Bajos La paz
Bajos la Paz is located in San Ramón of Alajuela, there lies the La Danta Waterfall, the story goes that a hunter was chasing a tapir along a riverbed. The tapir was escaping and jumped from the edge of a waterfall. So the hunter leaned at the edge of the waterfall, but found no traces. Since then, more than 40 years ago, that waterfall is known as Danta. The waterfall is 80 meters high.
How to get there? Autopista Bernardo Soto, from the center of San Ramón deviate towards Piedades north and follow the street until Bajo La Paz.
Cost: ₡ 15000 Horseback Ride (Includes entrance to the waterfall) Contact: Eduardo Arias 2445-94-65 / 8551-06-79 or 6274-7475 Coordinate with at least 24 hours in advance. Vehicle: Preferably high car since the last part a dirt road but in good condition.
What to bring? Long pants, sweater, comfortable walking shoes, a waterproof jacket, clothes to change in the car.
Food? Picnic food at the waterfall and a bottle of water.
Walk: 45 minutes Horseback ride: 2 hours Time: Total duration will depend on how much time you want to spend at the waterfall. Difficulty: Moderate
The weekend arrived and we decided to go for a ride through the mountains of San Ramón and we took advantage of the fact that we had the contact of Mr. Eduardo Arias who lives in Bajo La Paz. Don Eduardo has a project with goats. However, on weekends he offers horseback riding tours around the area and recommended us to do the most popular one that is to go to the La Danta waterfall. We got on the highway to San Ramón using waze to get to a town called Piedades Norte, once we passed that little town the street becomes dirt. Don Eduardo had told us that he was going to wait for us with the "beasts" near Chico Orlich's monument, a couple of times we thought we were lost because we drove a lot but we asked about the monument and they told us it was just ahead and we finally saw it. He was waiting for us next to the Statue of Francisco J Orlich. Later they told us that this is where the political party started and the reason for the plate in the statue. We left the car alongside the road right where Don Eduardo was waiting for us with the horses. He introduced us to the nephew, Justin who also accompanied us during the tour.
We did 1 hour of horseback riding, we passed some very pretty landscapes. At the beginning we were going along a river and suddenly in the middle of a meadow you could see a stream of water and the beautiful mountains on the side. Then we started to climb the mountain until we reached a lush forest with trees full of moss that combined with the mist made the landscape quite mystical. In fact we got Jurassic Park or Monteverde vibes because of the type of vegetation and the climate.
Don Eduardo told us that on a clear day, there is a point where you can see the Arenal Volcano. We were not so lucky, the day was quite cloudy. When we arrived at the entrance of the waterfall, which is a private property, we left the horses in a little house and walked 1 km towards the waterfall. You go down a narrow trail in the middle of the forest, passing water springs and a stream until you reach La Danta Waterfall. It was much bigger than we imagined and it also has a nice spring. Tavo and Jorge got in after considering it for a bit. It was not so easy, since it was getting too cold. In front of the waterfall there is a large stone, very nice to sit on, see and appreciate the awesomeness that nature offers because being there is so picturesque from any angle. Eduardo and Justin, who are clever folks, had thermos with coffee and some cookies to eat snack on. We replenished ourselves with water and strawberries; but of course we would have preferred something warmer. After a while, we went back up with the horses and went down to look for a good place to have a picnic. We stopped in a meadow that was close to the car but the beautiful thing was that it was alongside the river. There we got out the sandwiches, cookies, peanuts and snacks! and we had lunch to then return to where we had left the car.