El Salto Waterfalls, Carrizal

El Salto Waterfalls, Carrizal, Alajuela

Such an adventure was going to El Salto Waterfalls. Not Paved roads, coffee farms, and the rainforest need to be going through to get to the Itiquis river where the waterfalls are located.

Getting There

My brother organized alongside some of his coworkers a trip to El Salto Waterfalls. He invited me and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
These waterfalls are famous among the people of Heredia and Alajuela because they are very close to these cities.
One bus trip from these cities to Carrizal is enough to get to the entrance to the river.
But this is not a developed tourist destination, there’s no safe way to get in there. No paved trails or stairs.
The river flows through a very low depression, do not expect flat terrain once you get into the trail that takes you to the waterfalls. You must cross a coffee farm and then a small portion of the rainforest.

Once in the river, you’ll need to walk over some slippery stones to get between the two waterfalls. Wearing the right shoes and going slow is the key to staying safe.
I emphasize you must feel in excellent physical condition before going there, any accident could be fatal, and really hard for the rescue team to get to you.

The waterfalls

But enough with the warnings, this experience will make you feel like the first inhabitants, exploring the terrain and looking for habitable places. Both waterfalls count with ponds deep enough to swim and cliff diving.
About cliff diving, the upper waterfall is way safer to do than the lower one. We found this guy cliff diving there and he told us two friends of his had lost their lives in the lower waterfall.
But the pond in the second one is bigger, swimmers will find this attractive. By the way, the water is cold, very cold. You’ll see locals swimming often, then taking sunbaths in the rocks.

Going back

After swimming for a while and diving into the upper pond, we set up an improvised barbecue and cooked chicken and beef. The river bed gives plenty of space for sitting comfortably. We drank, ate, and chatted.
Around 2:00 PM it was getting cloudy, hence the high possibility of rain in the mountain. Mud avalanches are common in the zone so the only option was to leave asap.
Going uphill required twice times the effort needed to get down. We just went slowly. Getting back to the road took us 15 minutes.
Thanks to my brother for allowing me to join his group for this trip. It was surely a unique experience I would like to repeat.