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Costa Rica Travel: A Waterfall Hike through the Mountains

Cerro Dantas isn’t for everyone.

Located north of Heredia, Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge is only accessible by trekking 2 km on a road that has long become undriveable — even by the most Costa Rican of standards. Hiking boots and a willingness to get muddy are a must. So, too, is a change of warm clothes, particularly if you’re staying the night.

But the reward is a private reserve so removed from the city that the only noises at night are the wind and the calls of mysterious animals.

Clamber down a 100-meter trail from the Cerro Dantas headquarters and you’ll reach Catarata Velo de Novia (Bridal Veil Waterfall).

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Up for a more intensive hike? Follow the aptly named “Expedition” trail and you’ll soon reach a pair of waterfalls before the journey takes you through the heart of the forest — including one steep descent that is best completed with the help of a permanently attached rope.

Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge
Alejandro Zúñiga / The Tico Times

Warren Calvo Siles, Executive Director, promised the of Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge will soon debut an even more difficult adventure: an all-day hike to the very top of the mountain and back down the other side.

We’ll be sure to visit once it’s open.

How to visit:

Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 12 km north of Heredia, past Monte de la Cruz. Google Maps link. 4WD car with high clearance required to reach end of road before 2 km hike to the entrance. Visitors pay 2,500 colones (about $4.50) to enter and 5,000 colones to stay overnight. More information.

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