Llanos De Cortez Waterfall
Birthday parties in Costa Rica usually consist of a pool or the beach, there’s not a whole lot of options for Birthday celebrations, but the kids have just as much fun (and sometimes more) regardless.
Birthday’s don’t have to be a big deal and since shopping is tough here, gifts are small or a hand made card will do just fine. We all prefer that anyways, for most of us we shed all that “stuff” before we moved to Costa Rica, so accumulating more of it is certainly not our goal. Birthdays here are definitely not about the gifts, its just about the kids getting together to have some fun to celebrate their friend and make them feel special.
For Hudson’s 9th Birthday I was racking my brain trying to come up with something we could do besides a pool party at our house. We seem to have pool parties all the time and it didn’t feel special or anything different from our typical Saturday. I also knew that boys only last so long in the pool and I imagined dripping wet boys running all over the house wanting to play on ipads or the Xbox, and I wasn’t exactly excited about that scene. I wanted them to DO something.
So…. we took all the 4th grade boys in Hudson’s class to the Llanos de Cortez waterfall! I had been there once before on a Mom’s weekend getaway, but Harris and the kids had never been, so I thought it would be something different and fun!
The Llanos de Cortez waterfall is just 30 minutes south of Liberia in the town of Bagaces, right off the Pan American Highway. It took us about 1 1/2 to get their from our house at the beach. We hired a shuttle to take the 12 boys and we followed behind with a few other parents – we asked a few dads to come along for extra supervision.
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall Tips
Once you arrive at the dirt road you will be stopped and asked to make a donation to visit the waterfall, this money goes to the local school in Bagaces, so please make a nice donation. Then you will park your car and there will be a man to “help” you park – simply give him a small tip. Do not leave any valuables in your car.
The climb down to the Llanos de Cotez waterfall is a short hike but rocky and a little steep. All of us navigated down in nothing but flip flops, so it is not difficult just be careful with younger children.
There is a nice lake below the waterfall to swim and you can even climb up on the rocks just below the waterfall and jump off. It is not high but just be careful of the slippery rocks and be sure someone has checked the area that you are jumping into.
ON the weekends there is usually someone selling water, soda, snacks, and even grilling meat on a stick! However, you should probably pack a backpack with water and snacks.
To the left of the waterfall there is a very shallow river, and if you cross it there is a path that takes you up to the very top of the waterfall. Then what we discovered was another little watering hole. It is hard to describe how to get to this secret little oasis, but if you venture straight on what sort of looks like a path (careful of barbwire) you’ll come to wonderful hidden pool.
While I was at the waterfall the girls came back to tell me about what the dads and boys discovered and that they were jumping from the cliff. I immediately grabbed my camera and told them to take me there! I realize the first thought that should have crossed my mind was if it was safe, but truth be told – I thought of pictures first, then safety. But there were three dads in the water and they made sure it was deep enough for them to jump.
I am sure the other parents will love seeing these photos….