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Costa Rica's Ultimate Secret
This is Catarata del Toro


Catarata del Toro. It translates to English, as...

Waterfall of the Bull.

And yes, having visited this incredible Costa Rican wonder - water raging down, crashing violently into a dormant volcanic crater, some 330 feet below...

Catarata del Toro Waterfall
It Rages On, Crashing Violently into a Dormant Volcanic Crater

Its name holds true!

...

A visit to yet another very special and beautiful place, here on the Rich Coast - one that begins near the town of Grecia, about a 40 minute drive from the SJO International Airport...

Please, do come along for the read!








To Catarata del Toro

Up bright and early...

Just in time for a delicious breakfast with friends - perfect view of the Central Valley, in El Cajon de Grecia...

Catarata del Toro Breakfast
Amazing Breakfast with Friends, Overlooking the Central Valley in El Cajon de Grecia

...and very soon enough, we were off once again - another exciting Rich Coast adventure underway!

...

Saying goodbye to our hosts, along with some of the other guests - enjoying the views, up at Casa Blanca...

Catarata del Toro Sarchi
Painting the Giant Carreta in Sarchi

...it was time once again, for explore-mode!

...

En route from Grecia - just 15 minutes to be exact...

We made a stop in Sarchi, a place quite famous here on the Rich Coast - one known especially for its artwork, and its traditional Costa Rican furniture.

Something really interesting here...

Very center of town, right in front of the church - there's an incredibly large oxcart (carreta, as it's known in Spanish). Traditionally, carretas were used to transport coffee from way up in the mountains - down to the port cities below.

And speaking of which...

Catarata del Toro Oxcart
Eloy Alfaro, in Sarchi

Do pay a visit, to the Taller Eloy Alfaro - a workshop, where not only can you see artisans, carefully working away at their creations - but also...

It's where to this very day, the vibrantly-colored carretas of old are still made... machinery in use from the late 1900s - powered by a large waterwheel.

...

Back on the road once again, - next it was up...

Way up!

...on the twisting, turning path through the mountains...

Catarata del Toro Driving
Mountain Driving

A road that some hour and a bit later - would lead us to Costa Rica's ultimate secret...

Catarata del Toro.

And yes, when you drive this way - please, do be careful!

It gets misty at times, making it a bit difficult to see. And also, at a couple points along the way - the road narrows quite a bit, making it possible for only one vehicle to pass through, at a time.

Do take care!

...

After a few of the more Indiana Jones-type moments :-) - driving the road to Catarata del Toro... we eventually arrived in the tiniest of villages - a place called Bajas del Toro, located smack in the middle of a valley.

A great spot to eat - consider taking a break at the Restaurante Tipico Toro Amarillo (The Yellow Bull Restaurant)...

Catarata del Toro Restaurant
Restaurante Tipico Toro Amarillo

No way around it. Their traditional wood-stove cooking, is the best!

Something else...

Just a little ways after the town, heading back up the other side of the mountain...

Catarata del Toro River
A Bright Azul River

You'll cross over an especially unique river.

Bright azul in color - it's something that happens, due to its connection and proximity to the volcano...

Occurring when large amounts of sulfur reside within it.

Do stop and take a look!

...

Wow, we'd come so far.

And just moments away from the entrance to Catarata del Toro - please read on - the adventure continues below...




This is Costa Rica's, Ultimate Secret...

The neatest thing.

Walking through the entrance at Catarata del Toro, out to a large wooden deck area - just meters away from the gorge...

Catarata del Toro Hummingbird
All Sorts of Hummingbirds, Just Beyond the Entrance

It was hummingbirds galore!

Everywhere you looked - all sorts of these colorful little colibris (that's what they're called in Spanish), were zipping about the air - back and forth, flower to feeder.

Catarata del Toro Lookout
A Glimpse of Catarata del Toro

And yes, only a few steps away from the Visitor's Center...

Out, to the very first lookout - at last...

Catarata del Toro, was in full view.

Stunning.

...

But of course, the journey didn't stop here.

Even more adventure to come, next it was onward, to a winding rainforest-flanked path...

Catarata del Toro Rainforest
Be on the Lookout for Monkeys, and Other Wildlife...

...and eventually - down to the crater, below.

Something to keep in mind by the way!

If you decide to make the trek down to the crater - one that can take a couple hours (there and back again), be sure you're in good physical condition.

Especially climbing the stairs on the way back. There are many. It's quite the challenge!

...

Descending the concrete stairs - very end of the path leading out of the rainforest...

Catarata del Toro Poor Man's Umbrella
At the Crater, Under Some Poor Man's Umbrella

Very soon enough, and we had reached the dormant crater...

More than 300 feet below our starting point.

...

But wow!

What an unusual, and interesting place to be.

The vegetation here - so lush, green... and ENORMOUS!

Like something from a Jules Verne novel...

We were especially taken back by just how large the leaves on the Gunnera insignus plants (known famously, as the Poor Man's Umbrella).

Incredibly, these plants are capable of producing leaves that measure up to 6 feet across!

...

But of course...

What really caught our eye, was indeed (and again) - Catarata del Toro itself.

Here it is again - vibrant and breathtaking as ever...

Catarata del Toro
The Magnificent Catarata del Toro

Speechless.

...

And so...

Wrapping up, yet another amazing adventure - here on the Rich Coast, I really hope you enjoyed the read. :-)

Much more to come here at ThisisCostaRica.com...

Pura Vida!