The Viento Frescos Waterfalls in Lake Arenal, Costa Rica.

If you’re looking for day trips out of Lake Arenal, we have the perfect place for you to take a quick trip to step out of your normal routine.

The Viento Frescos Waterfalls are just a 20-minute drive away, so you could even make your visits here a regular getaway. Take your adventurous friends for a real taste of the Costa Rican outdoors, or bring the kids along for a break from the lake.

Five waterfalls, each with its own charm and unique features, lay hidden from sight on this private farm. You’ll want to set aside at least an hour for the walk among the falls, but with bathrooms, changing rooms, and even an on-site restaurant, you could definitely make this a leisurely day trip, without the hours-long drive home.

Be sure to bring your swimsuit and take advantage of the natural pools and the gentle showers of the waterfalls. The first one, Serena River, clocks in at 102 feet. You’ll be itching to jump right in, but more waterfalls are waiting!

A little further along you’ll find the Hidden waterfall, with 66 feet of falling rivulets and a cave on either side of the water, just begging for you to come see. The Rainbow Waterfall is next, and if you get here at just the right time of day, the name of this fall becomes clear.

The 247-foot fall from the top makes this the tallest single drop of the five falls, and with lots of sunshine and shallow pools for wading, this is a great place to stop, have a snack, and cool off before moving on. With campsites near this fall, you can even hang out overnight!

Next up is the Slide Waterfall, which shoots water out of natural slides in the rocks. With a combined drop of 312 feet, this one’s unique cascade of water creates a lot of pools for you to wade in, and with so many breaks in the water’s plummet, the showers are gentle enough to stand under.

After so many grand falls, it might be easy to forget the 49-foot Rock Waterfall, but it’s well worth the extra wander. Keep an eye out for monkeys and colorful birds, sloths and local butterflies. As if all this wasn’t tempting enough, you can even do a lot of the trail on horseback, which takes about three hours and costs $60 per person.


Getting there, a higher clearance 4×4 vehicle is a safe bet, as the mostly-dirt road can be rough after heavy rains. You’ll see signs about 7 miles after you leave Tilaran on Route 145, and there’s plenty of parking. The entrance fee is $20 for foreigners, $10 for the kiddos 12 and under, and ?3,000 for nationals, or there are package deals that include lunch.

Grab a map at the entrance and strap on your good shoes — even though this is a pretty easy course to cover, there are over 400 steps to get to the waterfalls, so be ready to use those knees! You’ll be glad you did!

The Viento Frescos Waterfalls in Costa Rica.

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