A Hidden Beauty in Costa Rica

January 24, 2015

Did I just enter Alice in Wonderland? I stared at La Cangreja Waterfall, awestruck at its natural beauty. The water was blue-green, and was fed by a large white waterfall that made a gushing yet soothing sound as it fell.

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I had just hiked for two hours in Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and this was the absolute perfect place to relax.

I took off my sneakers and jumped right in. The water was freezing, almost to the point where it was hard to breathe. But after a few moments, the water felt refreshing and relaxing.

I walked through the water about halfway to the waterfall, when it suddenly became too deep to touch the bottom. The roar of the falls became louder as I swam towards it to the other side.

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Moss covered rocks and long, jungle-like branches that made me feel like I was in Tarzan were behind the waterfall, quite conveniently. I hoisted myself up and slowly made my way to the area behind the waterfall.

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I stared at the falls with this new perspective, amazed that something like this existed. It looked untouched, there was no garbage, or graffiti, or anything that would have marked that other people had been there dozens of times a day.

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Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Northeast of Liberia, is a less known and less touristy park than Arenal Volcano. There are four trails that are available for hiking, although, the hike to the crater of the volcano is currently closed due to volcanic activity (eek!). I did two of the hikes. The other one I did was the Las Pailas loop, where I saw fumaroles, boiling mud pots, a lagoon, and a mud volcano. It’s $15 (USD) to enter the park, and is definitely worth the price. 

The park is a bit difficult to get to, which may be the reason that it is not very touristy. However, it is very, very beautiful, and a must-do for those adventurers who seek lesser known areas.

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