Costa Rica’s most beautiful waterfall: Quebrada Gata

Quebrada Gata is in my opinion the most impressive waterfall in Costa Rica! It’s relatively unknown, untouched and while the trail isn’t dangerous, it’s not easy to get to. The waterfall was recommended to me a by a local and with their description and coordinates me and my friends managed to find it! There is no official trail to get to the waterfall. There is a path on the side of the river, but you’ll have to cross the river and climb over rocks.It’s important to wear good shoes, cause it can be slippery. Only go when it’s dry, because the river can rise quickly when it rains.

Distance: 4km total

Difficulty: Medium, muddy/stony terrain, some parts wet as you have to cross the river

Time: 4 hours

Quebrada Gata Waterfall

How to get to the Quebrada Gata waterfall?

The only way to reach this location is by car. The easiest way to find it, is to use google maps to navigate towards ‘planta hidroeléctrica toro 2‘. This is the location of a powerplant and you have to pass the gate to find the trail. We drove our car as close to the gate as we could. We parked on the side of the road and from there we walked up to the gate.

It looks like you’re not supposed to go past the gate, but we saw many local tourists just coming back from the waterfall, some of them with a guide. We therefore decided to follow the directions of my friend and pass the gate on the left. I included a picture of the gate below:

entrance to Quebrada Gata Waterfall

From here you follow the road down the bridge. There is a path going down on the left side of the bridge. Walk down and pass through the hole in the fence and cross underneath the bridge. (So don’t go towards where my friend is standing in the photo, but pass through the hole on the right.)

From here there is a path you can follow. At some point the river splits into two streams and you’ll have to cross it and follow the river that goes to the left. Once you’ve crossed you should be able to find a path again. You follow it, until finally reaching the majestic waterfalls!!

Quebrada Gata Waterfall Quebrada Gata Waterfall

Quebrada gate ended up being my favorite hike and waterfall! The entire hike is stunning and when you finally get to the waterfalls, you’ll be blown away by how majestic they are. You do really need a car to get there, but many people end up renting a car in Costa Rica as it’s the easiest way to get around. So if you have the means to make the trip, definitely put it on your list.

Where to stay?

The waterfall is a 1,5 hour drive from La Fortuna. You can therefore choose to visit it from there or choose to add another stop and stay a bit closer to the waterfall.

Me and my friends stayed in a lovely cabin 30 minutes away from the waterfall called Las Cabañas