Best Waterfall in Costa Rica – Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical

Best Waterfall in Costa Rica, Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical

If you are traveling in Costa Rica, there are so many beautiful sights to see. Traveling the country gives you the choice of mountains, beaches, rainforests and waterfalls. I have been traveling around Costa Rica for the past two months searching for all of it’s natural beauties. I have climbed Cerro Chirripó (the tallest mountain in Costa Rica), as well as hiked numerous trails including Cloudbridge Nature Reserve in the Talamanca Mountains. But as far as waterfalls go, the best ones I have seen so far are the Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical.

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical, Costa Rica

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical

The Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical are located in the South Pacific of Costa Rica, 10 kilometers from Playa Dominical. Nauyaca has two different waterfalls, an upper and lower, both unique with different features.

Lower Falls at Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical has a Lower Falls (the picture above) which is usually more popular. It stands at approximately 20 meters in height, but is much wider than the Upper. The Lower Falls has a large (and very deep!) swimming pool just at the foot of the waterfall. It is a great place to relax and swim in the cool water after the 4-6KM hike to the falls. There are even rocks on the waterfall you can climb up and jump from!

Upper Falls at Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical

The Upper Falls stands at a massive 45 meters tall, plummeting into the jagged rocks below. The Upper Falls are different than the Lower in that swimming and diving in the pool is not recommended. However, what the Upper Falls lacks in activities it makes up for with scenery.

For a little perspective, can you spot the person in the picture?

*Hint: they are at the bottom left on the rocks*

Nauyaca Upper Waterfall in Dominical, Costa Rica

The Hike to the Falls

Hike to Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical, Costa RicaThe Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical are located on privately owned land by a Costa Rican family. There is an entry fee of 8 USD for hiking to the falls. However you do have other options like horseback riding to the waterfalls for 70 USD.

For more information on the prices and times, visit their website.

In order to get to the falls you first have to hike a designated trail. If you have a car, you can first pick up your wrist bands at the office and then drive to the lower parking area. This then makes the hike to the falls approximately 4KM. However if you don’t have a car and have to start hiking from the office, it adds an extra 2KM to the hike for a total of 6KM to the waterfalls.

While the hike is not very difficult, my group went during the middle of the day, experiencing the full strength of the Costa Rican sun. The heat made the hike rather difficult, so I definitely recommend bringing sun screen, a hat, and plenty of water. However, the cool and refreshing water waiting at the end of the hike acts as a sort of “carrot on a stick”, giving you extra motivation when you are fatigued.

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical Conclusion

The Nauyaca Waterfalls in Dominical have been my favorite waterfalls in Costa Rica thus far. The experience combines all of my favorite things: scenery, hiking, swimming and rock jumping. Even if you aren’t a big fan of hiking, the watefalls make it all worth it in the end. Just look at the majesty of the falls!


Originally from Chicago, now traveling around the world while working remotely as a web designer / developer. A Christian trying to be a shining light in a dark world.


  • Aunt Joan March 30, 2018 at 12:11 am Reply

    Hi Eric!
    Uncle Wayne and I have been in Mexico City this week. I had a conference here, but we’ve had time to do some sightseeing. We went to Teotihacan today, pirimids similar to the ones in Egypt. It looks like you’re enjoying the beautiful nature Costa Rica has to offer. I’ve never been there, but I’ve taught about it for years. We’re looking forward to going back tomorrow. Becky is expected to have her baby within the next two weeks, so we’re very excited. Enjoy your time but hope you’ll be coming home soon:).
    Aunt Joan

    • travel His world April 3, 2018 at 5:41 pm Reply

      Wow Mexico City very nice! Please send me pictures!

      Yes Costa Rica is so beautiful I love it here. You and Uncle Wayne need to come sometime!

      And I am so excited for Becky! I will keep her and your whole family in my prayers these next few weeks that everything goes well. Please send pictures of the baby also!

      Love you guys!

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