Naujaka Waterfalls

If you drive from Quepos (Puntarenas province) further to the South, there is a left turn right before River Baru. It's a nice route 243. You drive up that road for about 10 km and you'll see the sign Naujaca Waterfalls on the right. Here you pay $8 per person and get a map. The actual (unpaved) road to the waterfalls is a little bit more ahead and goes down to the river. You drive until you see a parking lot, cannot miss it, supposed to park the car here and then hike to the waterfalls. 

We figured out that the road actually goes further through the bridge, and as we had a very compact and maneuverable 4X4, decided to try it. It becomes a dirty trail very fast, but we managed to drive for about 1 km more and finally abandoned the car in shades when big boulders made driving completely impossible.

You can do the same, or you can leave the car on the parking lot and hike that extra kilometer, but anyway close the doors, hide the GPS, don't leave your valuables in the car, and take a lot of water with you: the hike along the river is only about 3 km but goes up, and it's hot. 

But what you see at the end, definitely pays off. Tour operators sell tours to the waterfalls for $100 or more, and people spend here the entire day.

Closer to the waterfalls the trail becomes kind of a road again. When we finally reached the site, we saw groups of people coming from the opposite direction, and it definitely seemed that there is an alternative route to the place. It turns out that there is, indeed, but the alternative entrance is in a different province (San Jose) where the same thing is called Baru Waterfalls! 

On our map you can see both routes, and the second one may be preferable if you drive other direction from National Park Marino Ballena (Uvita), like in our recommended itinerary. People say that it's only 25 min hike to the waterfalls from the alternative entrance, but the catch is that it goes through private properties and the owners sometimes are not happy. I don't know in what extent it's true, but another thing is that I could not find any clue how much is the admission fee through that alternative entrance, is it the same $8 or different. It may be that the alternative entrance is accessible only through tour operators who negotiated the passage with the owners and charge $100 for that.

If you try the second route and by some reason it's not acceptable or not available, drive further up to the mountains until you hit 243. Turn left and go down to the Naujaka Waterfall entrance. This extra route takes about half hour. Please let us know how it worked out for you.


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