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Waterfalls Drake Bay
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Naguala Waterfall Hike

Free!

The Naguala Waterfalls are located near the village of Los Planes in Drake Bay. You can visit the largest of the waterfalls as self-guided hike from Drake Bay. The other 3 waterfalls are located on the Naguala Jungle Lodge property, and they are beautiful for swimming and clambering around. You can often find one of the family members in the lodge kitchen, where for a small fee they can take you on a guided hike to other parts of the property (approximately $25 including lunch).

For the self-guided hike, we recommend taking a taxi in the early morning (6am) to the Bijagua and then beginning your hike. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to arrive at the waterfall from here.

You should bring plenty of water, sun protection, swimming costume, waterproof shoes, insect repellent, dry bags for electronics and a flashlight or headlamp.

Please note: If you are planning the self-guided hike only, please do not climb up to the Naguala Lodge property, as this is private land.

This activity is not recommended after heavy rain.

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The Naguala Waterfalls are some of the most impressive in the Drake Bay region. I have visited the largest of these beautiful waterfalls on many occasions and only once was I able to get anywhere near the impact zone. The jungle environment at the base of this huge waterfall combined with the experience of the journey is a great 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.

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 self-guided adventure takes up to 4.5 hours, depending on how long you play at the waterfall. For Naguala Plus, you may need to budget for 8 hours if you plan to walk back- alternatively a taxi can be arranged for your return to save time and energy.

To experience the Los Planes Waterfall Hike, simply download the map in the image gallery, 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.

Be careful when clambering around, because rocks 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.