Rainbow Waterfall, which comes from the mountains, is cold. The cold contracts my muscles as soon as I step foot in the water. At 3 p. m. the sun doesn’t reach the swimming hole, so there is no refuge: after the first five steps it’s better to accept the cold, jump in, and let yourself be carried by the deafening sound of this 75-meter (250-foot) waterfall.
Around this cascade, the third of the four Fresh Breeze (Viento Fresco) waterfalls in Tilarán, there is a valley where you can sit and eat a tuna sandwich as you recharge from the tough hike that took you there.
The pool isn’t deep, so children tend to swim here, even going to the waterfall when their parents are near. There are restrooms and a changing area where a dog sleeps. He looks nice, but I didn’t wake him.
Fresh Breeze is a destination where each person decides how they want to experience it. If you want to get some exercise, the amount of rises and falls along the way will make you conscious of every tendon in your body. If you want to take it easy, you can head down to the first waterfall (less than 100 meters from the entrance) and watch the water tumble as you prepare the picnic.
Don’t take anything cumbersome to the third waterfall. You have to walk 400 steep meters to get there. Although the trail seems like it’s right out of an earthquake (one cliff here, another there), the entire path is lined with ropes and plastic railings.
So if you’re going to take something with you, make sure it’s light and you can carry it on your back in order to keep your hands free.
In all there are four waterfalls, each more impressive than the previous; it’s worth the effort to get to the last one, El Tobogán (The Slide). There you can sit upon stones as the water falls on your back. If there aren’t many people around, you can even meditate on a boulder.
A lucky stumble
Asdrúbal Álvarez found the first waterfall by accident after his father, Victor Álvarez, bought the property more than fifteen years ago. Because the land was so rugged, they suspected there might be more waterfalls. They were right.
They decided to create a public access point due to the number of tourists that go to Monteverde, which is 25 kilometers from their place. Ever since this small family business formed, they have incorporated new services like horseback riding and packages that include lunch in their restaurant.
Although many patches of pastureland remain, the family has let the forest regrow. Brush is creeping in and forestland can be seen along many riverbanks.
What to Take:
- Comfortable tennis shoes
- Enough water
- Bathing suit for the swimming hole
- Entrance to the waterfall: $16 for foreigners, ¢3,000 for residents
- Horseback ride: $55 for foreigners, $35 for residents (minimum of two people)
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