Llanos de Cortes waterfall
This is a perfect destination for families with children.
One, it’s cheap. It will cost you only 4 US DOLLARS to park, and there is a nice attendant who watches the cars.
It’s an easy 10 minute walk down to the waterfall. I actually did it wearing flip flops and carrying my 6-month-old. The waterfall itself is stunning! The water is shallow and there is no undercurrent so it’s safe for children to swim. You can actually swim right up to the waterfall (at the base it is probably 6-8 feet deep) and even climb behind it. (Careful, the rocks are covered in moss and slippery).
It’s approximately a 30 minute drive east from Liberia, so it’s the perfect way to break up the trip to the Arenal Volcano area.
We got to see monkeys hanging out in the trees above us, and the locals are friendly. There is a food vendor down at the bottom (I’d assume cash only). We had already eaten but it smelled wonderful.
A few things to note: Getting to Llanos de Cortes can be a bit tricky. There is no obvious signage. Just a white sign with painted red letters that says “Catarata”, which is Spanish for waterfall. It is about a mile down a very bumpy dirt road. A small SUV would be beneficial. There are no restrooms or changing areas, so I’d suggest wearing your swim suit under your clothes and bringing a towel.