One of the more unique waterfalls that you will find in Costa Rica is the Uvita Waterfall. While at first glance, it may just seem like a normal waterfall situated in the rainforest, it is more than that.
Not only can you enjoy the natural swimming pool at the bottom of the waterfall, but you also can make your way to the top of the waterfall. Once up top, there is a natural waterfall slide that you can take part of too.
This guide will talk through how to visit the Uvita waterfall and take part of the waterfall slide during a trip to Uvita.
1) Uvita Waterfall Directions & Location
Getting to the Uvita Waterfall is super simple if you have your own rental car. From the city center of Uvita, it is just a 10 minute drive up towards the waterfall.
You can simply put in “Uvita Waterfall” or “Catarata Uvita” into your GPS and be on your way. The waterfall parking lot is located just off of the road Calle Bejuco. The exact GPS coordinates of the parking lot are 9°10’36.9″N 83°43’50.3″W.
Note that some of the route up to the waterfall is not paved, but a 4WD is not necessary.
If you don’t have a car, no worries either. While it is less convenient, you can walk to the waterfall from the town center. The walk is just around 3.5 km / 2.2 miles and should take around 45 minutes. The time may be higher or lower depending exactly where in Uvita you are staying. You can of course also hop in a quick cab ride too if that works better.
Below you can find a Google Maps view of the Uvita Waterfall location along with the route from the town center of Uvita.
2) Hours & Ticket Cost
The property of the waterfall is run by a local family, so there will be certain openings hours and a small cost to visit the waterfall. Parking is included in the cost, so it makes for a very reasonable visit. At the entrance of the waterfall you will also find a small restaurant and butterfly garden to visit as well.
Uvita Waterfall Hours: 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Uvita Waterfall Ticket Cost: 2,000 CRC / $3 USD (5+ years old)
Note that prices and hours may change slightly. If there is an update when you go, feel free to comment below!
3) Uvita Waterfall Hike
Once you have parked your car and bought your ticket, it is time to take part of the Uvita Waterfall hike. The trail itself should take no more that 5-10 minutes of walking on a mixture of terrain.
The trail down towards the waterfall is a quick and easy one, but note that it is not paved all the way through. Instead, you will be hiking through the rainforest on a dirt trail, wooden planks, metal platform, and some rocky sections before reaching the waterfall itself. There are a few stairs involved too so just be prepared.
While the trail is easy to follow, note that it can get a bit slippery after rainfall. So, just be sure to watch your step all the way through. This also holds true as you approach the waterfall pool and may need to maneuver your way around some rocks.
Be on the lookout for other natural pools that have formed along the river. You don’t just need to spend time at the Uvita Waterfall itself. You can also spend time in the water further downstream. In addition, there is a small section of pathway, where you can jump off the side and into the water down below.
4) Uvita Waterfall Slide
While swimming and relaxing in the pool underneath the waterfall (and further downstream) is a highlight, you can also decide to take part of the waterfall slide. Given the smoothness of the rock face behind the waterfall, it is safe enough to sit back and slide off of the top of the waterfall.
The Uvita Waterfall height is around 10 meters / 33 feet and the pool below is deep enough for waterfall sliding to be safe.
At the time I was at the Uvita Waterfall, there were two main ways to get yourself up to the top of the waterfall.
1) Just prior to reaching the waterfall itself, you will come across a set of stairs on the left side leading off the main path. If you follow the dirt pathway up and alongside the waterfall, you will soon reach the top of it.
2) If you are looking at the waterfall from the pool below, you will see rungs built into the rock face on the left-hand side. This will be more of a “ladder” climb up the side of the waterfall and to the top. This way is certainly a bit sketchier than the safer route around. Below is a photo of the rungs looking down into the pool.
Once you reach the top of the waterfall you will see the river flowing over the edge of the rock face. Here you will see a place to safely sit down, lay back and slide down the waterfall.
5) Waterfall Photos
Whether or not you are taking part of the waterfall slide, you can certainly enjoy the waterfall itself and the natural pool down below. There are plenty of spots/rocks to take a seat and relax at as well. Below are a handful of photos taken of the waterfall from different angles.
6) Where to Stay in Uvita
Uvita is a great spot to base yourself for a few days to enjoy some beach time and the Marino Ballena National Park. It is a bit of a quieter place to stay as you take some time to relax and explore the Uvita Waterfall along the way.
Below are three highly recommend options when it comes to accommodation options in Uvita:
Note that these hotels are not directly within downtown Uvita, but are all within a quick drive to both the beach, the town center, and the waterfall.
That about wraps up a guide to the Uvita Waterfall of Costa Rica. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to add them in below. Also, don’t forget to check out the other Costa Rica itineraries and guides up on the site like the La Fortuna Waterfall, Rio Celeste Waterfall, and Catarata del Toro.
Have fun out there and safe travels!