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Cocalito Waterfalls

Seven kilometers north of Montezuma... the Cocalito Waterfalls empty off a cliff, directly into the saltwater ocean below. Yet another Costa Rican gem - it's the perfect little afternoon getaway...

Cocalito Flower
A White Flower Drifts Calmly Toward the Falls...

Two ways to arrive, you have the choice of either A - a two hour walk (or much shorter - and fun! - horseback ride) along the beach from Montezuma... or B - taking the Tango Mar turnoff, just up the hill after the town of Tambor, on your way to Cobano.

Today, I've opted for the somewhat lesser known option B.

And so...

Let's be off on yet another naturesque trip to the falls...

Map   |    Tango Mar   |    The Jesus Christ Lizard   |    The Falls

A Map to the Cocalito Waterfalls

Just south of Tambor... the following map marks off various points on our journey to the Cocalito Waterfalls. Click on the various markers, and you'll be taken further down the page to learn more...

Cocalito Waterfalls Map Costa Rica Legend The Sign Tango Mar Entrance Halloween Crabs Jesus Lizard Cocalito
  • Click on the markers to learn more...
TICR Maps - Cocalito Waterfalls

Take a Left... to the Tango Mar

Shortly after the town of Tambor, we come to a sign for the Tango Mar, at the very top of the hill. This marks the beginning of our journey to falls...

Cocalito Tango Mar
The Cocalito Waterfalls are Located Next to the Tango Mar Resort

Taking a left then... just as the sign says - the entrance to the Tango Mar is just a short kilometer's drive down the road.

But of course - our destination is the falls.

And so... come the entrance to the Tango Mar, we're going to keep to the path on the right...

Cocalito Turn Right
Take the Roads on the Right

Soon enough, at the very end of the road... we arrive at a small parking lot.

There's a sign to the falls on a tree - as well as some stairs, leading to a path. Let's take it...

Cocalito Parking Gate
The Parking Lot and the Fence at the End of the Path

After the parking lot, it's a brief walk along a path through the forest - a chain-link fence flanking its left side.

Taking it all the way to the end - we come to some wooden posts... somewhat blocking our way.

No worries though... we can easily squeeze around to the left.

Just about there!

At this point in - you can begin to hear the river, as well as the sound of falling water... just a little ways off.

But after a short walk through an opening in the forest - on this particular day...I spotted something bright orange and purple - climbing up a tree...

Cocalito Halloween Crab
Crabs that Climb Trees?

This could only be a Halloween crab.

Every year, after the first few major rainfalls... these little guys pour onto the streets in droves, on their way to the ocean to mate.

Excellent diggers - they spend much of their adult life in burrows, amongst the coastal forests of Costa Rica.

On this particular day in early July... Halloween crabs were everywhere!

Here's another one...

Cocalito Crab in Tree
Just Chilling in a Tree...

Interesting little creatures - aren't they?

Well, back on track now - our destination is fast approaching.

Walking towards the river ahead, it's back into the forest one more time...

Cocalito Forest
We're Just About There...

Lizards that Walk on Water...

So yes - we're just about at the falls now - but I just couldn't resist... a chance encounter with a Jesus Christ Lizard was on hand.

Actually, the freshwater river leading up to the falls, is the perfect environment for them...

Cocalito Jesus Christ Lizard
A Water Walker

Quick, agile creatures - the basilisk (as it's officially known as) can be found throughout Costa Rica, living amongst its freshwater rivers and streams.

They get their other name - the Jesus Lizard... from their unique ability to 'skip' across the water.

Super light-weight, pockets of air trapped below their webbed feet - allow them to displace the water below, as they run.

They can go for about fifteen feet like this.

And even after they finally sink - their tails - equipped with a long rutter-like flap of skin, allow them to swim lightning fast through the water... perfect for escaping predators.

Incredible creatures.

Well, the sound of rushing water's only getting louder now.

To the falls!...

The Cocalito Waterfall

Alas... the river's end is upon us...

Emerging from the forest, high atop a cliff... the end of the river is finally in (or out of!) sight...

Cocalito Arrival
Where Did the River Go?

Way off in the distance - we can see the far north end of Playa Grande - a popular surfing destination - and also, one of several beaches throughout the country where sea turtles come to lay their eggs.

OK, let's reposition, for a better view of the falls.

After crossing the river - please be careful here... it's shallow - but the rocks are slippery - don't get too close to the edge... take your time! - a short descent off to the right, and Cocalito beach is in view...

Cocalito Beach
This is Cocalito Beach

And then - the moment we've been waiting for - back to the left, the Cocalito Waterfalls...

Freshwater Meets Saltwater, Crashing Down from High Above

A beautiful sight indeed, there are few places on earth - where a freshwater river, empties directly in the ocean in the form of a catarata.

From here on in... relax!... take some photos... check out the beach... enjoy! :-)

So this concludes our trek to the Cocalito Waterfalls.

Will see you again soon for another adventure!