We went to the lovely mountains of San Vicente of San Carlos to visit a beautiful farm that has a waterfall, none other than the National Water Park, Juan Castro Blanco!
How to get there?
Take the route to San Carlos through Naranjo, pass Zarcero and about 45 minutes later you reach the town of San Vicente. Here you have to go up for another 20 minutes until you reach the place.
What to bring?
Comfortable clothes, waterproof jacket, swimsuit, towel, repellent, dry clothes to change into, snacks, water and an excellent attitude.
We left San José around at 7 am, on the way we made a mandatory stop at Zarcero Park and arrived at San Vicente Hideaway after 9 am where we met one of the 2 brothers in charge of the farm.
After talking with the teachers for a bit, we finished getting ready to start walking towards one of the entrances of the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. The first 700 meters are along a ballast road with forest to the left, then we passed some pastures until we finished at the entrance to the path.
Just after the Coopelesca sign, the path becomes narrow and you enter the forest area … suddenly you come across a ravine that crosses the path, and this is where we were reminded of why it’s called National Water Park.
This place receives water from the Caribbean clouds all year round, in the form of rain in the upper part of the hill … then all this water is absorbed by the earth like a sponge filling the aquifers of the area. It is even said that due to this the stream can disappear overnight due to soil permeability!
Then we continued walking through the ravine with intermittent rainfall, while we explored several of the oldest oaks in the country until we reached a super cool river, here we crossed to face a waterfall with all its glory.
Obviously we took off our backpacks and dove into the cold crystal clear water. I’m not going to lie, the water was freezing and we didn’t last longer than 5 minutes, I can still say that it is worthwhile to go in for a few minutes.
On the way back we had to go back through the river and the path that took us back to the paddock where we started. We walked until we reached the parking lot where we left the car and changed into dry clothes to go to eat something.
* Recommendation: Karlita had breakfast at a place near the Plaza of San Vicente, called Dulcelina. We wanted to go for lunch but not there was no room for us, it is well known and many take advantage of Sunday for breakfast or lunch. We had change plans but maybe you can have more luck!