One of the most beautiful waterfalls we have visited in Costa Rica are the Nauyaca waterfalls. Hidden in the jungles of Costa Rica, these beautiful waterfalls are a favorite among many visitors as it gives them a spectacular taste of the abundant nature in the country.
There are two ways to get to the waterfalls since it is located on a private property owned by a Costa Rican family. You can hike to the waterfall and pay an entrance fee of $8 or you can go there by horseback on the Nauyaca Waterfalls Horseback Riding Tour, formerly known as Don Lulo’s.
The Nauyaca Waterfalls Horseback Riding Tour
The tour consists of a horseback ride to the waterfall, a morning snack and a delicious lunch.
First everyone meets at the office on Route 243 from the Costanera highway and then drives to the stables down below on a rocky road.
We went with a pretty good sized group of about 25 but I’ve heard they’ve taken groups of nearly 50!
I personally liked the smaller group better since it can get pretty crazy with all those horses in a pack!
The First Part of the Ride
The first half of the ride is about 45 minutes on the trail to Don Lulo’s house where we had breakfast and lunch. They have a mini-zoo with peacocks and we even saw some white face monkeys hanging out.
We enjoyed some fruits, homemade bread and juice for a light breakfast, rested up and got ready for the second half of the ride. After everyone was filled up, we got back on our horses and went on our way for another 30 minutes.
The trail is quite nice with beautiful trees, a river below and lots of birds and butterflies flying around you. The horses keep a nice calm and steady pace, but sometimes they get excited and start trotting a bit which for me, is better than going super slow!
Arriving at the Waterfall
When we got to a clearing, the guide told us we reached the waterfalls so we hopped down and walked to the first waterfall, the top one. The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful! You can’t swim in the upper falls so we walked around a bit and Yeison took some pictures with the drone.
The lower falls is the most amazing part. There is a lovely area with rocks you can sit around or lay out, a nice pool you can swim in or for the more adventurous ones, a section of the waterfall where you can climb up and jump off. With the help of the guides who tied a rope onto the rocks, you can pull yourself up and leap off the side.
We spent about an hour or so lounging around, swimming, enjoying the beautiful scenery and and listening to the sounds of nature around us. The Nauyaca waterfalls is probably the most beautiful waterfall I’ve seen so far in Costa Rica and the horseback ride was a great way to experience it!
We headed back to the house where we were served a typical casado lunch with chicken, rice, beans, salad and tortillas. You can tell it’s good homemade food when you can see the chef rolling out the dough, the chicken roasting and there’s a delicious smell lingering in the air.
The whole experience was wonderful. The horses were lovely, the waterfalls were spectacular, the food was tasty and the guides were fun. The Nauyaca waterfalls horseback riding tour is all operated by a local family and they do a great job with it. They were all so kind and proud for us to explore their little piece of paradise in Costa Rica!
It’s definitely a great tour to take especially if you don’t feel like hiking to the falls. You get to enjoy some beautiful tropical scenery and visit one of the most beloved natural attractions in the country. We’ve also gone horseback riding in Arenal and Turrialba and they’ve all been great experiences so we highly recommend doing one during your trip.
Video of the Tour
Here is the video we took while we were enjoying the tour.
Tips for the Nauyaca Waterfalls Horseback Riding Tour
- Wear hiking sandals or water shoes. You don’t want to be horseback riding in flip flops and the rocks at the waterfall are really slippery. We wore our KEEN sandals and they were perfect
- Use a lot of sunscreen and bring mosquito spray
- You can bring a backpack on the ride so don’t forget your camera and if you want, a towel and change of clothes
- You can change into your swimsuit at the waterfall if you prefer, there are facilities
For more information about the Nauyaca Waterfalls, check out our complete guide including our aerial video!
Need more ideas of things to do in Dominical? Check out Hacienda Baru for wildlife and hiking!
We were guests of the Nauyaca Waterfalls Horseback Riding tour and all thoughts and opinions are our own.