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Parque Nacional Tapantí - Cartago

iconLess than 5km
iconLess than 5000
icon Not Accessible
Que Buen LugarPublished in Que Buen Lugar · Mar 18, 2016

This place has to be one of the coolest and cleanest rivers in the country, and If you’re looking to go on a Sunday trip, walk and loosen up for a day, without going far from the city we have a plan for you that will not disappoint.

How to get there? With Waze Vehicle:Every vehicle arrives.

What to bring? Comfortable clothes, sweater, waterproof jacket, trail running shoes, trunks or swimsuit if you are brave, snacks for a picnic and a great attitude.

Difficulty: Medium Distance: 3km Pets: No Cost: ¢ 1000 per person Picnic Area: Yes Camping area: No


We left San José on a sunny Sunday and when we arrived in Cartago it was cloudy. We arrived at the church of Valle de Orosi where we bought a bag of pejibayes, the weather started changing to drizzle and then we realized we were destined to get wet when we arrived at the entrance of the national park.

The National Park has 3 main trails, one of 2km steep and with very irregular terrain (Trail of Fallen Trees), and the other two are a little shorter and lead to the river: Oropéndula 1.2 km and another that bifurcates in two: Sendero la Pava and Catarata Trail. In addition, it has a picnic area next to the river full of tables and a viewpoint where you can see in the distance the Tapantí waterfall if you’re lucky, which is one of the 10 highest in Costa Rica.

Due to the weather, we decided to do the path La Pava and at the fork, we took the La Catarata that reaches the river and also has a view to the waterfall. You get to the entrance of the path by car and it is left next to some bathrooms. There we put on the waterproof jacket, we put something to eat in the backpack and we went down the path that leads to the river that lasted approximately 20 minutes total.

When we arrived at the river we were seriously surprised by the scenic beauty of the place, this is more than a simple river, Tapanti is the combination of pebbles and crystal clear water. The place becomes a playground where each stone has a different perspective of the river, mountain, and stream of water.

In total, we were chilling on the side of the river for 30 minutes, and we would have stayed longer for sure If there had been less sun. Before returning to the car we had a small picnic where we finished the pejibayes and other snacks. When we got to the car we did not arrive as wet as we thought then we went to the lookout that found at the end of the street.

After peeping into the viewpoint that is in the parking lot, we returned to do another picnic where we left the car. There are more ranches with tables to eat without worrying about the pouring rain and then back to San José we went.

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