Los Chorros waterfalls are a must visit when you stay with us in Grecia! This place, where two waterfalls of about 50 meters high tumble down, guarantees a great adventure in nature.
Please leave your valuables (passport, credit / debit cards) at the hostel, don't bring big amounts of money and don't go alone. Unfortunately, we know about cases that people got robbed at Los Chorros.
At the entry of Los Chorros Waterfalls, you'll see a sign that says that the place is closed and that it can be dangerous. This is misleading though. Los Chorros is open to the public, so you can ignore the sign. It's common sense to always be careful around rivers and waterfalls, especially during the rainy season.
There's a guard at the entry that will help you out finding your way to the waterfall and he'll ask for a contribution to park your car / a voluntary entrance fee per person. Parking your car costs about 2000 colones and it should be enough to pay about 1000 / 2000 colones per person to enter.
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These waterfalls take their name from the particular jets of water (‘chorros’) that seep down through the cracks in the rocks that surround the two bigger waterfalls. Once at Los Chorros, you’ll notice a couple of dozens of these ‘chorros’ running down into the river. Inside information: the water from the 'chorros' is drinkable! It’s a delight to make your way to the foot of the first waterfall, catch the morning sunlight and take a swim in the pool of the second waterfall…
Many people who visit Los Chorros for the first time, actually miss the second waterfall that’s hidden just about 50 meters lefts of the first waterfall. Just follow the river on the left-hand side of the first waterfall upstream. You’ll discover a very powerful waterfall tumbling down in a pond where you can swim and (if you’re lucky) enjoy some great rainbows.
A general advice concerning visiting waterfalls in Costa Rica: always pay close to the conditions, especially during the rainy season. The current in the rivers can become very strong, so always examine first if it's feasible to jump into the water or if you better stay ashore and always listen carefully to the advice locals give you. They know the area and if it's safe to enter the water.
Los Chorros is a place where locals like to picnic and spend some time during the weekend. Actually still few tourists take the time to discover this worthwhile and accessible place. If you go to Los Chorros early on a weekday, there's a high chance that you won’t have to share the place with too many other people (and that’s certainly not the case for many other similar waterfalls in Costa Rica)!
How to get to Los Chorros by car?
There are several options to get to Los Chorros. The easiest way is to get there by car. You simply type ‘Los Chorros Municipal Recreative Park’ into Google Maps. It will show you a pointer, exactly at the place where you need to get off the main road (Calle Flores). There is a sign at this point that indicated where you need to leave the main road:
A little bit further down, at a Y-shaped intersection, you’ll see a small house (in the red square on the map below) at the left side of the road that bends off to the right. In this small house lives a guard that will charge you a small fee (about 2000 Colones) for parking your car + a small (voluntary) fee to enter the property (about 1000 to 2000 colones per person).
From this point you’ll have to continue your journey by foot. The guard will point out which way you need to take to get to the waterfall. Take into account that this is a hike down (a total drop in elevation of about 140 meters). Consider that you’ll have to hike the same way up again!
How to get to Los Chorros by public transport?
Another way to get to Los Chorros is by public transport. The first option is to take an Uber to the entrance. Maybe there are other people in the hostel that want to share a ride with you! The second option is to go by public bus. This takes a little bit longer, but it’s very doable and gives you the opportunity to see a bit of the surroundings and the nature nearby Grecia.
You start your adventure at the bus station at the back side of Grecia's ‘Mercado Municipal’. It’s just two blocks down the road from Mangífera Hostel. There's one direct bus to the entrance of Los Chorros that runs from Monday till Saturday and leaves the bus station at 9:30 am. You can always ask a bus driver to point out the right bus. Just mention that you want to visit ‘Cataratas Los Chorros’.
If you're not in time to hop on this bus, you can take the bus to Santa Gertrudis Sur. Normally, this bus runs about every half an hour (at 7:00 am, 7:30 am, …). Be aware that if you take the bus to Santa Gertrudis Sur, you'll still have to walk for about 40 minutes to get to the entrance of Los Chorros. It's a very nice walk though! In the description below, we show with pictures how to get to Los Chorros from the bus stop in Santa Gertrudis Sur.
This is a picture of the bus schedule of this bus station at the 'Mercado Municipal':
If you take the bus to Santa Gertrudis Sur, the bus will take the following road. It's a 8,5 kilometre drive and it takes about 20 minutes.
If you take the bus to Santa Gertrudis Sur, you'll have to get off the bus in the centre of Santa Gertrudis Sur, at a bus stop near the local church. A good strategy to get down at the right bus stop, is to ask your driver to give you a heads up when you’re there. This is the church where you need to get off the bus:
From the bus stop, you take the downward slope that goes southwards (check out the pictures for a visualisation + map):
From this point you’ll always stay on this same road. Every time you come to something that seems to be an intersection, you’ll have to take a right! The picture down below shows you a crossroad where many people mistake. They keep walking straight/to the left/downwards, but at this point you must take the asphalt road to the right!
You’ll know you’re right if you get to a wide road with on the right hand side a forest / farmland area / coffee plantations that’s on a lower level than the road you’re walking on. We have seen some Toucans around this part!
After this stretch, you’ll have to be on the lookout for a sign, on the left side of the road, that indicates the entry to Los Chorros. The sign in the middle indicates that Los Chorros is closed because it's a dangerous... This is misleading. Every weekend dozens of locals and tourists visit Los Chorros waterfalls! So you can ignore this sign:
A little bit further down, at a Y-shaped intersection, you’ll see a small house (in the red square on the map below) at the left side of the road that bends off to the right. In this small house lives a guard that will charge you a small (voluntary) fee for the entry (about 1000 to 2000 Colones seems to be fine).
The guard will point out which way you need to take to get to the waterfall. Take into account that this is a hike down (a total drop in elevation of 140 meters). Consider that you’ll have to hike the same way up again!
The pictures below show you some additional maps and measurements on the length and difficulty of the complete hike from the Santa Gertrudis Sur bus stop, all the way down to Los Chorros.
The hike from the bus stop, all the way to the waterfalls is about 4 kilometres and it takes about 1h and 10 minutes to arrive.
The hike starts at about 1395 meters above sea level.
The waterfalls are located about 1275 meters above sea level.
What to take to Los Chorros waterfall?
First of all: take your swim shorts and bikinis because you might want to take a dip! Perhaps you want to take a change of clothes and a small towel to dry yourself off after splashing in the water.
Especially during the rainy season, you’ll have to consider the possibility to get caught by the rain! Be aware that when it rains in Costa Rica it often pours down like crazy (you can be completely wet within 10 seconds) and that it often comes with thunder and lightning, so be prepared. We always go out with a rain jacket and a waterproof bag to protect our electronic devices (mobile phones, camera…), our wallets and other valuables against the rain. To reduce the chance of getting wet, we advise you to go out early (the sun already rises around 5:15 am!). During the dry season it it's very unlikely that you’ll get cold, but during the rainy season you can consider to take a sweater or warmer clothes with you.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself against the sun (whether it is with sun screen or with protective clothes). Depending on the time of the year, you’ll also find it helpful to protect yourself from mosquitoes or other small insects that are eager to bite. Some clothing brands offer ‘insect bite proof’ fabrics. It’s a great way to protect yourself from getting bitten in a more sustainable and healthier way than to spray insects repellent on your skin. Always check yourself for ticks after a visit to Los Chorros (or a forest in general). Once we have found a tick on our body after a visit to Los Chorros…!
To hike comfortably around Los Chorros, we would advise to wear good hiking shoes or stable sport shoes with good profile on the soles. Another great option is to wear (or to additionally take) are water resistant (hiking) sandals. If you want to hike through the river in a comfortable way, water resistant sandals are a great option. Also keep in mind that your shoes can get pretty dirty!
We personally also really like to take our binoculars. Apart from all this equipment it’s advisable to take water and a snack for the road or to have a nice picnic.