As one of the most memorable places to visit in Costa Rica this huge coffee plantation at Montañas de Cariblanco is one of the most gorgeous. With acres of lush green countryside, you get to explore the landscape and enjoy a breathtaking waterfall at the end. Check it out.
Not far from downtown Santa Ana you will find Montañas de Cariblanco, which is a family-owned coffee plantation. For a small fee, you can hike through their plantation until you reach a beautiful waterfall. The scenery is amazing and your pocket book will thank you.
At a glance: Montañas de Cariblanco coffee plantation
- Ages: All ages welcome
- Cost: $4 for adults and $1.50 for kids
- Duration: 2-3 hours
- Hours: Sat & Sun 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekdays by reservation only
- Difficulty: Medium
- Recommended gear: Umbrella, good hiking shoes, hiking shoes, a good water bottle and lots of water, bug spray
How to get there
Just a short 15-minute drive from Santa Ana, head south towards the mountains on Highway 311. You’ll pass through some quiet neighborhoods as the road starts to get steeper. Follow the narrow windy road until you start to see coffee plants on the hillside. There is a small section right before you park that is a gravel road but it is easily accessible with most cars. You’ll see a grass parking lot on the right just before you cross a river running over the road.
After you park, there is an attendant that you can pay. It’s super affordable at just $4 per person, which we were happy about. There are bathrooms available at the beginning of the hike. The trail is well-marked It zigzags through the coffee plantation about half of the time.
There are a couple of streams that run across the trail in a couple of spots. And towards the end of the trail, it gets much steeper and muddier. But it’s easily traversed. This is a harder trail that will definitely get your blood pumping. Since we had our kids with us, we just took lots of breaks.
As we were hiking, we ran into a gentleman who helps manage the land and trail. He said that this plantation has been in his family for years and they just recently decided to open it up to the public. They have tried to keep the entrance fee low so that everyone can come back time and time again to enjoy this beautiful location.
Tips and tricks
- Hiking shoes – The trail has some steep and slippery parts, so hiking shoes are best, but I hiked it in sandals and it was fine.
- Lunch – You can also order a delicious picnic lunch that you can enjoy on the beautiful grounds near the entrance. Just call ahead for reservations.
- Fruit trees – There was a lime and a couple of other wild fruit trees along the way. We loved trying them out.
- Babies – A baby backpack or front carrier would work best while hiking this trail. We carried our baby the whole way and it was a bit taxing.
- Swimming – The waterfall at the end is pretty deep in the thick jungle. The river isn’t really conducive to swimming.
- Trail markers – As you walk along, you’ll see markers that start with 1 and go up to 5. Once you reach 5, you’ll be to the waterfall in about a 1/4 mile.
I hope this helps you as you plan your next trip to the coffee plantation at Montañas de Cariblanco. This is such a beautiful place and I know you’ll love it as much as we did.
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