The town of Uvita is known for its natural attractions – Playa Hermosa, Playa Uvita, the ‘Whale’s Tail’ sand and rock formation, Parque National Marino Ballena (and the ocean animals like dolphins, humpback whales and sea turtles), and Uvita Waterfall – but there is also an off-the-track cascade with a nature-immersed swim hole that deserves a bit more attention, a great little place for a cool dip on a hot afternoon – plus it has a hidden surprise!

The waterfall and swim hole, raised a few inches by the loose rocky dam.


At just a few meters high, this waterfall is not very imposing – but it makes a proper ruckus. The water chaotically tumbles down several section of the steeply angled rockface. Technically this is not a WATERFALL but a CASCADE, as the water is touching the underlying sloping rock as it tumbles downwards.

Below the cascade a refreshing natural swim hole is enhanced by the locals’ engineering efforts – a low dam, made of loosely stacked rocks, raises the level by a few inches, the swim hole being large enough to accommodate many large families with plenty of room left over. The swim hole ends at Camino El Jardin, the water flowing right over the road surface and continuing down the mountain valley – passing cars turn into wave-machines for the happy children.

View from the top of the cascade. A car can be seen passing over the river, just behind the dam, making waves.
A view of the cascade, the road passing through the river and the rocky riverbed that descends into the valley. Ben can be seen just to the right of the waterfall, attending to RE/MAX business on his phone.

BUT… there is a little secret to this place – a series of natural water pools located away from the road and the happy yells of the visitors below the falling water. A short walk up and over the cascade will bring you to the upper reaches of the river. A calm, quiet and surreal landscape of natural water pools extends as far as the eye can see. The pools are deep, cool and refreshing. In between the pools, small cascades transport the water downriver. A larger cascade can be seen in the distance, but I will leave the descriptions to the explorers willing to venture further upriver!

Upper reaches of the river, just above the main cascade. Additional, smaller cascades and natural pools can be seen.
Upper reaches of the river, above the main cascade.
Upper reaches of the river, above the main cascade – a calm natural pool.
A view from the top of the main cascade, looking down on the road and the swim hole.

The upper parts of the river can be accessed by climbing over the right edge of the cascade and walking a short distance along the upper reaches of the river. The rock presents a series of ‘steps’ so it is not very difficult to get up, but caution is advised as the rocks are wet, loose and slippery.

A path leading over the main cascade. The rocks present many ‘steps’ which makes it convenient for getting across – but be cautious as the rockfaces are wet, loose and slippery.


From the costanera, turn into Calle Uvita, the ‘mountain’ side not the ‘ocean’ side. After about 1km the street name changes to Calle La Faralla, and shortly after you will pass through a very impressive bamboo forest.  At about the 2km mark, make a right turn onto Camino El Jardin. This is where the road can get a bit steep and rough – it is about an 800 meter drive until you reach the little cascade parking area, so in total a more-or-less 2.8km drive once you leave the costanera. On google maps, look for the place name ‘waterfall and hidden natural pools’.

General overview of the cascade location. Source: Google.

The first 2km present a generally well maintained paved and unpaved road sections, initially through the town of Uvita and gradually becoming more and more isolated. The last 800m, along Camino El Jardin, are probably not suitable for 2WD vehicles. There are steep and rutted sections which will present no challenge to a 4WD but most likely will be difficult for a 2WD vehicles to negotiate – especially if wet.

The last road section – Camino El Jardin – leading up to the cascade.

A small parking area before the waterfall and river crossing is the best place to leave your car – though the sides of the road, where it is reasonable wide, can be used as well.

Parking area. The river flowing over the road can be seen to the left of the cars. down in the little valley.


Common sense stuff applies here, but here are a few reminders – never leave any items in your car, especially if they are expensive. Thefts of opportunity happen everywhere! And take care in the water, while the photos were taken during the dry season, the water most definitely becomes raging and agitated after rains – with the access road most likely becoming quite a challenge, even for 4WDs, after downpours or prolonged rainfalls. You definitely do not want to be swept over the access road and into the rocky riverbed on the other side! And take care if you decide to climb to the hidden water pools, be extra cautious as the rocks are wet, slippery and loose.

Imagine having natural attractions like this amazing unnamed waterfall in your back yard – a place to cool off, recharge and touch base with Mother Nature under a surreal surrounding. We can help you make this dream come true – and it is much easier and quicker than you may imagine! Yes, we have properties within a short driving distance from this cascade – visit RE/MAX We Sell Paradise website to view those and other hot properties in our local area: https://www.we-sell-paradise.com

Category: Nature, Tourist Attractions, Waterfalls

- August 3, 2023

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