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Catarata Uvita: jumping off the waterfall, a butterfly garden & natural pools

If you are in Uvita (Costa Rica) and you want to get away from the heat, then Catarata Uvita is the ideal place to spend the day, cool off in the river or even jump off the waterfall

In this post I tell you how to get to Catarata Uvita, what the waterfall is like, how much is the entrance fee and what you can do around there

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CATARATA UVITA in Puntarenas (Costa Rica)

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Uvita Waterfall is not a spectacular waterfall like Nauyaca (near Dominical) would be, but it is rather small and cozy, and it is perfect to spend the morning or have a picnic.

If you are wondering about transportation, you do not have to worry, since it is very easy to get to the Uvita Waterfall thanks to its central location. Although it is not possible to go to the waterfall itself by car, you can park at the entrance (I tell you everything about transportation below).

Attention: If you have any knee problems, you should know that the descent that reaches the waterfall area is a bit slippery, but it does not harbor any added difficulty.


The waterfall area is surrounded by circular stone walls and there are some improvised stairs that reach the source, from where you can see the views and then, if you are one of the daring, slide like a slide until you reach the water.

A little further down (following the river) there is another small waterfall that ends in a natural pool with turquoise water (be careful if you jump in, because it is a bit deep). Here the current is less strong and you can bathe more calmly.

catarata uvita costa rica cascada mariposario

The river is not wide and not deep at all. Although the advantage is that you can easily sit among the rocks and take advantage of the current to massage your legs and back (although the water is freezing!).

For those who suffer from cold: there are many flat stones large enough to hold a few people and sunbathe or eat something while you warm up after bathing. You can also leave your things there, but I was told that it is better to keep an eye on them.

catarata uvita costa rica cascada mariposario


Next to the entrance there is a small restaurant. You can take the opportunity to eat something if you get hungry, or have a smoothie before leaving.

If you want to make your visit more complete, visit the Uvita butterfly garden. I personally did not go, but in Costa Rica the butterflies are beautiful, and it is worth watching them flapping their wings and learning a little more about these beautiful animals.

I leave you the facebook of the butterfly farm in case you dare.


I had a good time. It is a very natural and pleasant place to escape from more touristic sites (such as the Ballena Marine Park).

The atmosphere is very relaxed and calm and it is perfect to go alone, with friends or with the family (if you have small children you will have to watch them carefully, since they can get hurt).

Tours & activiTIEs In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country but with many incredible places to discover. Its tourism revolves mainly around its nature, fauna and natural landscapes; and for this reason it offers you many different activities to do.

Here you’ll find a list of the trips and activities, so you can enjoy this beautiful country to the fullest:

Ticket Prices and how to get to uvita waterfall

Admission costs 1,000 CRC and is paid at the restaurant at the entrance to the waterfall. If you arrive by motorcycle or car, next to it you will also find a parking lot.

There is no public transportation to the site, but the waterfall is approximately a 20-minute walk from the main highway in Uvita. The path is easy and well marked, so you will not need all the hiking equipment, with flip flops and a swimsuit you will arrive without problems.

How to get to uvita from Dominical

If you are visiting Dominical, it is very common to spend a few days in Uvita as well. The bus that runs along the coastal highway stops in Uvita, and apart from being cheap, it is fast. The bus stops on the road itself, and from there you will have to go to Playa Hermosa.

In this link I explain how to get to Uvita from Dominical and vice versa.

Consejo: es mejor que llegues unos minutos antes a la parada, ya que en Costa Rica los horarios de los autobuses son bastante anárquicos.


If you plan to visit Uvita from San José, you have two options: the bus and the minibus.

– By minibus: this is the most comfortable option, but it is also the most expensive. It is particularly practical, because they pick you up at your hotel in San José and take you to the door of the hotel you have booked in Uvita.

👉 Check out the shuttle prices to Uvita

– The other option is to go by bus. If your main concern is the economic issue, public transport is the best idea, since the ticket is cheap and you do not have to change (the bus is direct). You will find all the indications in this post on how to get to Uvita from San José.

How to get there from Drake Bay

From Drake Bay, the journey becomes somewhat more tedious, longer and heavier, since you will have to take a boat and two buses; but, although it is heavy, it can be done without difficulty. The advantage is that the landscape from the boat is beautiful, since you will see the lagoons and the panorama from the sea.

To make your trip easier, I leave you the instructions to go from Uvita to Drake Bay and vice versa.

Where to stay iN UVITA

I do not recommend that you stay near the waterfall, since it is a bit far from the two main areas of Uvita. These are hotels and hostels that are located in the Marino Ballena park and the accommodations located near the coastal highway (where the bus that goes to Dominical stops).

It is more beautiful and pleasant to stay near Hermosa Beach and Uvita Beach, that is, in the Marino Ballena Park, because you can enjoy the landscape, the sea and watch the sunset every day while drinking a coconut.

In any case, the coastal highway area has the advantage of having several shops and a supermarket where you can buy some food to save money and eat healthy; also, it is closer to the bus stop.

What to do in UVITA

Uvita is a small town, but it is home to some natural wonders that make it worth making a stop and spending a few days here. Next, I will tell you a little about these beautiful places:

MArino Ballena National Park

The Marino Ballena park is the main attraction of Uvita. It is a natural park with a lot of underwater wealth and beautiful beaches, such as Playa Hermosa. You can also enjoy the wooded part, taking a walk along the park’s trails.

If you like animals, Marino Ballena is home to red parrots, crocodiles, iguanas,… and you can take a boat tour to spot whales and dolphins; In addition, it is also allowed to practice scuba diving and snorkeling.

Playa arco

Playa Arco is located within the Marino Ballena Park, although a little far from the central zone of the park. It is a very quiet and relaxed beach, with a little more difficult access, since it is located a few kilometers from Uvita, but it is very much worth visiting.

It is a large beach that is divided into two, which also come together to form a queue (although this one is much smaller). On the first beach there is a waterfall from where you can take a shower with views of the sea; and it communicates with the second by a small grotto that is accessible at low tide.

Playa UVita

Playa Uvita is one of the two main beaches in the Ballena Marine Park. It is a very long beach and, although more people gather in the part where the accommodation is located, if you go a little further you will be completely alone on the beach.

This site is popular not only for its beautiful scenery, but also for surfing. In the area you will find surf shops where you can rent a board (in case you don’t have your own) and, if you are learning, you can ask if they offer courses or know of an instructor who is available.

I hope the information in this post has been useful to you, and that you have a great experience in Uvita!

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