Do you enjoy waterfalls? If so, you’ll love the Uvita waterfall in Costa Rica. Although the little town of Uvita has many other waterfalls, this one stands out. It has a natural slide, and swimming in it is easy. Here is a guide to check out before exploring Uvita waterfall in Costa Rica.
Uvita: Your Next Travel Destination
This sleepy little town is located in the Southern Puntarenas province. It might be a small town, but it is highly popular, partly because of migrating whales. Just go between July and March to find out. While there, look around for a natural “whale tail.” You won’t miss it sticking out of the ocean at low tide. It looks pretty cool. And if you think it’s gorgeous from the beach, wait. Just take a helicopter ride. See it from the sky, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
If quiet and solitude sound ideal, the town center is going to make you happy. It isn’t the ideal destination if you enjoy staying out late or partying at night. However, you will love it if you thrive in nature. Its lovely palm trees, crystal clear waters, beaches, and mountainous backdrop are picturesque. The little town of Uvita is a photographer’s dream.
The Best Time to Visit Uvita
Your timing could have a significant impact on the experience you have at Uvita. Pay attention to your planned activities and the most appropriate weather for them. Love horseback riding, hiking, and kayaking? The dry season is excellent for all that. This season, from December to April, is also excellent for wildlife enthusiasts interested in humpbacked whales.
Those interested in olive ridges or hawksbill turtles should visit from May to October. While you might encounter fewer of them here than in other parts of Costa Rica, the experience is still worth it.
The Uvita Waterfall
What is this gorgeous waterfall’s name? Catarata Uvita, as the locals call it, stands as a backdrop for the lovely town and offers a welcome break from the busy streets. The waterfall of Uvita is surrounded by plenty of rocks and dense greenery, making it a perfect spot for picnics and relaxation.
If you enjoy swimming, check out the two pools. They have cool temperatures and offer a nice escape from the heat if you visit in the afternoon. Consider going in the morning if you’d like to have the place all to yourself. You can also explore the beautiful butterfly garden on the premises.
The Uvita Waterfall Slide
The natural Uvita waterfall slide is the most unique feature of this place. It is the result of rocks eroding as water flowed through them over the years. They are smooth and excellent for sliding down. If you’re worried about having to trek up the rocks to access the waterfall, relax. A ladder makes the climb easy. And don’t underestimate the height. An adrenaline rush awaits!
Directions to the Uvita Waterfall
The Uvita Costa Rica waterfall is right behind the beach area. It is a 20-minute walk from the main road. Standing on the main road, you will see the Banco de Costa Rica Uvita. It is on your left, coming from Dominical. Take Calle Uvita from there and walk for about 10 minutes until you get to Calle Bejuco. From here, you have to go up a steep hill to reach the waterfall. If you take a private vehicle, do note that parking is free. There are plenty of taxis in town as well. You can find some at the BM Supermarket.
Now, how much will you have to fork out to visit Uvita? The entrance fee is 2,000 Colones, which currently corresponds to about USD 3.85. Not too bad, right?
The Best Time to Visit Uvita Waterfall, Costa Rica
Crowds destroy most travel attractions, and it’s no different at this waterfall. Timing is everything, as you can tell. Be the early bird, especially if you’re braving peak season! Going early in the morning means you can have some fun before the crowds start coming in. You can explore the slide and swim without much hassle. Alternatively, you can come in the late afternoon or evening when they start leaving.
Generally, however, stick to the morning. The Instagram buff in you will thank me. That morning light is the source of gorgeous photos. Plus, that bit of serenity before starting your day? Priceless!
The waterfall is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you get there within the first hour, you will likely have the place to yourself. Most visitors start coming in after 10 a.m.
The Uvita Waterfall Trail
There are two ways to access the waterfall: through a butterfly garden and further up the road. The walk from both entrances to the waterfall is fairly short and takes 10 minutes or less. It goes through a rainforest and can get slippery, especially when it is rainy. While it isn’t a long walk, the upper entrance has some steep parts. Wear closed and comfortable shoes with decent grip to avoid slipping.
Accommodations in Uvita
There are a few nice places to visit in Uvita. However, Cascada Verde Hostel is one of the best options. It is about 100 meters from the waterfall and conveniently accessible. It isn’t exactly a hostel. It’s more like a wooden treehouse in the jungle!
Cascada Verde has gorgeous rooms. They are made of wood and furnished with natural materials. Their common rooms give gorgeous views of the jungle and the chance to enjoy the sounds of nature.
You’ll love waking up to howling monkeys and other little creatures walking by, as there are no windows. It is a lot like sleeping in the jungle. The hostel also comes with a lovely, well-equipped kitchen. It has everything you need to cook your own food. The property has taken significant strides to embrace sustainability, and it shows!
Where to Dine and Drink Near Catarata Uvita
There are a few cool restaurants to check out in Uvita, and the list continues to grow. Here are a few options if you want to grab a quick snack or drink:
- The Bakery CR-Uvita: Delicious desserts and excellent coffee
- Uvita Beer Garden: Live music and craft beer
- Indomitos Café and Bar: An excellent café for vegans and vegetarians
- Café Vivo Uvita: Great beer
- Whale Tail Brewery CR: A favorite for craft beer
- Uvita Gastro Park: Fine wine and fusion sushi
- Soda Ranchino Dona Maria: Best soda in town
- The Dome Restaurant: Excellent customer service
Things to Bring When Exploring Uvita Waterfall
The waterfall sits on private property, so you must pay an entry fee. Don’t just bring 2,000 Colones, though. Pad that with a little extra, in case you need it. You’ll also need a towel, bathing suit, and clothes to change into after swimming. Although there are no changing rooms, the trees offer some privacy. If you bring your phone and other valuables, you’ll need a dry bag to protect them.
Wear sneakers or closed shoes with a firm grip. Flip-flops or anything open-toed is a big no-no. You don’t want to slip on the trail. And since you’ll be walking through a rainforest, insect repellent is necessary. Lastly, bring a camera to capture the memories, especially on the slide.
The Uvita waterfall doesn’t offer many facilities. However, both entrances have parking. There is a butterfly garden and restaurant at the first entrance. The second entrance has a restaurant where you can use the toilet and enjoy refreshments.
You can also find a toilet close to the lower pools along the lower entrance trail. It is a squatting toilet and basically serves its purpose. There are no garbage cans, so you might have to carry your trash with you – a plastic bag will come into good use.
Bonus Note for Families With Young Children
The Uvita waterfall is suitable for kids. It is a family-friendly attraction as the activities are great for all ages. The lower pools are pretty calm, with platforms to jump from.
However, it is best for little kids to take the trail slowly, as it can get steep. Although the waterfall Uvita is pretty safe, it is still a rock. You must take precautions to keep kids safe. Watch out for natural wildlife and supervise the children at all times. The snakes and frogs can be colorful and a sure recipe for trouble.
Nothing makes me happier than nature. I live for it, and so should you. Out of all the attractions in Costa Rica, the Uvita waterfall is worth your time. Plus, with such a low entrance fee, it won’t put a dent in your pocket!