Uvita Waterfall.

Your Guide to Uvita Waterfall in Uvita, Costa Rica

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Uvita Waterfall is one of the best things to do in Uvita, don’t miss it!

It’s a gem surrounded by lush greenery, offering not only a refreshing natural pool but also a natural slide too!

I loved exploring this waterfall while backpacking in Costa Rica, so I’ll give you the quick lowdown before your trip.

Uvita Waterfall (Catarata Uvita)


How to Get There

Situated approximately 20 minutes on foot from Uvita’s town center, reaching Uvita Waterfall is pretty easy. You can route yourself here.

For those preferring a quicker journey, a 4-5 minute drive by car or taxi from the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) junction will get you here. Keep an eye out for the signs—but everyone knows where this spot is, so you shouldn’t have much trouble.

Uvita Waterfall in Costa Rica.
The modest Uvita Waterfall

Some taxis are a bit apprehensive to drive ALL the way to the falls, though, as the road starts deteriorating about a half-mile from the falls. So just be aware of that! It happened to me once during my time in Uvita!

The Uvita Waterfall is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Entrances and Costs

As you approach, you’ll see a restaurant and bar with a very small parking lot, called Restaurante La Catarata.

Here, you’ll have to pay 1500 colones ($3 USD), and then you can play all day in the falls! Grab any snacks and drinks you’d like here before heading down.

A boardwalk running alongside a river in a forest.
Head to the trail after paying for entry

By the way, if you see any info about using the Catarata Esmeralda Uvita entrance, do note this entrance doesn’t exist anymore!

The Trail to Uvita Waterfall

As is characteristic of Costa Rica, Uvita Waterfall is cocooned by a vibrant green forest. The trail leading to the main waterfall winds alongside a river that features cascades and natural pools.

Do note that the trail is pretty easy and short, but it’s steep and slippery in some areas, and the handrails can be a bit shaky if they are present at all. It will take about 5 or so minutes to get down to the waterfall.

A boardwalk leading into the forest of Costa Rica.
It looks a bit dodgy, but it works!

Once you’re down at the waterfall, you’ll need to climb over rocks and boulders to actually get close!

Uvita Waterfall and Pools

The waterfall itself, tucked away at the far end of the trail, stands majestically with a stack of boulders and a natural pool to hop in and splash around in the cold water (and yeah it was pretty cold when I was here in March!)!

If you dare, you can ascend the ladder to the side of the falls and jump or slide down. I did not dare… Mostly because there were few people here as I went early in the morning, so no witnesses to help me when I busted my butt!

Nina playing with her hear sitting besides Uvita Waterfall.
The main swimming area – you can see the ladder to the left!

I’d recommend waiting to see others do it so you know where to fall and how to do it; it’s pretty sketchy if I’m being honest, so be careful!

The adventure doesn’t end with the main Uvita waterfall. There are other mini falls and pools to splash around in if you continue walking along the trail, so there’s plenty of room for everyone even if you’re not right at the main waterfall.

A swimming hole at Uvita Waterfall.
A secondary swimming area!

There’s a little boardwalk that snakes along the river to bring you to these other spots. There are decks and more jumping spots along here!

What to Bring to Uvita Waterfall

  • Dry bag – This is my bag for any activity where I’m getting wet; I love it! Get one!
  • Swimsuit – Definitely don’t forget your swimsuit; you’ll want to jump in, even if it’s not off the waterfall.
  • Shoes – I’m a pro at wandering around in flip-flops, but if you’re not, you might want some runners or decent sandals at the least. You’ll be on a trail and a rickety wooden boardwalk wandering around, so it’s up to you!
  • Snacks – You can grab some stuff at the restaurant at the top of the falls or just bring some snacks and drinks!

Visiting Uvita Waterfall is one of the best things to do in Uvita!

I hope this helped you plan your trip!

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