is something special and should be on everyone’s Costa Rica itinerary!

Let’s get you started on planning your trip to Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica.

Some links in this post are affiliate. If clicked, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica: Your ULTIMATE Guide

Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica
Pin the Nauyaca Waterfall Guide for later!

Where is Nauyaca Waterfall in Costa Rica?

Nauyaca Waterfall is located in the San José province of Costa Rica.

Labeled as the star on the map below, Nauyaca Waterfall is located close to Puntarenas Province.

Visiting this waterfall is a great day trip from the nearby beach towns of Uvita, Dominical and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

Nauyaca Waterfall on a map
Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica labeled on map.

Nauyaca Waterfalls on Map

Both Nauyaca Waterfall entrances are marked on the above map!

How to get to Nauyaca Waterfalls

Driving is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Nauyaca Waterfalls.

I recommend renting a car during your trip in Costa Rica for the ease and flexibility.

When driving in Costa Rica, download the free App, Waze.

Google Maps and Apple Maps do not work as well in Costa Rica and many locals use Waze themselves.

Download the App before you get to the country so it is ready to go.

Click here for rental cars in Costa Rica.

Taxis, buses and tour options are available from close by towns.

Continue reading for all of the options!

Driving San José to Nauyaca Waterfalls

When we visited Nauyaca Waterfalls a few months ago, we drove from the capital San José, Costa Rica via Route 2.

Once reaching Pérez Zeledón, you will change to Route 243 and continue all the way to Nauyaca Waterfall.

The drive from the capital to the waterfalls is approximately 160 kilometres and 3-4 hours depending on traffic and stops.

Driving from Dominical or Uvita to Nauyaca Waterfalls

Driving from Dominical or Uvita, Costa Rica is easy and straight forward. 

From Dominical take Route 243 until you reach the waterfalls park entrance. 

The drive takes approximately 40 minutes.

From Uvita, drive along Route 34 until you reach Dominical, then switch for Route 243 until you get to the waterfalls.

The drive takes approximately 1 hour.

Buses or Taxis

There are buses from Grupo Blanco that stop at Nauyaca Waterfall from Dominical and San Isidoro, Costa Rica.

Taxis are available from nearby towns (Dominical & Uvita), and cost about $20 USD.

Always negotiate with the taxi driver BEFORE the drive starts, and/or make sure they turn the meter on.

Which Nauyaca Waterfall Park Entrance Should I Choose?

The park entrances are relatively the same and the end result for both is Nauyaca Waterfall.

The differences lie in the transportation, tour option and length of time allotted to staying at the waterfalls.

Nauyaca Waterfalls has been around for a long time and has established tours.

Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park is a newer facility with no time restrictions at the waterfalls.

We chose Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park and were very happy with our decision.

Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park vs. Nauyaca Waterfalls
Quick summary of differences between Nauyaca Waterfall entrances.
Prices updated April 2024.

Continue reading for a further breakdown of what each park has to offer.

Nauyaca Waterfall Entrance Fees & Tour Options

Nauyaca Waterfalls Entrance Fees & Tours

Nauyaca Waterfalls has four different tour options to choose from. 

The premium tour options below include free parking at their office. If you choose the hiking tour, you will pay a small fee for parking.

Click here for the Google Maps parking link.

Prices updated April 2024.

Option 1: Hiking Only

This hike is a long one, 12 kilometres round trip.

The hike to the waterfalls is 6 km along rugged dirt roads, and 6 km back to the office.

This hike is labeled as difficult and is a great option for those visiting Nauyaca Waterfalls on a budget.

Tickets:

  • $10 USD per person
  • 3,500 colones for Costa Rican nationals

Included in your ticket:

  • Entrance into the park
  • No restrictions on visiting time

Option 2: Horseback Riding

The Horseback Riding tour is offered from Mondays to Saturdays from 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM. 

This tour requires a reservation and accepts beginner horseback riders.

There is a maximum weight capacity of 220-240lbs to be able to ride the horses.

Tickets:

  •  $80 USD per person

Included in your ticket:

  • Entrance to the park
  • Free parking
  • Guide
  • Round trip horseback ride
  • Lunch

Option 3: Premium 4×4 Tour

The Premium 4×4 tour is offered from Monday – Saturday from 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM. 

Reservations are required.

Tickets:

  • $80 USD per person

Included in your ticket:

  • Entrance to the park
  • Free parking
  • Guide
  • Round trip transportation in a 4×4
  • Guided jumping in the summer
  • Lunch

Option 4: Economic 4×4 Tour

The Economic 4×4 tour is offered daily at multiple times. You get 2 hours to spend at the waterfalls.

Tickets:

  • $32 USD per person

Included in your ticket:

  • Entrance into the park
  • Free parking
  • Guided jumping (summer only)

Book your Nauyaca Waterfalls tour directly on their website.

Don’t want to visit Nauyaca Waterfall on your own? Take a guided tour from Manuel Antonio!

Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park Entrance Fees

Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park has two different tour options to choose from.

These are transportation tickets only and not guided tours. 

Parking is included in each tour listed below.

Click here for the Google Map parking link.

Prices updated April 2024.

Option 1: Hiking + Trolley

The first option includes a 2.7 kilometre downhill hike from the Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park office.

Trolley ride back up to the office when you have finished having fun at the waterfalls. 

Tickets:

  • $28 USD per person (adult)
  • $25 USD per child (3-12 years)
  • 10,000 colones for Costa Rican nationals

Included in your ticket:

  • Parking
  • Use of the rancho: showers, bathrooms, hammocks, games
  • Unlimited coffee

Option 2: Trolley Round Trip

The second option is the one that we chose.

We wanted to do the hike, however our time was limited and the weather was very hot.

The trolley drops you off at the ranch and there is still a short 10 minute hike through the rainforest to the waterfalls.

Tickets:

  • $38 USD per person (adult)
  • $35 USD per child (3-12 years)
  • 13,000 colones for Costa Rican nationals

Included in your ticket:

  • Parking
  • Use of the rancho: showers, bathrooms, hammocks, games
  • Unlimited coffee

You can book in person (we just walked in)!

Or, book directly on their website here.

Nauyaca Waterfall Map
Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park Map

Our Experience at Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica

We chose to go with Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park and we could not have been happier. 

Communication with the team was smooth and they communicated in English.

I was WhatsApping them in the morning as it was a holiday, Good Friday, and I wanted to make sure they were open (which they were)!

They sent the google map coordinates, linked here.

We used the App, Waze to get to the park from San José, Costa Rica.

Office of Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park
Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park Head Office

Purchasing Tickets & Trolley Ride

We opted for the round trip trolley tickets.

We purchased tickets at their head office and received wristbands. We were then taken by trolley down to the ranch. 

The road is very bumpy and you could easily lose your belongings off of the truck, hold on to everything tightly! 

Trolley ride down to Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica
Trolley Ride down to the Ranch

Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park Rancho

All ticket options at Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park give you access to the amenities at the ranch.

Spend time relaxing on their hammocks, use their toilets or take a quick shower (great for after the waterfalls).

Nauyaca Waterfall Ranch
The Ranch

From the ranch, you must hike down the final 10 minutes to the waterfalls themselves.

The hike is through the lush rainforests. It is a gorgeous walk.

Do not wear white shoes like I did, they’re still orange and brown today. *crying*

Nauyaca Waterfalls Signs
Nauyaca Waterfall Signs
Hiking to the upper falls at Nauyaca Waterfalls
Hiking to the Upper Falls

Hike to the Upper Falls

Start off with the Upper Falls of Nauyaca Waterfalls.

These falls are great for photos. Spend time admiring the waterfalls and taking in the fresh ambience.

Some people were swimming under the upper falls but I do not recommend it.

The swimming is better and safer at the lower falls!

Nauyaca Upper Falls
Upper Falls

Swim at the Lower Falls

Set yourself up along the rocks at the lower falls and enjoy swimming in the fresh waters of Nauyaca Waterfalls.

We spent a few hours swimming around the falls, staring at the falls, and just enjoying ourselves in their presence.

The two tiered waterfall is so unique and magical, it takes your breath away.

We swam up to the rocks just at the base of the falls and sat under them. It was such a surreal experience.

I got water up my nose one hundred times under there, so if you hate that, don’t go under the falls.

Nauyaca Waterfall Lower Falls
Lower Falls

Hike Back to the Ranch

After our amazing day chasing waterfalls, we hiked back to the ranch.

Here, you can clean yourself up and wait for your trolley back!

How long to spend at Nauyaca Waterfall?

How long you spend at Nauyaca Waterfall will be dependent on the tour option you choose.

We visited from Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park and had no time limits. We spent 3.5 hours here.

If taking a tour with Nauyaca Waterfalls, you will be limited to 2-4 hours.

Nauyaca Waterfall Tours

Would you prefer to visit Nauyaca Waterfall on a structured day tour? No problem!

There are a couple tours that go to Nauyaca Waterfall from the Manuel Antonio & Quepos region.

Half-Day Guided tour To Nauyaca Waterfall from Quepos with Paddle 9

This tour starts with a pick up at your accommodation in the Quepos area and heads straight to Nauyaca Waterfall.

The tour is offered daily and starts at 9:00 AM. 

Entrance to the park with a guided tour, snacks, lunch and water are all included in your tour.

View prices and booking here.

All-Inclusive Full-Day Nauyaca Waterfall and Beach Town Tour with Bright Adventures – Costa Rica

This full day tour from Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica has a LOT to offer for a great price.

The tour starts with pick up in the Manuel Antonio area and heads to a secluded beach, Playa Linda.

After some time here, head to Portalón to see a small waterfall.

You will then be taken to Dominical, (one of my favourite towns in Costa Rica), and you will end your tour with a 4 hour Nauyaca Waterfalls adventure.

The tour price includes pick up, round trip transportation, entry to the park, snacks, lunch, water and goggles. 

Click here to book this full day tour.

Where to stay when visiting Nauyaca Waterfall

I recommend staying in the nearby towns of Uvita or Dominical, Costa Rica. They are both located just under an hour away and make for the perfect day trip to Nauyaca Waterfalls.

Alternatively, you can opt to add Nauyaca Waterfall Costa Rica to a longer Manuel Antonio itinerary, as the drive is also under an hour!

These towns in Puntarenas Province are SO worth your time. Do not skip them.

Although we drove from the capital of San José, Costa Rica, we then continued our 3 week Costa Rica trip in Uvita and Dominical, Costa Rica. 

Accommodations:

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Final Thoughts on your time at Nauyaca Waterfalls

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Costa Rica is one of those places that photos do NOT do justice. You have to go see it for yourself.

The two-tiered waterfall is fascinating to look at, refreshing to swim in and so COOL to be in the presence of.

Do not skip out on this gem while visiting Costa Rica. I honestly loved it even more than La Fortuna waterfall (still love that one though).

Get to planning your Nauyaca Waterfall trip and PURA VIDA!

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