How to visit Rio Agrio Waterfall at Bajos del Toro Cloud Forest?

Last updated on June 13th, 2019

This place is one of the best-kept secrets. It´s a hidden gem guarantee.

Do you want that we tell you where is this place? It´s located in the beautiful area of Bajos del Toro Cloud Forest.

It´s 1.5 hours (maximum 2 hours)  from San José, it’s a powerful waterfall surrounded by surreal rocks and not far from there are the Blue poles called: Pozas Celestes.

The area where this place is located is near tourists destinations like Poas Volcano. Also, you can drive through here to go to La Fortuna where the Arenal Volcano is located.

The views of the mountains that surrounded the area are stunning. The small village is peaceful and smaller and less touristy than Monteverde you can still appreciate here the beauty of the Cloud Forest.

Getting there:

From San Jose:

To get there you will see signs on the route made by TV satellite antennas.

To clarify the area is full of waterfalls to visit there is another waterfall before the entrance of Rio Agrio called Tesoro Escondido that can confuse you. Read more about Tesoro Escondido.

About Río Agrio and Pozas Celestes Tour:

We found out about this place since became a “social destination”. Everyone on Instagram was posting this gorgeous pictures about the blue pool and this beautiful waterfall.

So the first time that we visited was in 2017. The property belongs to a family from the area of Bajos del Toro and they just opened the business in 2016.

However, they have grown fast because of the visitors especially Costa Ricans that visit the place during the weekends.

So this place is perfect if you are seeking to travel like a local and experiment what locals do.


There is a nice parking lot in front of the restaurant. The entrance fee needs to be paid at the restaurant.

You can do the tour in a combo that means that you pay the entrance to the waterfall and the blue-hole river (Pozas Celeste). They are located in two different properties.

Or just the entrance to the waterfall.

We have visited the place around 4 times with different tourist even a group from Atlanta and even though the trails are muddy, here are their thoughts about the experience:

Dear Rodrigo + Ligia,

Thank you for an amazing excursion day! We were challenged throughout the day – which was a good thing! You both are fun, organized and warmly greeted us! The zip staff were great and even though conditions on the hike were less than ideal- we plowed trough and you encouraged us! Thank you for serving us! – Jill, Mikala + Stuart UMC Team

Usually, we start visiting the waterfall and then when we are back the owners of the property take you by car to the other property where the blue rock pools are.

Trails: There is one trail that takes you all the way to the waterfall.  2 kilometres (1.5 miles) roundtrip the trail is through a cattle field first then in the forest and crossing 2 bridges until you get to amazing rocks in front of the strong waterfall. In the rainy season, it can be really muddy.

Difficulty: Moderate because some parts of the trails are not accessible. Not recommended for pregnant women, people with walking problems, elderly or children under 3 years of age.

Catarata Rio Agrio: “Rio Agrio” means sour river, the reason of the name is because when you get there it gives you a small itchy feeling in your eyes and if you try the water it tastes sour.

The river has an acid pH due to its volcanic origin and has elements such as sulfur, iron, silicon, among others.   DON´T DRINK THE WATER!

The high of the waterfall is about 50 meters tall. (165 ft)

“Posas Celestes” Light-Blue Rock Pools: They are beautiful when we got here we were really impressed to have this beautiful place in our country.

Ligia couldn’t hold her excitement for water and she just jumps to the freezing water.

When you think in Costa Rica you don´t think in cool water with temperatures that are similar to a lake in Michigan in spring. Well that´s it you will get about that temperature in the water.


Entrance fee: 5000 colones about $10

Camping site: They have an outdoor camping area that charge about $5 per person per night.

Parking lot: Free

Food: Usually are casados or fish with fries. A plate is average around $5- $8 per person

What to wear?

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Hiking shoes
  • Rain Jacket
  • Repellent
  • Water and snacks
  • Bathing suit

Insider tip:

  • You don’t need reservations to go there.
  • Make sure to check the weather the day before you visit the area since it is a rainy area this can change the color of the water.
  • Don’t be scared if you don’t see a lot of people on the trails. It’s not that touristy so if you go during a weekday you might have the whole place by yourself. However, the owners are always available for your assistance.
  • Take extra clothes to change, you won´t finish clean for sure!
  • Some snacks wouldn’t be a bad idea.

If you want to check more about the place check their Facebook page: Catarata Rio Agrio

Also, we can help to create a route the includes this place either you are starting or finishing your trip. Hope the information is been useful if you want to ask more about Rio Agrio Waterfall click our travel concierge service to help you more.

We highly recommend this off-the-beaten-path adventure for many reasons but mainly because you will enjoy from a different cloud forest with stunning mountains view and this beautiful blue water! 

Pura Vida!

Posted by Ligia

I´m from the “Pura Vida” country, Costa Rica! My life in a nutshell: Background in Tourism and hotel managment. Married with Rodrigo a wonderful tour guide ;) Lover of cultures, nature and social causes! Full time administrador at Non Profit Children´s Organization in my hometown and part time blogger of Explore Tikizia. Favorite things: Coffee time, travel and Jesus!

Reader interactions

4 Replies to “How to visit Rio Agrio Waterfall at Bajos del Toro Cloud Forest?”

  1. Is it possible to stop and see enough things at Bajos del Toro on a drive from Alajuela to Monteverde? Or is that too much of a rush and not worth it.


    1. Hey Dana, if you like to get up early in the morning and drive to Bajos del Toro and maybe get at Monteverde when it’s dark, I think that worth it. Just for you to know, it will be tiring to drive all that long because it will be many hours of driving through the mountains. Bajos del Toro has many waterfalls that you can visit during this rainy season like Tesoro Escondido, Rio Agrio, and Catarata del Toro. But for some waterfalls like Paraiso de Manantiales that we don’t suggest to visit during the rainy season.

  2. Hello,

    Thank you so much for the really clarified a lot of questions I had with this place!
    Could you pls suggest how many hours I would need to keep for the hike to the waterfall and pozas celestes? Thank you!


    1. Hello Nivedita, its a pleasure and glad that the blog helps you for your trip. About the hike and time that you might expend in both places, it could be around 3 or 4 hours total. It will depend on how much time you spend in each place: taking pictures or swimming in the pozas celestes. Let me know any other question. Regards, Rodrigo

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