Los Chorros Waterfalls: Grecia’s Natural Jets

Many of Costa Rica’s natural wonders are hidden among remote tangles of jungle or at the end of long dirt roads. But sometimes these magnificent attractions are sitting right in front of us. Such is the case with Los Chorros Waterfalls. This pair of gushing waterfalls is located just 15 minutes from the busy Central Valley town of Grecia and only 30 minutes from the international airport near San Jose. In this post, we’ll give you all the details you need to find and enjoy this local favorite.

 

Los Chorros Waterfall, Grecia, Costa Rica

About Los Chorros Waterfalls

Los Chorros Waterfalls are located between the small towns of Chilamate and Tacares, just southeast of Grecia. They sit in the Los Chorros Municipal Recreation Park (Parque Recreativo Municipal Los Chorros). This park protects a sizable swath of jungle in what is otherwise an area full of farm fields and pastures. It also serves as an important drinking water source for nearby towns like Atenas.

Translating to “the Jets,” Los Chorros gets its name from the many small but strong streams of water that pour from the hillside and rocks. The pipes that carry this naturally pressurized water to neighboring towns can be seen along the trail, but the real attraction here are the waterfalls.

There are two large waterfalls, Catarata Zamora and Catarata Prendas. During our visit, we were able to reach only the first one, Zamora. This magnificent cascade hurls water from about 40 meters (130 feet) above into the pool in front of you. The power is so forceful that a misty breeze hits you right in the face when you approach. Normally a short hike along the riverbed brings you to Catarata Prendas, a similar sized fall, but the water level was too high when we visited to pass safely.

Getting to the Waterfalls

Accessing the first waterfall is an easy 15-20 minute hike. At the main road there is a parking area ($4) where an attendant will show you which way to go. You will descend a steep, but well maintained, private dirt road and have to walk for about 5-10 minutes before you see the actual trailhead on the left (marked with a small sign). From there, the trail is fairly flat, meandering through a cut field and into the thick jungle.

 

Trail to Los Chorros Waterfalls

 

Once you enter the jungle, another attendant will collect the park fee ($6 foreigners, ₡2,000 residents). The trail continues on relatively flat but can get slippery because of rocks and tree roots. There are also a few muddy steps along the way, but nothing too difficult. After another 5 minutes or so, you will see the river on your right and the trail will open into a picnic area.

 

River at Los Chorros Waterfalls

A Great Place to Picnic

Weekends and holidays are a time when family and friends get together in Costa Rica. Often, that means bringing the gathering to a place like Los Chorros Waterfalls. Shortly before the first waterfall, there is a large semi-cleared area with a dozen or so picnic tables. The nearby pool that forms in front of the Zamora fall is great for wading and the banks of the stream is a favorite place for kids to explore. There is even a small hanging bridge over the river and some very basic bathroom facilities and changing rooms. Locals are known to hang out in spots like this for most of the day, especially on weekends. They bring along everything from coolers and fold out tables to chairs and hammocks.

Although you could easily visit in about an hour, we recommend hanging out like the locals and enjoying the sheer beauty of the waterfall and surrounding forest.

 

Pack a lunch for your visit to Los Chorros Waterfalls

Directions to Los Chorros Waterfalls

The easiest way to find Los Chorros Waterfalls is from the town of Tacares. From Route 118, turn onto Route 722 (near the church) going east into Tacares. At the next intersection (grocery store on your left), continue on the road that goes up the hill, keeping the grocery store on your left. Follow this road for about 5 minutes, passing some sugar cane fields. At the crest of the next hill, right as the road curves sharply to the left, there is a parking area on the right hand side. Park in the field and ask the attendant to point you in the direction of the trail.

What to Bring

  • Bathing Suit & Towel
  • Insect Repellant
  • Sturdy Shoes
  • Picnic Lunch

The Chorros Waterfalls are one of Costa Rica’s easiest to access falls. We really enjoyed spending some time at the waterfalls with the locals and can’t wait to go back to see the second waterfall that we missed.

Los Chorros Waterfalls near Grecia, Costa Rica

Have you experienced “the Jets” near Grecia? Let us know about your visit below.

Looking for more info on this area of Costa Rica? Check out these posts:

 

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20 Comments

  1. I love your blogs, but this one in particular was perfect for us. I just booked our third trip to Costa Rica in one year, and we will have a free day in the Alajuela area. I wasn’t sure what to do there until I read this. I think a day with “the jets” will be part of our itinerary. Thanks.

    1. Hi Leann, We don’t think you can take the public bus there because it is on a fairly remote road. Your best bet is probably to rent a car or take a taxi. You will probably want a car for your time in Atenas anyway since it is more spread out. The rental car company we work with, Adobe, recently opened an office in Grecia so you could rent for a few days from there if you wanted to. Here is the link to our page with more info: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/costa-rica-rental-car-discount/. Otherwise, Atenas isn’t too far from Grecia so a cab shouldn’t be too much.

      1. I have been here a few times. In2012, I took a tuasa bus from alujuala. It drops you off right by the parking lot. Just ask for the line to los chorros. I think the line was called carillos. The bus was like a dollar or two.

      1. Visited Los Chorros yesterday. It was amazing! Best day so far in the valley (other than Cleveland winning an NBA championship (Go Cava!)). We hiked over to the second falls. It was actually bigger but not as beautiful as the first. Your directions helped immensely since our GPS didn’t take us all the way. We followed it up with a trip to Sarchi. Great town. Thanks.

  2. I am planning to be in Costa Rica in the Heredia area with a group of young people in July. I hear that’s the rainy season. Are the waterfalls worth going to in the rainy season? Do you recommend any other sites/places to visit during the rainy season?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Jenny, Waterfalls in the rainy season tend to be much bigger because of the extra rain. This can be good because some waterfalls dry up in the dry season because of a lack of water, but sometimes not so good as some falls become difficult to visit safely after a major storm. We haven’t visited Los Chorros after a lot of rain, but as long as it hasn’t rained super hard in the hours before you want to visit, it would probably be fine.

      For other things to do out of Heredia, you could look at our Atenas post, which isn’t too far away. Coffee tours are still fun in the rain. Exploring the museums and Central Market in downtown San Jose would be good too because they are indoors. For adventure tours, whitewater rafting is even more fun in the rainy season when the rivers are fuller. Hope that gives you some ideas.

  3. Hola! We went to Los Chorros today and it was AWESOME! Got to swim, realx and enjoy our picnic in the river. Thank you so much for your always excellent recommandations.

  4. Hi Jenn and Matt,
    Love your blog and have read it a ton since we’ve been living in Atenas for 8 months now. We visited Los Chorros a few days ago, and I thought I’d let you know the access has now changed. Officially it is “closed”, at least the municipal/public access. The way to visit now seems to be with a guy (Luis) who provides access via his private property, just a bit further on the same road. Google maps has his location if you search for it. He has space for parking and points you to the trail down. We actually didn’t make it all the way down to the river and falls, just to a viewpoint for a few different reasons. Unfortunately one of those reasons was that on the way down we passed a couple who had just been down there and had ALL of there valuables robbed! Passport, phones, keys, cash, etc. We know not to take valuables to a place like that, but still, what a terrible experience for them. A reminder to be savvy at all times about valuables! Anyway wanted to let you know about the change of status/access to this activity in case you want to add any note to your post.

    1. Hi Lucas, Thanks for the info. That’s too bad about those people getting robbed, yikes 🙁 I’m not sure if access has changed based on what you said or not. The map pinpoint we have to the municipal access wasn’t really a public access point before. It was just a guy who has a lot and guarded your car. Not sure if his name was Luis… Anyway, thanks for the heads up! We will have to get back there soon to check it out again and see what has changed.

  5. Hey Jenn and Matt ! We just visited Los Chorros and had a great hike ! Access to parking is the house just to the right of the closed (and chained off) municipal park entrance. We had no problems and the attendants at the lot were very nice, friendly and informative. Thank you for this wonderful site which is a great resource for anyone visiting CR. My fiancée and I are on our 3rd trip to CR and any town, hike, restaurant, hotel or car rental advice we took from your site was spot on. Thanks again !

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