There aren’t many times in your life that you get to see a rare occurrence in nature. El Chorro Waterfall is 1 of 7 waterfalls in the world that falls straight into the ocean and it is a sight to see. Located between Montezuma and Tambor, it is a very unique and intriguing site to see. I would suggest trying to get there ASAP because many people start showing up mid-afternoon. El Chorro Waterfall is located right next to Playa Cocalito. Once you’re done viewing the waterfall, you can hang out here for a while. We did see 2 stingrays at the beach there which was a first for me!
This guide is mainly about doing the 4-hour round trip hike from Montezuma to the El Chorro Waterfall. You can also find this waterfall named Cocalito falls. If you are the adventurous type, I would suggest doing this hike rather than taking a taxi close to it. On this journey, you will see many monkeys as well as anteaters and stingrays. We went during the dry season in January but I’m sure the waterfall has a lot more water flowing out of it during the rainy season. I would love to come back and see all these waterfalls during that time period.
How to Get to El Chorro Waterfall
Below is the map for the 2 different routes that you can take for either Montezuma or Tambor if you have a car/taxi.
Montezuma to El Chorro Waterfall
As I said above, this blog will mainly be about the walking route from playa Montezuma to El Chorro Waterfall and Playa Cocalito. Below will be the only couple of options you have to take from Montezuma.
- Hike the Beach Traill: This is a 4-hour hike out & back route. A majority of this hike is on the beach but in some sections, you will be following a trail through the different nature reserve forests. The trailheads are sometimes hard to see so I will do my best in showing you them below. The hike is beautiful and I highly suggest it.
- Taxi to Tango Mar Hotel: You can take a taxi to Tango Mar Hotel. Follow the road past their gate until you see a sign that says, Waterfall Casada. Follow this path for about 10 minutes and you will reach El Chorro Waterfall.
- Horseback Riding to El Chorro: Another way to get to El Chorro Waterfall is very unique by horseback. We saw some people doing this and it looked like a blast. You are for the most part alone on these secluded beaches which makes it such a neat way to get to this waterfall.
Tambor to El Chorro Waterfall
If you are staying in Tambor, Costa Rica during your stay and want to visit El Chorro, then the best way would definitely be to take a taxi to Tango Mar. If you want to do the hike, then you can go to Montezuma but it’s a lot to do. The taxi will be around $10 to the trailhead.
My Suggested Hiking Gear
Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.
- KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
- Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
- Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.
The Hike to El Chorro Waterfall
If you do decide to hike to El Chorro Waterfall, then my suggestion would be to go as early as possible. You don’t want to be walking back in the dark on the beach. Also, the earlier you arrive at the waterfall the less amount of people will be there. This will give you an ample amount of time to hang out at Playa Cocalito and not feel rushed. We started the hike around 1 PM and we got back right as the sun had set, so we were lucky.
So to begin this hike, walk downtown until you see Chico’s Restaurant and take a left. You will be starting on Playa Montezuma to the left. Keep following the beach until you hit an easy-to-spot trail. Walk on this for a few moments. Not too long after you will see a sign that you are entering the area that has Piedra Colorada and Playa Grande.
Immediately after this sign, you will be at a location called Piedra Colorada. This is a very popular place to hang out on the beach and enjoy the warm weather. It is especially famous for an area where everyone stacks a bunch of rocks in. These rocks are super colorful and are only seen in these surrounding areas. When you come, be sure to keep a lookout for some pretty unique rocks and stack some of your own!
If you’re up for a little bit of an adventure, the river cuts this area in half and you can follow it all the way in the back. It’s a pretty cool area that doesn’t seem that far away from everything but at the same time, it does. Once you finish hanging out here for a little bit, you can keep following the path to the top right and begin your trek toward playa grande.
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Between 30-45 minutes into your hike, you will hit Playa Grande. You will have gone through some man-made trails and cool beach path views. This is one of my favorite beaches in all of Costa Rica. If you are here, especially during low tide, you may never want to make your way to El Chorro Waterfall. The beach is massive and I mean massive. In this area we have seen anteaters and plenty of monkeys, so be careful that the monkeys don’t steal anything. Between Piedra Colorada, Playa Grande, and further you will be walking partially inside and along certain nature reserves.
Whenever you walk out of a trail onto a beach while on your way to El Chorro waterfall, keep a lookout to your left for a new trailhead. A couple of times while doing these hikes we missed the trailhead and found it later on. It’s not the biggest deal but it makes for an easier hike. If you started the hike extremely early, you have some time to relax here at playa grande. You will feel like you are all alone on a remote island. I absolutely love this feeling and miss it already.
Once you get to playa grande, it will take you around 30-45 minutes to walk the entirety of it. As you keep walking you will stay consistent with splitting time between walking on the beach and a trail in the jungle. That aspect of this hike is what makes it so remarkable. Keep an eye out for these trails on the left and you will have no problem hiking this. When it is high tide, you are forced to walk on some massive rocks towards the end of it.
As you keep walking for another hour, you will start to see the waterfall in the background. You will be staying on the beach right up until you get to El Chorro Waterfall. As you get to the waterfall you will be at Playa Cocalico. This is a small but beautiful beach. We went and hung out here after exploring the waterfall. The water was extremely rough though as it was late January. I was shocked at how crazy it actually was to have this waterfall fall straight into the ocean.
Thoughts on El Chorro Waterfall
I am so glad we did this hike to El Chorro waterfall. The hike made it so much more worth it and we got to see many different kinds of animals along the way. The waterfall wasn’t flowing as much as I would have liked so come in the rainy season if possible. Even though there were more people than we originally thought there’d be, I’d do this hike in a heartbeat. Seeing the El Chorro waterfall go straight into the ocean is a breathtaking experience that everyone must see.
Below I will show you some of the photos I got at the waterfall as well as some more from along the way. Thank you for reading my guide about hiking to El Chorro Waterfall!