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Cataratas Vino Tinto – Santa María de Dota

San José

By: Qué Buen Lugar

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We went to discover some wicked waterfalls, these are hidden in Santa María de Dota … the road to get there is spectacular because you can see the sea!

How to get there?
Take the path towards Cerro de la Muerte and turn right at the junction where the first Chespiritos is, there you go down until you reach the center of Santa Maria de Dota.


Distance: 3kms Total

Difficulty: Easy – Medium

Accessibility: Not accessible to all

What to bring: Comfortable clothes, trail tennis or hiking boots, hat, repellent is a must***, sunscreen, windbreaker jacket, swimsuit, towel, beverages and picnic food.

Vehicle: 4 × 4 to get to where the walk begins.
If you have a car, those in charge of the tour can take it in 4 × 4 to where the walk starts for a cost.

Parking: On the street (but it is very safe)

Pets: Yes

Camping: Yes

Daniela 8687-1970
Casa Parra 2541-1513
You have to call to reserve in advance

Cost: ¢ 2000 entry.
¢ 20000 Guide (mandatory) This amount is divided among the people who go.


We went to Santa María de Dota to run into mister Rafa, an adventurous entrepreneur, who is dedicated to the development of tourism in the area. We ran into Rafa in the park in front of the church in a Land Cruiser of those old awesome ones that look like a grasshopper, from then on we followed him up the mountain through a ballast street (which they say reaches Quepos).

The route along this ballast road is incredible, you can clearly see the Central Pacific coastline, which means a mandatory stop to take some pics. Then continue for a while until you reach the gate of the farm where you go down a fairly steep path (only 4 × 4’s cars from here on) until you reach the place where you start the path that reaches the base.

The farm in the lower part has a super cool mountain lodge, with camping area and bathrooms for the adventurers. Mr Rafael was in charge of making us feel at home and he taught us everything he has been able to do with his family.

After this we started walking to the first of the Vino Tinto waterfalls, this one is the one above and is stuck in the forest. The path is under the shade of the forest and it is also easy to walk, so in less than 15 min you reach the top of the waterfall.


We were about 10 minutes here, taking pictures and doing nonsense and then headed down to the base of this first waterfall, if you want you can get into the waterfall (there is no pool though it’s all splash) we did not get because it was very cold. Mr Rafael showed us some plants including a family of ginger (it did not taste so good) but it was edible … then we followed the route to reach the large Red Wine waterfall that is half an hour below.

The road that leads to this other is between the super cool forest with lots of moss and beautiful vegetation perfect for more photos. Almost at the end there are a few trails in shape of S’s full of mountains that are far from reaching the waterfall. In this last section the sound of the water can be heard and you are just around the corner. When we arrived, we were astonished at the place … This other is “Vino Tinto 2” super high and it does not have a pool but it is very hot and it is on the edge of a precipice, so there is an amazing landscape view Also, below there is another waterfall but that can only be seen in the video. After taking some pics we had a picnic with tuna sandwiches to fill our tummies and start walking back uphill.

When we finished climbing we made a mini-stop and then we continued with the car since we had the trip back to Chepe.

* BONUS: Departing from Santa María there is a restaurant called La cocina de Dorita typical delicious food and cheap.


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