Explore the most popular Cities in Costa Rica with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Amazing views and the crosses were really cool. The second one had fallen down to the side. The hike is pretty difficult, with a steep incline the majority of the way up. Also had to double back a time or two to get to the right trailhead— off the dirt road there’s a small white sign on one of the trees to the side of a pasture. It’s very easy to miss so keep your eye out! I wouldn’t recommend this hike to an unseasoned hiker. I’m a 22yo from the blue ridge mountains and had some trouble w it.

hiking
1 month ago

We went August 2018, Spectacular waterfall!

The longer loop was a good trek. It is easy to follow and passable for almost any skill level, including one on our group who had a hip replacement less than 6 months ago.

1 month ago

The views are well worth the hike. Park off the road by what is no longer an Italian resturant. you cannot miss the only dirt road up the ridgeline. After a few KMs you will see a small white sign labeled "tres cruzes" follow the trail for the rest of the way.

This was by far the hardest hike I have ever done, but it was so worth it. I recommend going in the water of the lagoon. The feeling of the ice cold water after the long hike was refreshing not to mention pretty exciting knowing we are in a volcanic lagoon!!

One of my all time favorites. We got here early in the morning during rainy season. Trek up was very difficult because of how slippery and muddy everything was, but the elements made it more enjoyable honestly. The views from the top were beautiful and then you take a pretty steep hike down to the crater. We got down to it, a lot of fog was rolling in and it made for a super eerie yet serene setting.

1 month ago

This hike was absolutely breath taking. One of the highlights of our trip.

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect combination of length, difficulty, scenery, beauty, wildlife.

hiking
2 months ago

Went hiking here because was ranked as the most challenging hike, best reviews in Costa Rica. So obviously this was my first choice. Prior to this my most difficult hikes were mount Wilson and Southern California and Half Dome with cables in Yosemite as day hikes. We got about a mile from our car and it started pouring and never stopped. In these conditions it’s pretty dangerous to say the least as you’re on your hands and knees basically crawling up the base of a stream as water is pouring down on you and you’re reaching for wet roots for an anchor. It’s basically insane. Was definitely an experience but It should be better mentioned to check the weather first. We had all the rain gear and it was still brutal. My companion also isn’t a regular hiker, I started hearing the “I’m done” at about the halfway point, which obviously turns you into a motivational speaker/life coach at the same time, adding to your problems. I knew we were done when about another .1 miles later I started hearing the token “just leave me behind!” Ha. So we turned back at about half way, I could have kept going but it was very dangerous.

Great views of the whole valley as you up the path. Not too challenging but does get a little steep in places.

This was a great mellow hike with so much to see.
When we arrived at the beach the snorkeling was perfect, clear water and tons of fish. Watch out for the raccoon looking animals and monkeys they will steal stuff out of bags:)

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked to the crater, took a dip (July 31st), and had amazing weather! We were lucky, as most hikes this time of year are fraught with rain. But I digress... here’s the nuts and bolts of the hike.
GETTING THERE: Park in the lot secured by a yellow gate (tell the gatekeeper you’re climbing Cerro Chato) and go into the “Reception” building. You’ll have to pay $10 a person to hike on the private land in order to get to the park. Once all paid up you’ll follow orange arrows on a road until it breaks off onto a muddy trail. Shortly thereafter you’ll walk around a giant “No Trespassing” sign and barbed wire fence to enter Volcán Arenal state land. This sounds weird, I know.
THE TRAIL: Now the steep starts. What was once a class 1 walk in the park is now a class 2 with hands necessary to climb up roots and mud canyons as you make your way to the rim. This isn’t awful, and actually a lot of fun. The only way I wouldn’t want to experience this is in an extreme rain storm (picture Dennis Nedry slipping on cascading water as a Dilophosaurus stalks him to his Jeep). Take your time... look at the forest, flowers, and leafcutter ants along the way. Fun fact, leafcutter ants can lift twenty times their body weight. Eat that Dwayne Johnson.
CRATER RIM: Once at the top you’ll reach a T intersection. Turn right and you’ll come to an incredible viewpoint of Arenal. From there you’ll find a small trail to your left that opens up and descends a class 3 route to the lake. Watch your footing, it’s steep! Once at the lake strip down, take a dip, and become a Mosasaurus snack. Honestly, no better way to go. ENJOY!!

Trail was moderate basically a dirt road the whole way. It gets steep and in some parts if it has rained really muddy so wear hiking shoes if possible. I wore some track shoes so it got really slippery in some places. You will see some cattle and horses along the way, and some shots of the river. It gets pretty steep towards the end and your heart rate will get going. Then it opens up to the most amazing waterfall I have ever seen. Make sure you go to the top falls and explore behind the rocks! Pay the extra 3 dollars to park in the parking lot you will be glad you did trust me! Trail is four stars but the waterfall is 5 stars!

Great swimming spot at the bottom. Very touristy but gorgeous. Beware, If there is a flash flood warning, they will have you get out of the water and move to the observation deck.

Great for families as it’s mostly flat but gets you into the forest seeing animals and waterfalls.

Nice steep excursion to this mountain lake. Likely to be socked in during the rainy season meaning you may glimpse the full lake only briefly if at all. Saw a coral snake on the ascent. It’s possible to connect to another Cerro Chato trail which originates at the Arenal observatory resort. Do this by heading left instead of right upon reaching the top.

Many stairs, lots of wildlife (saw toucans and monkeys) and a very nice waterfall. Price is OK.

Pura vida!

hiking
3 months ago

AWESOME hike to the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen! The hike is longer than the 2.5 miles one way that is advertised. More like 3. So six miles round trip. Very steep in parts but totally worth the hike. Definitely bring your for wheel drive car so you can drive down to the parking lot. It’s a steep muddy road and if you can’t drive down it you have to walk and that would add another 3 miles to your trip!! But this is a must see!!!

overall 4 stars. it should be labeled as easy. it took us 30 minutes to the tenorio or area where the rivers meet. we high tailed it to the top and stopped for pictures on the way down. completed this 7/7/18 after many days of rain. the waterfall was not blue because of the rain but where the rivers meet you could see the blue color. you dont need to rent the rain gear or the mud boots. I did it in tshirt and shoes and didnt end up very muddy.

Dont listen to other posters, you can still hike this. Just finished going to the green lagoon at the top of cerro chato 7/9/18. It has rained several days in a row and it rained the entire hike but it was worth it. I did the salkantay in peru a month ago and although this cant compare in distance or altitude it was at times more intense. be prepared to slip and fall and use your hands to climb. I did not use a guide and had a friend who doesn't hike much and we made it to the lagoon in 1 hour and 50 minutes. most hikes I halve the time up on the way down but on this one it took us longer down. it is much more treacherous going down. some places they have ropes for you to lower yourself down. definitely do this hike. it's great. we had planned on going from the arenal observatory but right before you get there there is a parking lot with a big sign. the guy there will give you a map and only charges you $10 per person. he was very nice and will actually guide you to the top of arenal which is also closed.

hiking
3 months ago

If you like beautiful scenery on a hike, this is about as good as it gets. It only took us about 35 minutes to reach the waterfall so if you want a short trek you could always just stop there and head back. If you go a little farther, though, you can reach a look out point, a blue lagoon, and finally a point where two rivers combine to create the opaque sky blue color of the Rio Celeste. The hike is more challenging after the waterfall (uneven rocks, steeper and more mud) but it is definitely worth it. It was extremely muddy when we went in mid March so definitely wear hiking shoes you don't care about getting dirty. We wore waterproof hiking sandals (like Keens) and they were great. You can also rent galoshes at the base of the hike if you want. Finally, entrance to the hike cost $12/person and THEY CLOSE AT 2 PM so make sure you arrive before then (you can still hike after 2). Enjoy!

hiking
3 months ago

Very fun and very steep. At the top, we tried to follow the trail to the right, but it was a lot like bushwhacking and sliding down a mountain. (maybe we missed the trail?) The trail to the left was much more reasonable and led to a beach that we had all to ourselves. Hard work but worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

The first big waterfall is easy and fun to hike to but the next two are on a vey intimating climb. A lot of the ropes that were in place to assist you up are no longer intact. If you don’t have a fear of heights definitely go for it but be extremely careful.

Awesome awesome waterfall amazing views excellent little hike up and down not too difficult but a little bit challenging on the way back

Water is beautiful the price is OK and people are fantastic highly recommend

4 months ago

Great hike. First step is to pay reception guy at Green Lodge. He will point you in the right direction. The first part of the hike is fairly civilized and then dives into the jungle for a potentially muddy jaunt up. Veer to the left anytime you see barbed wire and you should be able to just go around. Walk down to the crater is as treacherous as advertised. We found that using a walking stick as a third point of support helped a ton. Lagoon is gorgeous. You'll be exhausted when you get back but you won't regret it. Just make sure the forecast is dry and you have good shoes. Never boring, never monotonous. Loved this hike.

incredible! the lake so is senrene and peaceful. I recommend you to bring snacks and plenty of water. it took us about 2 hours to get to the summit and 1 hour to get back

4 months ago

This trail is challenging and liberating. It took us around 2 hours to get to the lake and a hour to get back to the car.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazingly beautiful waterfall. However the hike can be difficult since it gets muddy and slippery. Getting to the waterfall will make you go down and up over 100 stairs. Still worth it.

There is two path you can follow. The red one is the shorter ans the easier and leads you directly to the lava flow. The yellow is longer and a little more difficult and leads you to beautiful points of view. Both of the trails starts at the same point. Along the way you can see monkeys, lizards and many birds. Very nice trail. I suggest to save the panorama (where there is a little coffee shop) for the end. Can be slippery when raining.

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