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“So beautiful! Waterfalls and Hot Springs a must!”

Rincon de La Vieja National Park
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US$ 120.00*
and up
Hiking Tour of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park
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US$ 135.00*
and up
Guachipelin Adventure Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo
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US$ 110.00*
and up
Visit Cortes Waterfall from Playa del Coco
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Owner description: This 35,000-acre national park centers around a volcano that last erupted in 1995.
Reviewed 6 July 2017

We didn't have loads of time but we did get to hike to four waterfalls (free) and do the hot springs/mud baths ($20). It was STUPID GORGEOUS out there.

1  Thank mrgrita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (514)
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11 - 15 of 514 reviews

Reviewed 5 July 2017

The main hike takes about 2 hours and it is a loop that goes around the mud pots and little volcano. It is an easy hike - mostly flat and paved. Very interesting - we saw a lot of animals too - snakes, agouti, birds etc. You can hire a guide but I don´t think that you need one. There are other hikes too but were closed because of the volcanic activity. Overall, definitely worth the trip!

Thank tezzzka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2017 via mobile

This was a perfect fit, exactly what we were looking for. We got to the main building and were greeted in English by a very knowledgeable and very friendly Ranger. He explained the trail options, told us all about the park and answered our extensive questions. I think you can hire the Rangers and we should have simply because they were so friendly and informative. Anyway, we chose to hike the 9-mile round-trip Las Cangrejas waterfall trail. It was so amazing how the ecosystem changed from wet jungle to drier jungle to more open Prairie. There were bugs for sure but we had closed-toe trail shoes, high socks and the green Off! with 25% Deet so we were fine.
It's actually a demanding hike. I'm always leery when we descend a lot on the leg into a location and that's exactly what we did. That means after hiking 4.5 miles in and swimming in the beautiful pool under the waterfall we had to climb back out. It's not a complete killer but it's stair steps and uphill after uphill. I will say it's 70% intermediate and 30% difficult overall. Of course we walked and hiked 160 miles in the past three weeks also so our legs are a bit tired.
The hike itself I'd spectacular with so many trees and plants and insects and birds and flowers.
We then hiked the little two-mile loop to see the fumeroles and mud pots and it was interesting but nothing compared to the waterfall trail and the nice swim and walk behind the falls.
It was nice to have a hat since I don't put Deet on my head and the bugs can annoy your head and possible bite.

1  Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2017

We visited this park in 2004 and returned in June 2017. The trail has been improved significantly (apparently, 3 years ago, the government invested the resources to make a significant portion of the trail more accessible to all Costa Ricans and visitors). We paid a $10 park entry fee and then $70 for our family of 6 (kids ages 18-6) to hike the loop. We saw many, many leaf-cutter ants, lots of beautiful butterflies of all colors, mammals like the agouti, spider monkeys, howler monkeys and many iguanas (green and black). We saw a waterfall, lots of bubbly, sulfurous volcancitos. For an additional cost, you can engage a guide at the main building. The bathrooms at the starting point were clean and there was a water station to hose off your shoes afterwards.

2  Thank FS_Junkie_with_kids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2017

We arrived at Las Pailas Ranger Station at exactly 8 am and were the second people on the hike. We started about 8:20 am. They give you a number and you check back with them as you leave so they make sure everyone makes it out okay. Clean bathrooms are available at the ranger station. As others have said, you do not need a guide. Trails are well marked. Bring bug spray and put it on before you arrive. We got bit by small black flies in the three minutes we were out of our car before we could apply bug spray. Bring bug spray with you on the hike to reapply after you swim in the waterfall. We hiked first to Catarata La Cangreja and it took 4 hours to get there and back (that includes about 30 minutes of swimming in the waterfall pool). My husband and I are steady hikers and we don't stop a lot. The swimming hole was refreshing, but know that you have to sit on and climb on rocks surrounding the swimming hole. This wasn't an issue for us, but could be for some. There isn't a flat sandy area next to the swimming hole. The waterfall was amazing!!! I swam over to it and climbed on rocks and stood behind the waterfall. Wear your swimsuit and water shoes if you plan to swim. If you get to the park when it opens (like we did), it will likely be too early to have lunch at the waterfall. On the hike back to the ranger station, there is a large creek that you can hike down to and sit on the rocks and have lunch on the return hike (located about 30 minutes from the ranger station). Look for it on the way to the waterfall and check it out as a possible lunch spot for your return hike. I think it was the second big bridge you cross, but can't quite remember. The creek has a bridge over it, but there is a little trail access that takes you down to the water. The waterfall hike was okay (definitely do it just to see the waterfall), but we actually liked the loop hike better. As other reviewers have said, the waterfall hike passes through different types of forests and scrubby areas so it keeps it interesting. After stopping back at the Ranger Station for a bathroom break, we then took the loop hike to the right to see all the volcanic features. Part of this hike is a paved path, which some might not like but I actually enjoyed it as I could spend more time looking at the forest instead of constantly looking at my feet (like on the waterfall hike that had tons of rocks and roots). Plus, after hiking four hours it was nice to just be able to walk more peacefully through the forest instead of "hiking" if you know what I mean. The forest in this section was beautiful and the volcanic features (especially the mud pots) were really cool. I recommend hiking the loop backwards (counterclockwise), as we thought Features 1-4 were better than 5-6 (that way you get more cool stuff at the end) and you don't end up hiking with people, just passing them going the other direction. The loop hike took us 1 hour and 15 minutes. We spent about 10 minutes at the mud pots waiting for people to leave, so we could get a video without voices in the background. Because the park is remote and you will likely have a long drive, I recommend doing both hikes. I would have been disappointed had I only done one of the hikes. Both are different and give you different views on the park. I am glad that we came. It was a great day of hiking and we saw cool stuff.

11  Thank cedarjules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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