It seems unreal that without leaving San José we run into places like this one. We found this place during a ride that we did when hiking the mountains of Escazú, where after a tremendous view of the valley we discovered a waterfall in the middle of an almost enchanted forest.
How to get there?
From the church of San Antonio de Escazú, 300 m east, after the restaurant El Boyero turn right and there you go up about 2km, past the entrance of the hotel Pico Blanco, then pass the filters of AyA, from there 300m more and turn left at the first entrance. There you go 200m, the blue gate on the right.
What to bring?
1 liter of water, snacks, comfortable clothes, swimsuit, towel, hat, trail tennis shoes, windproof jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent and excellent attitude for walking.
Cost:The walk through the mountains of Escazú: Between ¢ 6000 and ¢ 8000 depending on the number of people. (Includes: parking *, bilingual guides, snack)
Delicious vegetarian food, with mostly organic and local products.
Permaculture Farm Tour:¢ 5000
Experiential tour of techniques to live in harmony with nature, achieve food self-sustainability, create community networks and apply permaculture as a way of life.
Masquerade Workshop:¢ 4000
Visit Don Gerardo Montoya, a traditional mask maker who shares his art, stories, and legends of Escazú while tasting a refreshing glass of chicha that he makes himself, to end up dancing like clowns to the sound of the band.
* These prices are based on a group of 2 to 4 people. From 5 people onwards the prices go down.
For this trip Oscar called us, this guy had won a contest to go with us to Cerro Pelado where we met him and it turned out that the dude is a Viking from Escazú who knows everything from top to bottom, and that’s how he got empowered and set up a local tourism project in his beloved town with a buddy.
We arrived with everything we had at 8 am (Tico time) to the permaculture farm where we would park the cars. Without much chit chat, we started walking up the street for about 10 minutes until we reached the bridge over the river Agres, here we went through a path of large stones that became later on the path next to the river under the shade of the trees.
The road is not very complicated, until in a sign that says Cruz de Alajuelita we deviate from the road, crossing a very steep pasture. Basically, you climb up 100 meters and zigzag through the pasture reaches a narrow street. Here, we continued on the road until we crossed the famous river London (that’s a lie, it’s not so famous …) and we continued climbing a rather intense stone path that ended up in a crazy beautiful meadow… we were out of air but we enjoyed the grass and waited for the rest of the group and ate a pesto sandwich with ripe cheese, tremendous, it was really delicious and tasted better knowing that each ingredient is local product of Escazú.
After vegging out in the paddock with a wicked view, we began the descent, where cardboard would have been very useful but possibly a the end of us because it was so steep. This downhill took us upstream from where we started the hike, only with a little paradisiacal surprise that was a very cold waterfall. The cascade is one of those we dig, of those that do not need a name and has a beauty that speaks for itself.
Here we did two things that were simply a must: # 1 take off our backpacks and # 2 Dive into the water to freshen up for a while. The water was really cold but the beauty of the place motivated us to put in that time and endure the cold.
When we picked up our junk, we returned along the path next to the river until we reached the paddock where we started. It started to pour on us so raced to the farm.
In the permaculture farm we were welcomed by a nice couple that gave us the healthiest lunch we have eaten in a walk, thank god, It was rice, salad, vegetables, chickpeas, corn and the best thing of all was that it was planted from them or from local producers, and it was also delicious.
After lunch we went for a walk around the farm, they briefly explained what permaculture is and its practices that are really exemplary. They told us about awareness workshops in nature, yoga classes and stuff that raise that human-planet connection very suitable for the time in which we live in.
As we headed off we went to the house of a man named Gerardo, who follows the tradition of his grandfather making gigantic masks and all with peculiar stories. Among a few drinks of delicious homemade chicha, he told us that he offers practical workshops full of history to follow the tradition passing it to people like you and I. At the end we finished the visit with masks on and dancing around like if we were in the middle of a Carnaval.
After a walk as authentic as this, so full of culture and nature, one is left wanting to return and learn more about these labyrinths of the mountainous area of Escazú.
DATE OF THE WALK – September 2016