Diamante Waterfall and Cave

Costa Rica has many amazing waterfalls but we know of only one with a secret cave where you can stay the night. Located in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, the Diamante Verde (Green Diamond) are a set of ten waterfalls hidden deep in the jungle. If you’re visiting Manuel Antonio or the Costa Ballena and are looking for something more off-the-beaten path, consider making the trek to Diamante Waterfall.

Very little information is available on how to visit the Diamante Waterfall so we met with the local family that owns the property and had them show us what makes this area of Costa Rica so special. Below we share everything you need to know to plan your visit.

 

Diamante Waterfall and Cave | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Location

The Diamante Waterfall is located in the village of Las Tumbas near Tinamaste. Although this area is just 35 minutes from the beach town of Dominical, the landscape differs widely, with lush, rolling mountains that are sometimes enshrouded in clouds.

Visiting the Diamante Waterfall

Like many waterfalls in Costa Rica, the Diamante Waterfalls are on private property. For safety reasons, the family that owns the land asks that you arrange a guided tour in order to visit. After doing the strenuous hike for ourselves, we can definitely see why that makes sense.

We started our trek up the mountain, following the steep, rocky path. Our guides, Jesse, the son of the family who owns the land, and Sarah, led the way, teaching us about the surrounding forest. We learned that much of the land was still primary rainforest, meaning that it had never been cut down. As we walked among the towering, decades-old trees, we saw wildlife like monkeys and also many types of birds, including a pair of toucans perched in a Guarumo tree.

 

Trail to Diamante Waterfall | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Up, up, up!

 

To break up the intense hike, Jesse would stop and show us different medicinal plants like the somewhat foul-tasting Tres Puntos (Three Points), which sort of foamed in the mouth but was believed to cleanse the liver and treat dysentery and malaria. At another break, we watched as Sarah approached a huge termite nest. She knocked gently on the brown nest, extracting a few of the tiny creatures and then told us that they tasted a lot like carrots while popping one in her mouth. A little unsure, we hesitated and then went for it.

 

Taking up the dare to eat a termite | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Jenn eating a termite. They actually do kind of taste like carrots!

 

After about an hour of hiking almost straight up, we arrived at the farm. Sweet lemons, tangerines, native bananas, sugarcane, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla, mint, holy basil, mustard greens that tasted like wasabi, and many other fruits and vegetables grew amongst the beautiful flowering gladiolas and beehive ginger.

 

Beehive Ginger | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Beehive Ginger, definitely one of Costa Rica’s coolest flowers

 

After learning more about the different plants while gnawing on some raw sugarcane, we continued on to the waterfalls. With ten in total, we couldn’t see all of them in just one day, but got the sense that there was a waterfall for everyone. Some of them were smaller, with big pools good for swimming and relaxing, while others were just the right size for jumping in. Matt was the bravest and joined Jesse to jump from the top of one of the medium sized falls.

Another hour or so of hiking later and we arrived at the main attraction. Behind two twin, 85-foot (26 meter) waterfalls were a few gigantic boulders which formed the base of the cave. Complete with a kitchen, elevated platforms for sleeping, and even bathrooms, this wasn’t any ordinary cave. As we ate lunch, we pictured how serene it must be at night, with candles lit and only the sound of water rushing.

 

Diamante Waterfall | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
One of the two falls with a glimpse of the cave in background

 

Diamante Waterfall Cave | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Walking behind the falls and into the cave

 

Sleeping in a Cave at Diamante Waterfall | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Platforms for beds

 

For the last part of the tour, we hiked to the top of the tallest waterfall. It was a bit scary to be looking over the edge, about 600 feet (183 meters) up, but the view of the surrounding hills was spectacular. We could even see the ocean in the distance through the light mist.

 

View from the Top of Diamante Waterfall | Two Weeks in Costa Rica 

The Diamante Waterfall was one of the most amazing sights we’ve ever seen in Costa Rica. Not only were the waterfalls themselves spectacular, but the cave was unforgettable. We’re hoping to make it back soon and stay overnight for the whole experience.

 

[box]

Tips for Planning Your Visit to the Diamante Waterfall

 

  • Can I Visit On My Own? When planning our visit, we had read an old blog post that said it was possible to visit on your own without a tour. This is not the case anymore and you now have to go on a guided tour. Trust us that you wouldn’t want to try it on your own anyway. This is a very remote area, conditions are rough, and it’s very easy to get lost.
  • Booking a Tour: We would love to help you book this tour. Just send us an email at bookings(at)twoweeksincostarica(dot)com and we’ll get back to you with the different options for packages available. Booking your tour through us costs the same and helps support our website! Please note that we need at least a few days advance notice to make the arrangements. 
  • Trail Conditions: This was a strenuous, 2.5 hour hike up along a mix of loose gravel, slippery clay, and earthen stairs. Your best bet for footwear is hiking boots or rubber boots.
  • What to Bring: Rain coat; insect repellent; bathing suit; towel; flashlight/headlamp if staying overnight; and plenty of water (the beginning of the trail is exposed to the sun).

[/box]

 

Check out our short video of the Diamante Waterfall and cave.

What’s the strangest place you’ve ever stayed when traveling? Would you sleep in a cave?

 

Related Posts

Pumas at La Paz Waterfall Gardens
La Paz Waterfall Gardens: Wildlife Up Close
A Catamaran Cruise in Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio Catamaran Cruise
Hanging Bridge at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
The Famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Wilson Botanical Garden in Costa Rica
Wilson Botanical Garden at Las Cruces Biological Station

75 Comments

  1. This looks SOOOOOOO COOOL! Wow it would be awesome to stay there overnight (except for the chance of seeing or coming into contact with, say… tarantulas!)… so beautiful! Good for Matt for jumping off one!

    1. The hike alone is worth the trip. The scenery was amazing and it was really interesting to learn more about the rainforest. We thought we knew a lot already but learned so much more about the plants. The farm and garden were just beautiful!

  2. This place looks incredible but the termite consumption? Eeek! Love the beehive ginger, its look matches its name exactly!

    The strangest place was in Costa Rica-Isla Chira. It was a rustic eco-lodge run by an indigenous tribe there. However, the walls weren’t attached to the roof, and the place was infested with mutant size grasshoppers. Worst night ever 🙂

    1. Sounds like an adventure, Julie. Lots of mutant size grasshoppers in Costa Rica, lol! We’ve heard a little about Isla Chira. Was the indigenous group you stayed with also the women’s association that is involved in ecotourism there?

  3. Hello Jen and Matt, almost like you, I came to CR 18 years ago on vacation and I just couldn’t go back home and permanantly made CR my home. Just recently I heard of this Diamante Watercall and gogether with my firend, a guide, (we’re both hikers) would love to go to the waterfall. However him being a guide and we try to give back to the community as much as possible, would like to do the hike up with a local guide not a tour company. Do you happen to kno of anyone in the area?

    1. Hi Janick, Diamante is awesome, you should definitely check it out. The people that took us up are actually the owners of the land where the waterfalls are. They’re local Ticos and own a very small tour company so by going through them, you would definitely be giving back to the local community. We can email you their info.

  4. Hi Matt and Jen,
    This sounds amazing. We are planning a family trip to Costa Rica this summer. My husband and I will be traveling with our 2 sons, 11 and 12 years old. I have two questions about the Diamante Waterfall hike/cave. 1) Do you think the hike is safe for older kids (both very athletic)? and 2) have you stayed overnight in the cave yet, or heard from anyone who has? We’d really like to hear first-hand from someone who has, especially about the bug situation.

    1. Hi Edie, The hike is tough but we think it would be fine for older kids who are used to hiking. We haven’t personally stayed overnight in the cave, we only did the day hike, but the people who own the property told us it doesn’t get buggy behind the cave. You could always get a bug net/tent–something like this–to bring if you’re worried; that would keep everything out. Have a great trip. Your boys are going to love Costa Rica!

  5. Hello Jen and Matt, my fiance and I are spending a week in Manuel Antonio and have booked a tour to hike Diamante Falls. We will not be renting a car while spending time in Costa Rica, however it seems difficult to get to Diamante Falls from Manuel Antonio. Are there any inexpensive options you can recommend? I can see that the public bus will take us only so far along the main road, however, there is no bus that goes all the way there.

    Any information is appreciated!

    Manny & Karl

    1. Hi Manny, What you have found is true. You could take the Quepos to San Isidro bus and get dropped off at the road to Las Tumbas. That would work but is a long trip. I would check with the company you booked through to see if they can come pick you up from there as it’s not very far away. If you had booked through us, we could help more with some of our contacts but that is a good place to start. Otherwise, you could always rent a car for just the day for around $50 through our discount (you can just get a regular sedan and don’t need 4×4). This will be much faster and convenient since the Diamante hike is a full day. Hope that helps!

  6. Hi,

    Thank you for your advice. You are right that the bus and taxi route would cause for a long trip, especially when the tour starts at 8:30 AM. We took your advice and chose to rent a car for a three days to explore the surrounding areas of Manuel Antonio. We compared the link you sent vs no discount and the difference was a savings of $1.66, does this sounds about right to you?

    Thanks again for the advice,

    Manny & Karl

    1. Yes if that’s what it says, then it’s right. There are blackout dates when the discount doesn’t apply and sometimes Adobe runs promotions on their website, especially if you are renting last minute. The discount also varies by time of year, type of car, length of rental, etc. Since your rental is only three days that could be why.

  7. We are visiting Costa Rica in March and would love to find a clean but inexpensive place that could accommodate our family of 5. Do you have any recommendations? Possibly we might stay in the cave if it is available and not too expensive. Can you send me information on who I might contact about the hike and overnight stay? Many thanks, Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine, We can send you an email later today with the details about the hike and overnight in the cave. If you decide not to do that, there are some options for affordable lodging in Dominical. Our Costa Ballena post has some ideas – Villas Rio Mar may be a good fit for your family.

  8. Hi Jenn and Matt,

    I’ll be visiting CR in July, and reading your post on Diamante Falls, I’m very interested in living this adventure with my 3 kids. Can you provide me with more information on the overnight stay?

    Thanks!

  9. Hola, from Canada! My family of four are planning for two weeks in Costa Rica and have planned for a 3 night stay in Manuel Antonio (near the end of our trip). Other than visiting the National Park, I was just wondering what you’d recommend for area visits? We’re looking for educational and authentic experiences. The hike to Diamante Waterfall and Cave looks fantastic, but we’re wondering if you’d recommend this over other activities in the area? We only have a short duration of time (2.5 days). Can you send more information? Gracias!

    1. The Diamanté is certainly one of the most unique tours and is very authentic since its run by a local family and is located in a rural area. It is a little far from Manuel Antonio, though (about a 1.5 hr drive). Other ideas for authentic and educational activities are Los Campesinos Reserve (see our post Off the Beaten Path Things to Do Near Manuel Antonio) or you may enjoy a boat or kayak tour to the mangroves of Isla Damas. We know of a great guide who is a biologist so very knowledgeable about the animals and birds you will see, plus there is a cultural element as the tour ends with a traditional meal prepared by the owner’s family. Let us know if you would like more information about that or the Diamanté hike. We’d be happy to help you with the booking.

    1. Hi Blake,
      Sorry that some time has passed since you commented. If you are still trying to figure out a tour to the Diamante, let us know and we will send an email to you with some details.

  10. Hello – we are also trying to figure out how to book the overnight stay in the cave at Diamante Falls. Do you still have information on this? It seems like it is difficult to find information on how to arrange this. Thank you!

  11. My husband and I stayed in the cave for several days back in 09 on our honeymoon. The photos we took were lost and we’ve always wanted to return to this magical place. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we’d love to return. ?Nikki&Jeremy

  12. Hello, after reading about this I am interested to hear more about what the camping option would look like. Do you have contact information for who I could contact? Thanks!

  13. Hello. My girlfriend and I love waterfalls and are currently in Montezuma. Heading to uvita in less than a week. Would love to make a stopover at this place. Can you send me information on how to book this place. Would be very much appreciated. Thanks

  14. I too would love camping trip information whenever you get a moment :)! We are planning our second trip Nov/Dec time frame! THANK YOU for all your fantastic information it was a life saver for our first trip 2 years ago! Can’t wait to explore the Southern Region this time!!

  15. It seems like a lot of places in Costa Rica require you to have a guide. This is such a huge bummer for budget travelers and people who are more than capable of following a path or river and using a map and compass. I’m going to CR in a week, and I’m hoping to go on as many free(ish) hikes as possible. I’ll be spending most of my time on the Osa Peninsula. Do you have any suggestions for places to hike around that area? Your blog about the Cloudbridge Reserve and Quetzal park was exactly what I was looking for. My trip is going to be amazing thanks to your blog. What’s your favorite hike that does not require lots of $$$ and guides? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Monica, Some hikes, like the Diamante, are on private property. So it’s not like in a lot of places (e.g., the US) where all of the hiking is in national parks. The trail at the Diamante actually isn’t super easy to follow and it’s literally in the middle of nowhere in the rainforest so a guide is really needed. Costa Rica has a lot of national parks and reserves where you just have to pay the entrance fee and can go by yourself. Around the Osa, if you go to Corcovado National Park, you need a guide (this is due to the fact that people were getting hurt hiking there by themselves because conditions are so extreme). If you’re going to Drake Bay, though, you could do the long hike to Playa San Josecito o your own. There are also some trails/roads around town.

  16. Hello Jenn and Matt, Thanks for the info!! I’m planning a trip for my family of four, all adults now, and would greatly appreciate booking info for Diamante waterfall tour, including an overnight stay in the cave. It’s hard to tell for sure from the video, but does the cave accommodate four people?

  17. Hi Jenn & Matt,
    We are headed to CR and are seeking off the beaten path adventures like this one. We are 3 adults and would greatly appreciate info on how to book the waterfall tour with the overnight cave stay. Thank you!

  18. Hi Jenn and Matt, I too would like information on the waterfall hike and overnight cave stay. I also want to say I really enjoy your blog, I always take a peak before our winter trip to Costa Rica. This year will be number 6! Cheers.

  19. Hi, wow very great website with good information. Thank you! We are coming to CR in December/January.
    We are travelling with our 4 year old son. Is it possible to stay the night at the cave with a kid? And do you have some more information like prices? Thank you in advance! Best wishes! Nanda

    1. Hi Nanda, Thanks for your interest, but unfortunately, the tour company that owns the cave has a minimum age of 5 years, due to the difficulty of the hike. So you’ll have to come back in a year or so 🙂

  20. Hi, excellent site guys! Going to CR in Dec/Jan and spending a few days in Ojochal before Osa. Would appreciate contact details for the Diamond Falls. Thanks in advance!

  21. Hi guys,
    Thanks so much for the info on Diamante Waterfall and cave. We are going to CR end of June/ beginning of July 2019 and are very interested in staying the night in the cave. Could you please send us some information about this? We are a family of 5 (kids range from 10 to 15) and there could possibly be a few friends in our group as well. How many people will the cave sleep?
    Any info is greatly appreciated!
    Thanks so much,
    Rochelle

    1. Hi Rochelle, The cave can hold up to 30 people so plenty of room for your group. We sent you some info about overnight visits the other day. Just reply to that email if you’d like to schedule a tour and we can help with the arrangements.

  22. Great site guys! We are planning a trip for this weekend and have been reading your posts for hours now. Out of the many options, this seems like a great off-the-beaten-path adventure! Is it still possible to sleep in the cave? Can you provide details for reservations?

    1. Hi Inigo, Thanks for your comment. We sent you some info about overnight visits to the cave the other day. Just reply to that email if you’d like to schedule a tour and we can help with the arrangements.

  23. Hello !
    First of all, your blog is amazing ! We are going to Costa Rica for 3 weeks with our 6 months old daugther. Our baby is use to hiking and I was wondering if it would be possible to do the diamante waterfall with our baby in a backpack carrier ? This place look fantastic and we would love to see it !
    Thank you so much for your blog it did help us a lot for planning our trip !

  24. Hi, I would be interested in receiving more information on doing this hike in Diamante or going through a guided tour. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

  25. hi Im interested in recieving more info about hike, the cave and the tour. how much it cost, how long it takes to hike it and everything. I have been living in costa rica for 6 years and I have never hike it yet. my plan is to hike it with my brother who is comming to visit at the end of the month for 12 days. thanks.

  26. Hello, my husband and I will be visiting the area in February and would like to put this tour on our list. Please send more information. Thank you.

  27. Hi – me and a group of friends are visiting Costa Rica for the first time in a few weeks and are looking to get more information about this hike. It looks amazing. Would you be able to send me more detailed info? Thanks!

  28. Hi, I just wanted to say I love your blog and have used it as a reference many times my 7 months in CR, also the car discount. I am interested in going to these caves to stay the night with my family. Could I get more info?

    Thanks,

    Holly

  29. Hello! We will be visiting Costa Rica for the 2nd time next november and since I have researching this trip, I keep coming back around your blog for info! Thank you for your great work, the blog is very informative and just enough off the beaten path for us.

    Our itinerary will be Sanchiri for 2 nights (Irazu, Turriabalda, Orosi), San Gerardo da Dota for 3 nights (thank you for the inspiration for this area!) then Uvita for 8 nights.

    This waterfall seems like the kind of hiking we would love to do with our kids, 7 and 9 and great walkers, and my mom and aunt. Is there a price per person or is it a fee per day for the group?

    We also would love to do a day trip from Uvita to Corcovado National Park, would you have any recommendations for a guide with a boat? We would even consider an overnight camping stay if we can find something at a reasonable price. And adding a bit of snorkeling at Isla del Cano on our way back would be the cherry on the sunday, but way too much for a single day!

    Thank you again for your input!

    1. Hi Stacey,

      That looks like a great itinerary! Glad that our site has been helpful with your planning.

      The Diamante hike is a per person charge but if all 6 of you wanted to go, we may be able to get you a small discount. There is a different rate for children. We will send more details about the guided tour by email now.

      We don’t know of any overnight options for Corcovado from Uvita but do know of a great day trip. We’ll include that in the email as well. Snorkeling at Cano probably won’t be good that time of year since it is rainy season so we’d skip that. More info coming your way soon!

  30. Would love to see about doing overnight camping at Diamonte Waterfalls. Looking to come to CR in mid-December, 2 adults. Can you help us with putting together itinerary and send prices?

    Thank you,

    Diane Clark

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.