Llanos De Cortez, Costa Rica

by Scott Setterberg July 09, 2018

Llanos De Cortez, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country with immense diversity, and while it is indeed a tropical paradise filled with lush jungles, misty rainforests, and sparkling beaches, there is also part of the country with a hot, dry, arid climate.  Within those desert-like conditions, it's hard to believe that a spectacular waterfall could survive year-round, but there is one that does, and it's called Llanos de Cortez.  

While it's a bit tricky to locate if you're not paying attention, it's easy to get to on a dusty, bumpy, dirt road.  Once there, the sound of the waterfall fills the air with anticipation, and it's only a short three-minute walk down a steep embankment before it suddenly appears.

Llanos De Cortez Waterall in Costa Rica
Standing sixty-feet tall and plunging into a shallow pool below, the waterfall is nearly as wide as it is tall.  Defying the region's dryness, lush vegetation and flowers surround the falls - accentuating the cascade with rich colors - and after shooting for a couple hours in the high temperatures, you'll find the golden-green pool to be a welcome refreshment.  

Llanos de Cortes
Llanos de Cortez provides countless photo opportunities and a little exploration and creativity produces fantastic results.  

Catarata Llanos de Cortes
Most people don't realize that the top of the falls provides another vista and is accessible by venturing through an old barbed-wire fence and following an ever-so-slight grassy trail.

Llanos De Cortez TopAfter shooting and swimming you'll be hot and tired, so it's worth noting that parking lot vendors sell ice-cold coconuts, skillfully opened with large machetes, allowing you to indulge in the sweet, revitalizing water.  When finished, the vendor will cut out the pulp from the coconut, providing you with a great snack.  This Costa Rican treat is highly-recommended.  

You can explore Llanos de Cortez on the Pura Vida Costa Rica photo tours.  Click the highlighted link for the detailed itinerary and available dates and book your spots early! 

See you soon in Costa Rica!

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Scott Setterberg
Scott Setterberg