When you think of the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, you think about the numerous beaches and the dry climate. Who would had thought that this area of the world had an amazing waterfall? We just happened to stumbled upon it by chance!
My travel buddy Mike and I were lounging around at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort on our first full day in Costa Rica, when I looked up what to do in the Liberia area in my Lonely Planet travel guide. There was a little box about this waterfall that was highlighted and stood out to me. After some research, it was an easy drive to the waterfall!
Llanos de Cortez waterfall is about a 30 minute drive south from Liberia. In our case, from the resort was about a 75 minute drive. It is along the Pan American highway about a few miles west of Bagaces. Once you pull off the highway and drive a short distance, you come up to some locals working the entrance. This is not an entry fee! It is a donation to the local school in the area. I gave them $10 USD as a donation, but I heard that the minimum recommended is $2 USD per person. The road from here on out to the parking lot for the falls and all dirt. If it had rained recently in the area like it did when I was there, it is very muddy and very rough. I highly recommend renting a four wheel drive vehicle when in Costa Rica!
From the parking lot, the hike is a moderate decline for about 5 minutes. Once you reach the falls, it is so awe inspiring. The water is fairly warm and it is very shallow until you reach the last 30 feet to the falls, then it drops significantly. There is a rocky area right behind the falls you can hide out/hang out in. You could even be risky like Mike and I and do a shallow dive off into the water! This is definitely a must see location in Costa Rica!