Some of the most amazing tourists attractions in Costa Rica are closer than you might think. Verde Malakita is an unforgettable waterfall that is less than an hour from San Jose. This hidden oasis is one stop on your vacation that you won’t soon forget. Here’s everything you need to know.
During our two-month stay in Costa Rica, our family of seven were always looking for fun day trips that were close to San Jose. My Costa Rican friend recommended this waterfall to us and it was completely unforgettable. And best of all, it didn’t cost a fortune and we were able to bring our entire family (even the baby). Check it out.
At a glance: Verde Malakita
- Ages: All ages welcome
- Cost: $6 per person (kids ages 5 and younger are free)
- Duration: 10-minute hike then lots of play time
- Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open every day)
- Contact information: Phone: +506 8391 7918 Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.facebook.com/verdemalakita
- Recommended gear: Umbrella, good hiking shoes, lots of water, bug spray, water shoes, waterproof phone pouch
How to get to to the waterfall
Located conveniently less than an hour outside of San Jose, head west towards Jaco on route 27. At kilometer 41, take the Escobal detour which is 9 kilometers after the third toll in Atenas. Follow the San Pablo de Turrubares route for about 10 minutes. Turn right when you see a sign that says Verde Malakita. You will follow a windy gravel road until you reach the entrance. You can park off the left right before the entrance.
A little bit about the waterfall
Visiting this rural tourist attraction is more than just seeing a waterfall. The owner of the land, Charlie, has created an entire experience complete with an authentic Costa Rican Soda restaurant, swings, meandering trails, trout pond, picnic tables and lots of exotic animals. Although we never ate at the restaurant, I have heard good things about it. Charlie was super friendly and spoke a little bit of English as well. He helped us navigate the area before we got started.
Tips and tricks to visiting Verde Malakita
- Trail: Follow the signs that say “Sendero 1”, they will lead you straight to the waterfall
- Ropes: Take advantage of the ropes that are available. There is a steep climb down right before the waterfall.
- Cash: Bring cash to pay the entrance fee since they don’t accept cards
- Babies: They welcome kids of all ages. Just be careful getting to the waterfall. It can be slippery and tricky.
- Rope swing: There is a rope swing hanging to the right of the waterfall. Just climb the outcropping of rocks behind the rope and use a stick to grab the rope.
- Outside food: We brought some food for lunch in a bag and ate it next to the waterfall. The owner never asked us if we had outside food so we figured it was okay. We just made sure we cleaned up after ourselves.
- Water shoes: Some water shoes would have been nice since there are lots of rocks around before you enter the water. But they’re not totally necessary.
- Water proof phone pouch: I used this when we were swimming and climbing around the waterfall and I got some great pictures.
- Ants: There were quite a few ants crawling around where we left all our gear while swimming. You could spray your gear with bug spray or just shake the ants off when you leave.
We visited the waterfall during the rainy season in June on a Monday and there was no one there the entire time. The place was completely quiet and serene. We were worried that the water would be to high because of the rain but it was totally fine.
If you have the time, I would highly recommend exploring the rest of the grounds after the waterfall. There is a second smaller waterfall and lots of little pools that you can take a dip in. Plus, there’s a trail (sendero 2) that you can follow that offers spectacular views of the rainforest. It’s a gorgeous area.
We absolutely loved our visit. It’s a hidden gem that is so close to downtown Costa Rica. Many times it gets missed by tourists because people are headed to other well-known attractions farther away. But it is well worth the stop. Plus, it’s super affordable! For only $6 per person, we will gladly go back there again.
Here’s a little video I made of our experience. Check it out! We hope you have an unforgettable trip to Costa Rica. Let us know how it goes in the comments below. Pura Vida!
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