Costa Ricas Most Epic Waterfall Catarta Del Toro

Catarta Del Toro and the BLue Falls OF COSTA RICA

Catarta Del Toro is an incredible waterfall in the central Bajos Del Toro. At over 90m tall it is one of the tallest waterfalls in Costa Rica and has a super impressive setting. It is surrounded by jungle and cliffs and plunges straight down into an ancient extinct volcanic crater. This was 100% worth the drive and really surprised us because it does not seem to be nearly as famous as the other falls in the area. Catarta Del Toro sits within the Blue Falls of Costa Rica park and can be combined or not with the other falls in the area. You can buy the entrance ticket separately but we highly recommend combing your visit with the amazing Blue Falls Of Costa Rica. You drove all the way here you might as well see the other 6 falls in the area.

Visiting Catarta Del Toro

Quick Stats

  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 7 am – 5 pm (park closed on Sundays)
  • Hike length: ~ 3 km / 1.8 mi
  • Difficulty: Easy – Medium – Good trail but steep stair descent
  • Swimming: No water access to swim
  • Official Website Here!

Catarta Del Toro Cost

Catarta Del Toro is part of the Blue falls of Costa Rica park. This mean you can either pay for it individually for $14 USD or as part of a combo ticket with the rest of the blue falls for $25USD. Considering the other falls cost $17USD this is a great way to save a couple bucks if you are planning on visiting both. We were able to pay by card here with no issues and they also had decent wifi in the restaurant you could use. Parking is free with admission and any type of car is fine for the drive. 4×4 is not required as long as you take the main roads.

Short Video Comparing Top & Bottom Views

The Hike Down To The Falls

The hike to the falls starts with a beautiful lookout right after the restaurant. There are free walking sticks you can grab right at the gate out of the resto. These are super handy as some of the trail is steep and the terrain is a bit uneven down by the falls. If you aren’t able to make the steep stairs down you can still get a great view from here. There are many little spots like this to take pictures and get different viewpoints on the way down.

Catarta Del Toro Waterfall Costa Rica
View From The Top

After a kilometer or along the flat easy trail you will reach the stairs. There are almost 400 well maintained concrete stairs to head down the base of the falls. They look tougher than they are so just get started and you will be fine.

After you finish the stairs you reach a platform area at the base of the falls with incredible views of the falls and river flowing away through the canyon.

Take some pictures enjoy the view and then head on back. If you wish there is a slightly different trail at the top of the stairs that takes you on a little loop through the jungle. This can be quite nice if the weather is good and great chance to spot some wildlife in the area. If you are in a time crunch don’t take the fork and stay on the white trail to get back to the restaurant quickly. The green trail takes you on the add on jungle walk.

Catarta Del Toro Directions

If you are just wanting to see Catarta Del Toro and do not care about the Blue Falls of Costa Rica you can easily do this as a day trip from La Fortuna or San Jose. We think the best way to do it is on route from San Jose to La fortuna.

The Blue Falls of Costa Rica are very easy to find, they are marked on google just outside of Bajos Del Toro town. The parking is easy and signed very well. When driving to this area I would recommend taking highway 126 from San Jose or Highway 4 from La Fortuna. The road is less steep and in far better condition this way. This is a great road trip from La Fortuna or on your way to or from San Jose. On this route you will be absolutely be fine with a 2wd compact car throughout the year.

From La Fortuna

From La Fortuna take Highway 4 towards San Jose and turn right onto highway 744. Follows this for a couple kilometers then turn left on 140 and then immediately right on 708. Follow 708 to the falls.

From San Jose

The Blue Falls are a perfect day trip from San Jose. To get here take highway 126 north from San Jose towards La Fortuna and turn onto highway 140 briefly and then left onto highway 708. This will take you directly to the Blue Falls of Costa Rica. To return go back the same way or continue to La Fortuna.

From the West – Santa Teresa / Tamarindo / Manual Antonio

We arrived from the west coast in the Santa Teresa direction and took highway 708 via the town of Sarchi. This highway had many potholes, and in sections was so steep our Suzuki Vitara barely made it up some sections in first gear. It is nothing to worry about but you would want to be a confident driver familiar with mountain roads going this way. To go this way put Sarchi town into google or Waze and then head up highway 708 and it will lead you up the mountain to the falls.

What Else To See

Bajos Del Toro has so many waterfalls and hikes its nuts. Here are a couple of our favorite.


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