We went to the mountains of Miramar of Puntarenas to visit the majestic Canyon of the Aranjuéz River, a place overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya and a hike that will leave you impressed and drenched in sweat.
How to get there: Head towards Guanacaste, on Route 27 and then on Route 1 to the entrance of Miramar. From there, you start driving for about 45 minutes until you reach Buenaventura de Miramar.
Accessibility: Not accessible
What to bring: Comfortable clothes for walking, trail tennis shoes, windproof jacket, swimsuit, towel, repellent, sunscreen, change of clothes, 2 liters of water, snacks, fruits and an excellent attitude.
Vehicle: High ground clearance car
Cost: ¢11 000 colones (includes breakfast and lunch)
To arrive at 7:30am we had to leave San José at 5:10 am (with a quick stop to pee). The day was a bit windy, we passed Miramar downtown and continued until we reached the family house that does the Cerro el Encanto tour.
After getting our stuff packed we went to walk to the Aranjuez River canyon, the route that the guides normally do is going through Cerro el Encanto (we had already left) so we did a shortcut instead.
The first part of the route is ballast, then paddock and the kilometer begins downhill for 2.6 km. There are some loose stones on the road, so be careful not to fall on the cracks. Also in the last 200 meters there are some steep stairs that reach the base of the river.
The river is awesome, it’s just after a hydroelectric overflow dam where it’s recommended to go during summer due to the river flooding. On the left hand side you can see the famous Orange Canyon of the Aranjuez River, It easily has a depth of 100 meters.
Something cool is that you have to pass the river several times and cross over giant stones to continue downstream …It feels like you’re insignificant down there. You walk down the river and the stones are giant, it’s like being in another world. There is a spot where you can get into the water but the river was a little high so we better didn’t get in, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure you still have energy at this point, water and snacks for the return back, because a huge hill is coming up, and just when you think it’s over, an even bigger hill awaits you in order to eat your well deserved lunch.