When we read up on Manuel Antonio, we read there was not just the National park to explore, but the surrounding areas are beautiful, full of wildlife, stunning walks, waterfalls and regional parks…what they didn’t say is that to get to these you need a car!!
However, at our accommodation we met a lovely couple who had a car and when Leo suggested the ‘Nauyaca waterfall’ they seemed keen so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED – we had a ride and some new friends.
Situated about 45 mins South of Manuel Antonio lies the Nauyaca waterfall which is arguably one of the best waterfalls in Costa Rica. Upon arrival at the office you sign in, pay the entry fee and decide how you would like to face the falls walk. We of course walked as we have legs, but I have added the options below as there are three ways to get to the waterfall from the office. You can hike, go on a truck or go horseback riding.
There are 2 areas of falls, #1 and #2, with number 1 being more for awe inspiring photography and number 2 being the one you can swim in. Even though we were hot, sweaty messes we opted for number 1 as we knew that it would be the quieter of both upon arrival. We were right! Only 1 other family was there so we had the falls practically to ourselves to take some awesome photos before making the descent down to the second set of falls.
The second waterfall has a massive pool for swimming and was PACKED when we got there, but it was still really refreshing to hop in after the sweat fest we had just experienced. Leo managed to climb up the waterfall and bomb in from about 15ft as well so that was an experience – which I wouldn’t recommend to everybody, but he loved it.
In the afternoon we wanted to check out an activity in town called the ‘zip coaster’ which can be seen here. Many have written this is an accident waiting to happen…but we loved it. Yes, it’s scary and a little dangerous but for $12USD pp…what a bargain!
From there we went to watch the sunset and Barbaroja which I highly recommend! It has a great 2 4 1 happy hour and even though the prices are a little expensive, for 1 drink and great views it was totally worth it.
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Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!