I have visited this beautiful waterfall on many occasions and only once was I able to get anywhere near the impact zone. Generally, it would be suicidal to attempt this, as this waterfall is one of the strongest and most impressive in the region. At the base of the waterfall there are many large rocks that have fallen from the edge over time. Be careful when clambering around, because they can often be covered with green slippery moss. Although the moss is normally obvious to the naked eye, it’s better to be safe than sorry! I suggest that you find one of the biggest rocks to set a picnic upon and then enjoy the many natural swimming pools and jump spots that surround you.
Most tour operators advertise this experience as a horse riding activity. I personally think that there are better ways to spend a day on horseback. This waterfall is a relatively easy trek on foot and visitors can simply be directed here without the need for a guide.
The jungle environment at the base of this huge waterfall combined with the experience of the journey is a pretty good way to spend the day. I have even heard many travelers claim that the Naguala experience was better than the tours that they paid for in other places across Costa Rica.
To experience the Los Planes Waterfall Hike, simply download the map and follow along with our instructions below.
From point (A) to point (B)
Choice of 20 minute walk or $6 taxi from the center of Drake Bay to a natural stream located in an area that is locally known as the “Bijagua”. The taxi will normally drop passengers at the top of the steep hill with a gravel road leading down to the stream.
From point (B) to point (C)
30 minute walk in the stream until it merges with a larger river (Agujitas River)
From point (C) to point (D)
The walk now travels against the current for approximately 45 minutes, or until the water becomes deep. From there, an obvious trail can be found on the left hand side of the river, which will guide you through the jungle for 15 minutes until you are looking downward at the mighty face of the Naguala waterfall.
The return hike is the same in reverse, although return taxi journeys are mostly too difficult to organize, so a 20 minute walk back into town will be necessary.