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La Esmeralda Waterfall

icon5km - 10km
iconMore than 5000
icon Not Accessible
Que Buen LugarPublished in Que Buen Lugar · Aug 13, 2021

Taking advantage of the fact that we are exploring the most beautiful waterfalls of Sabalito, we went to swim and enjoy Coto Brus for the Emerald Waterfall ... A waterfall with emerald pools that we enjoyed to the fullest despite the fact that it was raining like crazy.

How to get there?

You have to get to San Vito de Coto Brus, you can get there by the Costanera Sur or by the Interamericana passing through Perez Zeledón.


I use Waze to go to Sabalito:

Hotel La Riviera Sabalito:

La Casa Italiana Restaurant:

Rancho La Cascada:

Distance: 10km

Difficulty: difficult

Accessibility: Not accessible

What to bring? Comfortable clothes for walking, swimsuit, repellent, trail tennis shoes or boots with good heels, towel, dry clothes to change into, snacks, at least 1 liter of beverages.

Vehicle: 4X4 or with the transport of Discovering Coto Brus

Parking: Yes

Pets: No

Camping: No


Discovering Coto Brus 8985-7939

Rancho La Cascada in Pittier

Ristorante la Casa Italiana

Hotel la Riviera 2784-0305

Cost: ₡ 15,000 includes transportation, food, and a guide. Without transportation ₡ 12500


It started raining in Sabalito and after preparing our stuff, we went with our friends from Discovering Coto Brus to Pittier (about 1 hour away) to have breakfast at Rancho La Cascada. This place has tasty Creole food with an impressive panoramic view.

Then we headed to the starting point of the Emerald Waterfall trail where we left the car and began to walk under the rain through some farms. The path is quite slippery, so some of us ended up almost falling on our butts.

During the walk we crossed beautiful pastures and forests, ants bit us and we also saw trees infested with grasshoppers that when Jostin moved them they would fly away magically (it sounds disgusting but it looked cool).

When we approached the waterfall we went down a technical part holding onto roots and branches until we reached La Catarata Esmeralda.

The waterfall is very beautiful, about 15 meters high with a waterfall-like fall on a round stone, below there is a pool where the water falls like a shower. The temperature is perfect, if you want to cool off, don't hesitate to jump in.

To finish the trip, we returned to the path and climbed to the upper part where we stayed for a bit enjoying the pools of the other waterfalls that this beautiful place has.

To finish, we went back up through all the paddocks until we reached the car, curiously we took less time going up than going down but I think that all the mud was worth it.

After the waterfall, we returned to have lunch upstairs at Rancho la Cascada and then headed to the Pittier thermal pool. This place is magical, free and it is better if you get up early or are lucky enough to find it empty since it is quite crowded.

The pool made of stones by the people of the area is divine, and the thermal water comes not from the jet but from the earth since there is a volcanic vein. We stayed here for a while and then we went to the Hotel La Riviera in Sabalito.

In the evening we decided to eat at the epic Italian restaurant in the area called Casa Italiana, right between Sabalito and San Vito… man it was delicious. Everything, absolutely everything we ordered was delicious.

  • DATE OF HIKE: July 2021
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