Vuelta Del Canon The most unique waterfall in Bajos Del Toro Costa Rica

Vuelta Del Canon Waterfall Costa Rica

Bajos Del Toro the waterfall region

Bajos Del Toro is a remote region of Costa Rica north of San Jose and South of La Fortuna. It is sandwiched between parq nacional castro balnco and the beautiful Volcano Poas. This area has an insane amount of waterfalls and hikes. It is literally endless you could spend a week here going to a different waterfall every day. We spent two days here and have made a complete write up of the region here. One of our favorite hikes in this are was Vuelta Del Canon.

Vuelta Del Canon Waterfall

Stats

  • 12km round trip
  • medium difficulty – challenging terrain
  • minimal elevation gain mainly flat
  • 4 hours return

Vuelta Del Canon waterfall was by the far the most unique waterfall in the Bajos Del Toro Area. Due to the fact that it is in such a lightly touristed region we only saw one other couple on the trail. If you want to find a waterfall to yourself this is one. I guess no one else wanted to do 12 km in the Costa Rican summer. The hike was no cakewalk, it was about 12 km return and most of it was up and over rocks along a river. Despite that it was fairly flat hike so we did not find it to taxing, it just seemed a bit long. As always bring water whenever you hike here because it can get hot quickly. The trail ended up crossing the river/stream about 10 times. I managed to make it across keeping the shoes dry but Meghan was not so lucky. Eventually we just gave up and waded through the crossings. You have to wade through the last portion of the stream to get to the falls anyway so bring shoes that you are willing to get wet. This is a perfect hike for Tevas or active sandals. It had not been raining when we visited and there were still some muddy sections. If rain has been in the forecast expect some deep mud patches. There is no super accurate map for this hike. We found a trail on maps.me that was almost right but I wouldn’t try and use maps for this one. Just pay a bit of attention to the trail and you will be absolutely fine,

Directions to Vuelta Del Canon waterfall

Vuelta Del Canon is very easy to find its marked on google in the center 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 La Fortuna and approaching from the east. 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 it from San Jose. We arrived from the west coast Santa Teresa direction and took highway 708. 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.

Where to park for Canon De Vuelta waterfall. You can’t miss it.

Where to start The hike

After you park in the super obvious parking (tourists boards and a bathroom you can use) you walk out on the road turn left and take the first driveway towards a farm. This area is owned by a local farmer who will let you pass if you pay $20 per person. He seems cheerful enough if you pay him promptly but any questions about hike duration or anything else and he get’s very rude very quickly. Keep this transaction brief, pay the man he will open the gate for you and be on your way. Do not worry about trying to find the farmer he and several others will be saying “pagar me” as soon as you park. The price was a bit steep in our opinion but it was a long clearly marked and decently maintained trail. As Canadians we always seem to struggle with the idea of paying for natural attractions, but when in Costa.

Canon De Vuelta HIking DIrections

Once you have passed through the farmers gate you continue down a trail between two of his fields. The area is gorgeous with long green grass, jungle and volcanoes in the distance. The long spindly palm trees reminded me of the famous Cocora valley in Columbia. There is only one place where you could possibly take a wrong turn and that is at the end of the path between then fields the path heads into a fence, You have to duck under that and continue. Do not go off left where the trail seems to get difficult. If you have not spotted a giant entrance arch with orange ribbons in a minute or two you have gone the wrong way. As long as you get to those arches the rest is super easy to find!

Once you pass through the entrance arch the trail is very easy to follow. Just continue through this beautiful jungle trail until you get to the river crossings

The rainy season had not yet started when we did this hike in May and we had no issues crossing the rivers. The water level was only about knee deep and we were able to skip across the rocks. I saw some videos in the middle of rainy season and some people were wading through chest deep water at the end of the hike. Thankfully this was not the case for us. There are about 10 of these river crossings so plan on getting your shoes wet. Sometimes it can be hard to see where the trail goes on the other side of the river but just take a minute to look around and you should find it. Nothing on this hike is overly difficult so if it seems really tough your probably off trail.

In the last section of the trail before the waterfall the trail kind of disappears. At this point just follow the river up and over the rocks through the canyon to the falls. As long as you are going up stream you can’t get lost. Once you get to the actual falls there is a nice big dry area to the right where you can put your stuff take pictures etc.

You made it! Take a break / snack and enjoy the view!

A little waterfall inspiration!

Do you need a guide for hiking Canon De Vuelta Waterfall

You also have the option of taking a local guide which I believe was the same price of $20 or slightly more. There was a guide waiting at the parking area and we may have taken him but to be honest I couldn’t understand his Spanish and he didn’t speak English, so we elected to go ourselves. This turned out be a fine decision. The trail is very clearly marked with orange ribbons and easy to follow. You can totally go by yourself here. You do not need a guide unless you would like the company or would like to support a local.

Other Waterfalls In The Area

Bajos Del Toro is the absolute center of the world for waterfalls. These blue falls are just one of many in the area. We wrote a whole blog post on these other amazing set of 6 waterfalls called the Blue Falls Of Costa Rica! There are also the famous Quebrada Gata falls and countless others in the area. We were going to hike Quebrada Gata but it can be a bit unsafe in high rainfall times due to its position down stream of the damn. The days we were in the area were a bit to rainy for us to feel comfortable trudging upstream. Oh well next time.