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Costa Rica: Waterfalls and Rio de Perdido Day Pass

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Day 4: Waterfalls and Rio de Perdido Day Pass

We started our day with a drive to the Llanos de Cortez Waterfall. This waterfall located

right off Highway 1 is a popular stop. Llanos de Cortez Waterfall flows year-round and can be found at the end of short (but somewhat steep) walk. While guests are not permitted to sit or swim under the falls, there is a sandy area for relaxing as well as a pool to wade or swim in.


Llanos de Cortez is open every day 8:00am-4:30pm. The $7 per person fee is collected at the entrance gate. There are changing rooms and bathrooms in the parking lot. There are also vendors selling tourist items as well as drinks like water and soda. We spent about 45 minutes at the waterfall.

After wading in the water, we headed down a bumpy dirt road near Fortuna with a goal of spending the rest of our day at Rio Perdido Resort and Spa. This high end resort is everything you would want it to be! If we had an extra day, I would have loved to spend the night in one of the bungalows.


We purchased our Rio Perdido Day Passes online which included access to the thermal river and volcanic mud, the mineral pools surrounding the main building, and the use of the trails & swinging bridges on property. Also included was a fabulous a la carte lunch served in the open-air lodge. Finally, our pass included showers, locker rooms, towels, and lockers for the day. Monkeys, birds, and beautiful sites in abundance!


WOW! If you have the opportunity stay one more day in Costa Rica - book a bungalow here! To view photos and learn more about this incredible resort, you can click here.


The staff are exceptional. We were greeted by the concierge with drinks and suggestions for how to spend our time at the resort. The property is beautiful - every detail has been fine tuned. Trust me....you want to spend a day (or two) here!


We started our day crossing the swinging bridge for a quick hike to the lookout viewpoint. It was hot! There is limited shade along the trails. Do bring water and wear a hat! The paths are marked but the distance is indicated in minutes - as in "five minute walk to the viewpoint."


Returning to the lodge, it was time for lunch. The staff again were exceptional and the food was top notch. We had "ordered" our meals earlier in the day so all we had to do was grab a cocktail and enjoy! Appetizer, lunch, and dessert were included with the Day Pass. Monkeys, iguanas, and beautiful views were free!


After lunch it was time to explore the thermal river and mineral pools. We enjoyed walking the trail along the thermal river, stopping in each of the pools. At the "end" the pools are the hottest getting cooler the closer to the lodge. Along the way we heard howler monkeys(!) and one lucky member of our group saw them in the treetops. While we know other groups were using the thermal river pools, we never shared a pool. It was lovely experience.


Surrounding the lodge, there are several mineral pools (also available to the Day Pass holders). We chose our favorite (which also included a swim up bar), ordered a cocktail, and celebrated a day well spent in Costa Rica. Pura Vida at its finest!



Know Before You Go:

  • Purchase the Rio Perdido Day Pass online prior to arrival

  • Check out the Hotel and the many features here.

  • If you have an extra day, do yourself a favor and book your overnight stay.

  • Take full advantage of my love of travel and planning skills, connect with me here to book your travel and/or free quote for my planning services.

What Was in Our Beach Bag:

o Beach Bag

o Flip Flops for her

o Flip Flops for him

o Beach Hat

o Sunblock

o Swimsuit for Her

o Cover-up for Her

o Swimsuit for Him

o Swim Shirt for Him

o Waterbottle

o Protective Waterproof Phone Case


When to Go:

In our opinion, Guanacaste is best visited in the dry season, December through mid-May. Tourists during the rainy season can save dollars with discounted lodging but may loose half of their day to heavy rainfall.


Is Guanacaste Safe?

Yes. Guanacaste is considered safe for tourists.


Getting Around:

We recommend using a rental car or car service. While most tourist destinations do not require 4WD vehicles, some Airbnb and vacation rentals have private roads or driveways that do recommend using 4WD. Be sure to check carefully if this type of vehicle is needed for your rental. We found the Waze app to be consistently easier to use to navigate from one destination to another.



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