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

La Leona Waterfall Costa Rica


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 Catarata la Leona

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


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

Increíbles formaciones de rocas

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


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

Qué incluye el tour?

  • Bolso contra agua: Pequeño bolso contra agua para llevar celulares
  • Baños
  • Chalecos flotadores
  • Guías durante el tour

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


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




Reseñas en Google

Sarah-Maude Pelletier
Sarah-Maude Pelletier
It was very beautiful! I really really love my experience! The guide was very interesting and I felt safe with him! I really recommend you to do this activity, it’s the best adventure I did in Costa Rica!
Veronika Chervenska
Veronika Chervenska
It was a great hike, one of the best experiences we had as a family in Costa Rica (2 adults, 3 kids ages 10 thru 15). Our guides, Vladimir and Victor, were great! We made it to and from the waterfall in about 2 hours, it’ll take more if you’re not an experienced hiker or with a larger group.
Kelly Werner
Kelly Werner
The guides were knowledgeable and made us feel safe. I highly recommend!
Jeanne Collins
Jeanne Collins
Great family experience.
Victor was amazing. I had so much fun. I would recommend this tour to anyone looking for a nice hike with beautiful scenery. Plus cliff jumping. Our guide made our experience that much better. Thank you again Victor.
rick juarbe
rick juarbe
This is a great tour. Guide named Victor was awesome. Get to see and swim in the falls and has a nice hike. Definitely recommend.
Marcelo Yuffe
Marcelo Yuffe
Very beautiful waterfall, especially the way to it. Vladimir was a great and very helpful guide
Stacie Fitzgerald
Stacie Fitzgerald
Absolutely amazing—- the best thing you will do in Costa Rica hands down. The perfect amount of adventure and risk, with a safe guide constantly with you to ensure your experience is perfect. Bring water shoes, wet bag, and your camera!!!! We were here for our 25th wedding anniversary and it was incredible, hiking in the rainforest, a cave, rock formations, rivers, swimming with guide ropes, and of course the waterfall. Victor was a perfect, patient, professional guide. Ask for him!!!
sandra garcia
sandra garcia
An amazing experience with our tour guide Randall. A guide full of energy and positive energy. Made our family of 4 feel extremely special, taking great care of us, we felt safe and well guided making us a priority. Second tour with him as we requested him from the previous tour/ day we had with him. Thank you Randall and Fabricio for coordinating this tour and making it so easy to book. Pura Vida Costa Rica
nancy stewart
nancy stewart
Francisco was the best tour guide I’ve ever had for an outdoor adventure. Not only did he inform me and point out the beautiful trees, rock formations, birds calls , blue morph butterflies, cave bats ( which I then asked not to point out any more because they spook me ! ) He also kept a watch on my every step, hand hold and maneuvering along the trail, over the rocks, crossing the river and handling of the ropes and steps along the way. He was always a step ahead with his hand out to assist and was 100% attentive to my safety. Francisco is highly experienced, well informed, strong, confident & kind as he guided me on this amazing journey on an intermediate level trail. I couldn’t have done it alone. He also took fabulous photos for me along the way.. Last but not least, the adventure to the waterfalls , & the pools and the exquisite beauty was simply Amazing Grace !!! Don’t miss this one 🦋😎 … Thank you, La Leona ~ Francisco & La Leona Waterfall Official Tour Co. Nancy ( Monterey, CA )

Our Tripadvisor Reseñas

  • star rating  We did the self drive waterfall hike/swim with Victor as our guide. It was my favourite activity in Costa Rica. Victor was great, he really took the time to know... read more

    avatar thumb LindaMontreal
    febrero 19, 2023
  • star rating  A must-do! - Can’t miss this excursion if you’re traveling to Costa Rica. La Leona is stunning, and we’re so happy to have chosen La Leona Waterfall Adventure Tour to take us there.... read more

    febrero 19, 2023
  • star rating  Amazing Water Fall Hike - We had an amazing time exploring La Leona waterfall. The nature is absolutely beautiful. Our tour guide, Vladimir, was very informative and ensured we had a safe and comfortable time.

    febrero 18, 2023
  • star rating  La Leona fun for the whole family. Get ready to get wet! - We booked this through our hotel, so we got shuttled to a parking lot then got into 4 wheel drive trucks that took us to the river. We walked along... read more

    febrero 17, 2023
  • star rating  We had an unbelievable first day in Costa Rica on the La Leona Waterfall hike. There was enough challenge for the more adventurous among us and nothing so terrifying... read more

    avatar thumb E979ICrebeccaa
    febrero 15, 2023
  • star rating  Ian was a great guide that knew the area well. He was able to spy some espresso monkeys and was good with navigating all the people.
    My only recommendation... read more

    avatar thumb 364deannew
    febrero 10, 2023
  • star rating  We had a beautiful hiking/swimming adventure led by Vladimir. He made sure that everyone safely enjoyed the river experience. I highly recommend you seek him out when visiting Liberia... read more

    avatar thumb chemat_12
    febrero 7, 2023
  • star rating  6 of us booked a private guided tour in Jan 2023 and we had the most amazing experience. Our two guides - FRANCISCO AND STEVE were simply amazing and... read more

    avatar thumb leatJ7668LT
    febrero 5, 2023
  • star rating  A MUST do if you’re near Liberia. So much fun and very beautiful. The canyon swim and waterfall were spectacular. I tot was a great guide. Highly recommended!

    avatar thumb Tourist45616933212
    febrero 2, 2023
  • star rating  Jeremy was amazing! He was so much fun to have as our guide he taught us all about the trees and even tried to teach us some Spanish! This was... read more

    avatar thumb 350cristinec
    enero 27, 2023

Our Airbnb Experiences Reseñas

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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.