La Leona Waterfall Costa Rica, Everything you need to know!

La Leona Waterfall Costa Rica

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

la leona waterfall costa rica

Where is it located?

La Leona Waterfall is located in the Guancaste province of Costa Rica, only 30 min away from the Guancaste Airport (LIR) and only 20 min before Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park.

Link to location on Google Maps: La Leona Waterfall Official – Catarata La Leona

La Leona Waterfall maps

About the tour

La Leona Waterfall is a 2km hike each way (1.5 miles each way), normally the whole tour takes 3 hours, but, it’s not 3 hours of just hiking, in fact the hike is not too long the thing is that you go across rivers multiple times, go through some incredible ponds, some rock formation and also a canyon before seeing La Leona Waterfall. If you do this tour plan to spend 3 hours to complete the full tour.

The tour is considered a moderate hike, not suited for guests with knee, ankle, walking, or mobility limitations. Remember that this tour is not an easy walk in the park, this is an adventure tour.

La Leona Waterfall

Is it worth visiting?

La Leona Waterfall Adventure Tour on Google Maps has a rating of 5 stars with over 200 reviews and it has been considered by many guests the highlight of their trip in Costa Rica. Don’t believe us? Read the reviews yourself. Click here to read the reviews

La Leona waterfall reviews

Is the parking safe?

The parking area is very safe. The only people allowed to park inside the property are the ones doing tours. The parking lot is a private parking and all of our staff is always there to make sure everything is good, plus the town where we do the tour is called Curubandé and almost 80% of its people makes a living off of tourism so everyone there takes great care of tourists.

Play Video about Parking La Leona Waterfall

La Leona Waterfall Hike

The meeting point to start the tour is in the small town of Curubandé, right in front of the local school. You have to arrive to the office first because that’s the only place where we have facilities: Bathrooms and Water only at the office, once you leave from there, there are no faciltiies and you go straight to the hike. From the office the start of the hike is 10min by car and the road is gravely, only recomended for bigger cars. If you have a smaller car don’t worry because we provide transportation from our office to the start of the hike (in the back of a 4 wheel drive vehicle which is quite adventurous )La Leona Waterfall Costa Rica

The Trail

Once we arrive to the start of the hike we start heading towards río blanco (White river). This River comes from Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and is one of the few that creates the most waterfalls in the area. 

Once we get to there we go across the river multiple times with the water up to our knees in order to reach La Leona Waterfall.  The hike is 2km each way (1.5 miles each way) and it the tour normallt takes 3hrs total there and back

La Leona Waterfall Costa Rica Trail

La Leona Waterfall river crossing

What else do we see?

Along the trail we will go through some caves, canyons and smaller waterfalls before getting to see the main La Leona Waterfall. Sometimes if you are lucky you can find wildlife such as: Monkeys, Birds, Ants…etc. However, this is never guaranteed, wildlife moves around a lot and sometimes we see and sometimes we don’t. 

Caves La Leona Waterfall

caves la leona waterfall

Jumping

Yes, along the way there is an optional jumping part. This is not mandatory in order to get to the main waterfall but, it is fun and a challenge for many people to jump into the pond. Almost before getting to see the main Leona Waterfall we can get off the trail for a little bit to get on top of a 4 meter rock (12 feet high) and jump into the pond. Remember this is 100% optional and it is not neccesary to do it in order to reach the main waterfall. (But it’s fun and you should do it if you can)

jumping la leona waterfall

Incredible Rock Formations

Before seeing La Leona Waterfall we have to go through some amazing rock formations, where the sunlight hits directly into the water and it makes us see this beautiful turquoise blue colors in the water. For these parts if you have basic swimming skills such as paddling, floating or just basic swimming you don’t really need to wear a life jacket for the tour becasue these are very small ponds. Now if you can not swim at all then you must wear a life jacket because some parts you won’t touch the bottom.

rock formations la leona waterfall

The Canyon to La Leona Waterfall

After a 2km (1.5 miles) adventure traversing the river off the beaten path we find La Leona Waterfall. In order to get to see the waterfall we have to go through a canyon holding a rope to get inside the cave and that’s where the waterfall is. Is there another way around it to see the waterfall? The answer is no. You have to hold on to the rope and pull yourself inside the cave with the help of the guides in order to see the waterfall.

Canyon La Leona Waterfall

Canyon La Leona Waterfall

The Guides will help you

Yes I know this part looks challenging but trust me, it is easier than what it looks. Our guides are always here to help and to make the tour as easy and enjoyable as possible. Just enjoy 

The Canyon La leona waterfall

The Canyon La leona waterfall

The Amazing Leona Waterfall

Once you go through the canyon with the rope you get to see La Leona Waterfall. Hidden inside a cave that’s where the waterfall is. There is a shallow area where you will be standing right in front of the waterfall and then if you want to you can swim in the waterfall. People usually stay from 5min to 15min in the waterfall because yes it gets a little chilly sometimes.

la leona waterfall

la leona waterfall

Summary

  • Distance: 2km each way (1.5 miles each way)
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • This tour IS NOT an easy walk in the park, This is an Adventure Tour.

What You Get

  • Dry Bags: To take small belongings to the tour
  • Facilities: Changing rooms and bathrooms
  • Life jackets: If you need them they will be available
  • Tour Guides

What to Bring?

  • Closed toe shoes (no flip flops )
  • (Keens/chacos are okay to wear)
  • Shoes with a good grip
  • Extra clothes to change
  • Extra shoes to change
  • Towels

Location:

 Google Maps “La Leona Waterfall Official – Catarata La Leona”

 

Reviews

 

Our Google Reviews

Our Tripadvisor Reviews

  • star rating  This hike was amazing! Our guide John was very knowledgeable about the wildlife/trees/plants. He was also very helpful during the tricky parts of crossing the river. The waterfall was... read more

    avatar thumb ShanMedina
    November 28, 2022
  • star rating  Well worth it - The waterfall was amazing. The rapids were fun floating down. It was a lovely hike. Victor and Brandy were excellent guides always there to lend a hand.

    TerrilH1
    November 28, 2022
  • star rating  What a fun experience! We happened to go when the water level is high which made getting to the actual waterfall challenging. We had a 6 and 10 year old... read more

    avatar thumb E3272GIchristinem
    November 27, 2022
  • star rating  La Leona Waterfall - We had a great time on this excursion! We went with our two kids (9 and 11). The guides helped them (and me) through the current to get to the... read more

    mcterry0102
    November 27, 2022
  • star rating  The hike and waterfall were amazing. Our guides Victor and Brandy were fantastic, they were super helpful, making sure everyone got thru the water portions and telling us a... read more

    avatar thumb Cindy H
    November 26, 2022
  • star rating  This was a great experience! We did the private leona hike and loved it. Our guide Vladimir was patient and helpful with all five members of our group, which included... read more

    avatar thumb JamieTC171
    November 25, 2022
  • star rating  Challenging but Awesome - Walk along the river on uneven rocks to various pools of water in a gully. See awesome waterfalls. Should be able to swim as current is strong in some areas.

    MichiganCanuck
    November 25, 2022
  • star rating  Must do waterfall hike for the adventurous! - Our group had an amazing time on this hike and definitely was a highlight of our Costa Rican trip!

    Our guides victor & Brandy were awesome. They made sure... read more

    Yvr2019marisam
    November 24, 2022
  • star rating  Don’t miss this experience! - La Leona waterfall hike was possibly our top experience of our entire Costa Rica trip!! Randall was an amazing guide! All our kids and adults agreed - thrilling, fun, and... read more

    814brianm
    November 23, 2022
  • star rating  We had an AMAZING day w/Vladimir and Victor (akaTarzan) They were so fun and when my shoes broke early in the hike ..Victor literally gave me his shoes to wear... read more

    avatar thumb marybethb625
    November 16, 2022

Our Airbnb Experiences Reviews

Catherine
Catherine
27. February, 2022.
we had an amazing day with our Guilde Michael! Everything was just as stated and even better. Michael guided us in a very safe way and since we were patient and walked us carefully. Michael showed us lots of wild and was quick to spot them. we highly recommend this tour! Cathy & Ron
Douglas
Douglas
22. February, 2022.
We booked with Fabricio and it was super simple. Our guides were Michael and Victor who were both amazing. Sweet, kind, helpful and very knowledgeable. It felt like we were hiking with friends. We did so much on costs rica but this was our favorite! We will be back, Pura Vida!
Noah
Noah
21. February, 2022.
Great tour! A relatively short hike to the waterfall and cliff jumping spots. If you’re solid on your feet you will do fine. Ian was an awesome guide, had a great time! Gracias!
Megan
Megan
19. February, 2022.
Amazing tour. Great guys. The place is amazing like from national geographic. I would recommend wearing running shoes. I wore hiking boots. They were too heavy for in the water and didn’t have any mesh so kept all the water inside.
Greg & Cecelia
Greg & Cecelia
18. February, 2022.
Don’t hesitate, awesome day, great hike with Ian and Victor, they had great patience with the pre teens as well as us seniors. It was a challenging hike in but fun and Informative, they were always concerned how everyone was doing and made sure we were aware of obstacles or dangers. Absolutely loved them showing us the ancient lava tubes. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks guys.
Annie
Annie
17. February, 2022.
Wow!! Sometimes you find a hidden gem that just exceeds your expectations immensely and this was one of those moments. Only a 20min drive from Liberia this was one of the best tours we did on our trip. It was unique, felt untouched and got to the heart of what Costa Rica is about. This was a perfect end to our trip and our guide Francisco was exceptional. He told us stories, showed us animals, provided information and was pretty much our personal photographer. He also helped us to learn a bit more Spanish vocabulary. He went above and beyond to give us an amazing, personalised experience.
Xany
Xany
15. February, 2022.
Una de las experiencias más hermosa y divertida que he hecho. Lo recomiendo al (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) vale completamente la pena.
Dylan
Dylan
12. February, 2022.
Fabricio was an excellent guide, and the hike was incredible. The stops along the way were unbelievable. An experience I would HIGHLY recommend!!
Melissa
Melissa
12. February, 2022.
What an unreal experience!! This was so so much fun and different than anything I’ve ever done in Costa Rica. We saw a family of monkeys! The hike wasn’t hard at all and Fabricio was an amazing guide. If you’re still deciding what to do, DO THIS!! Would go back a million times.