Hidden among the mountains of the Central Pacific and just 20 minutes from Dominical are the waterfalls of Nauyaca, two waterfalls that combined have a height of 60m, making them an excellent choice of adventure if you’re staying in Manuel Antonio, Dominical, Uvita Ballena or Pérez Zeledón.
How to get there? They can be reached by two routes. The first is to take route 27 towards Dominical, 300 meters from Dominical take route 243 to San Isidro del General for 10 kilometers, the entrance to the waterfall is on the right and you will see the sign. The second option is to take the Inter-American South or Route 2 in the town of San Isidro, take route 243 on the right that communicates with Dominical for 26 kilometers, in this case the office will be on the left and there are also signs that will guide you.
Car: High, preferably double traction since It’s a dirt road and depending on the weather, the road conditions can be challenging. Cost: ¢ 3000 nationals Pets: Not Allowed
What to bring? Sunblock, light sportswear (weather is very humid), shorts/bathing suit, tennis or comfortable sandals for walking, towel.
Food? Snacks and plenty of water. If you want to enjoy it all day, you can have a picnic.
Time: Getting there 45 minutes and on the way back 30min.
Sunday at 6:00 am and we were ready to start the adventure, considering the long drive that awaited us from San Jose. We arrived in approximately three and a half hours. We opted for the first option, route 27 because the road is more consistent and the coast has beautiful scenery that is soothing to the brain and makes time go by faster. We took the ballast street that is located to the right of the office, towards the waterfall, this street was in good condition, that is, accessible to any tall car, in any case, you can also leave the car in the office and walk about 2km more (4km in total).
We parked the car about 2km from the waterfall before a muddy road, which was a clever decision since after 400m the street became narrow and suitable only for horses or motorcycles. Halfway down the road, we saw a house on the right where it said that you had to pay the entrance to the waterfall. There we took advantage of filling up the water bottles and using the bathrooms. The lady in charge told us that we should have gone to the office since she doesn’t always have change. She also mentioned that every day except Sundays they offer horseback riding tours to the waterfalls. We walked for about 45 minutes, surrounded by paddocks and forests, and accompanied by a "soundtrack" orchestrated by the current of the Baru River, bird noises, and the occasional mooing of a cow. Most of the route is under the shade of the trees, which protects from the intense Pacific sun.
The presence of a guard relaxing comfortably in a hammock, guarding the entrance to the property, is a sign that the waterfall is nearby, once inside the property the sound of the water becomes stronger until finally, you find the majestic fall of water of 20m high and at least 10 wide, which irrigated a natural pool surrounded by a green canyon of plants accustomed to receiving the splash of the impressive waterfall. And looking up the waterfall was another one that we will talk about later.
The big spring and the humidity tempted us to go for a swim and cool off for a while, and of course we were not going to reject such an attractive idea, once inside the water we swam and jumped to the spring from the rocks, until hunger was stronger than the desire to stay in the water so got out to enjoy our snack. After the snacks, and after a while to digest our food and appreciate the landscape that was unfolding before our eyes, we went to the second waterfall, which was just above the first. This waterfall has an impressive height of 40m, it has a smaller one than the one below but also great for swimming. There we stayed for several hours admiring the waterfall and taking pictures of its majesty. When we were getting ready to return to the car, we saw a group of frogs, that seemed like they were wishing us a good return, which in fact It turned out to be since it’s all downhill and we were pleasantly surprised by a small drizzle perfect to cool off.