Costa Rica - La Paz Waterfall


What? :

A short visit to La Paz Waterfall. This is impressive waterfall where you can see it from the road. You can view it from the bridge or even get to the back of the waterfall.


This blog is not about visiting the nearby tourist private gardens and hotels: La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park *.



Where? :

Located on the eco-route between San Jose and Arenal not so far from Poas Volcano, road 126. Approximately 35 km away from San Jose, around 1.5 hour drive.

Google Map Link



When? :

Year round.

December to April is the dry season at Costa Rica and I recommend visiting the state when there is less chance for rain.

It’s also the most popular time to visit, so expect more tourists and crowds. Book things you know like hotel, park entries, rental car as far ahead as you can. 

When traveling to Costa Rica you should always be prepared for some showers no matter what time of year you are visiting.


Due note 1: Parking is limited and can be tricky.




My thoughts:

We visit here after our Poas Volcano Park late in the afternoon and we decided to drive here just to visit the waterfall visible from the road.

We did not have the time to really enjoy visit in Lapaz Waterfall Garden and it was not worth the 50 USD entry fee for us. I do not like “small zoo” although this can provide to see animals up-close.



The visit:


When coming from San Jose direction you will pass Lapaz Waterfall Garden (on your left) and the road start to wind down sharply into the river gorge. After few sharp switchbacks you will pass another entrance to the gardens (on your left) and immediately after another turn you will reach the last section and you will see the waterfall just in front of you.


Look for available parking, many cars blocking part of the road but this is usual case for Costa Rica.

The road bridge itself, as many other bridges is one lane bridge.

If you did not find anywhere to park before the bridge (only ~10 car can park here) try to find where to park after the bridge…


After finding a parking spot walk to the waterfall and enjoy the view of the raging water.

You can walk to the back of the waterfall from the left.

You can walk down to the waterfall pool level from the right side of the waterfall, just cross the bridge and find the path down.


Overall, this is a nice waterfall, a short stop on your way and it worth the drive here just to see the waterfalls.



*La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park

We did not visit the private park Lapaz Waterfall Garden.

This garden, protected under the Private Wildlife Refuge Status, include a mini zoo as Wildlife Refuge (birds, insects, butterflies, monkeys, hummingbirds, snakes, jungle cats, orchids, frogs,…), butterflies garden, and a 2 miles long trail with good viewpoints on the upper 4 waterfalls.

Cost is $49 USD Adults / $33 USD Child.