Catarata del Toro Waterfall: The Tallest Waterfall in Costa Rica

The Catarata del Toro Waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Costa Rica. This massive waterfall is surrounded by rugged jungle and is rich in various species of animals. Catarata del Toro stands at an impressive 90 meters (295 feet) high, and the water plunges directly into the crater of an ancient volcano. The walls of the crater are covered in moss, giving them a vibrant green hue. Often, a mist and fog envelop the waterfall, adding to its mystical allure. The hike to the waterfall takes approximately 45 minutes, offering breathtaking views along the way. This is truly a unique must-see during your journey through Costa Rica!

The Catarata del Toro Waterfall

Catarata del Toro is located within a private reserve spanning a remarkable 100 hectares (247 acres). This untouched natural area is abundant in jungle, valleys, and serves as a home to a multitude of animals. The reserve has been owned by a Dutch/Costa Rican couple for 18 years. They are dedicated to preserving this stunning nature. In the past, they also ran a B&B here, but unfortunately, it is now closed. However, the couple still operates the ticket office and the restaurant.

Tip: There are an incredible number of beautiful hummingbirds and butterflies here, so keep your eyes open to spot them!

How to Reach the Catarata del Toro Waterfall

The Catarata del Toro Waterfall is situated between San José and La Fortuna. Unfortunately, the nearby village of Bajos del Toro is challenging to reach via public transportation. The best way to visit the Catarata del Toro waterfall is by renting a car. It’s about a two to three-hour drive from San José through narrow mountain roads. This drive offers stunning views of the most impressive landscapes. Check the exact location of the Catarata del Toro Waterfall. Once you’ve parked the car, you can purchase an entrance ticket to visit the waterfall and start the hike.

Tip: The waterfall is open from Monday to Saturday between 07:00 AM and 05:00 PM. It’s closed on Sundays.

The Hike to Catarata del Toro Waterfall

As you embark on the hike to the Catarata del Toro Waterfall, you’ll soon arrive at an impressive viewpoint. You’ll immediately grasp the grandeur and impressiveness of the waterfall! It’s truly worth taking about an hour to walk all the way down. In fact, you can walk right up to the waterfall, allowing you to experience the immense power it holds. Standing beneath a 90-meter (295-foot) high waterfall makes you feel incredibly small. The path to the waterfall is well-maintained, and every 10 minutes, you’ll come across a brilliant view of the waterfall. Most of the walk is along a staircase, totaling around 375 steps. The descent is on the way there, and the return follows the same path uphill. Due to the 375 steps, it’s quite a challenging climb. Remember to bring enough water, wear proper shoes, and don’t forget your rain gear. Enjoy your visit!

Good to know: Swimming is prohibited in the Catarata del Toro waterfall. The water’s force makes swimming dangerous.