Hike to Las Pailas, La Oropendola Waterfall & Rio Negro Hot Springs

Quick Details

Hour Glass 5 hours

Calendar Tuesday – Sunday

Clock 8:30 a.m. & 11 a.m.

Booking Early? Use promo code EARLY10 to receive a 10% discount when booking activities 10 days or more in advance!

Hike to three amazing spots in the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park

Meaning “the cauldrons” in Spanish, the Las Pailas area spectacularly shows off the awesome power of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, the largest and most active volcano in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Steaming fumaroles, mini-geysers and bubbling volcanic mud pits give you an incredible experience you can’t find at any other volcano in Costa Rica.

Hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park on the Las Pailas loop trail takes you 2.5 miles (3.5 km) through dry tropical forest to see the best views of the volcano, incredible nature, volcanic activity, and wildlife. Our bilingual naturalist guide points out many of the 300 bird species that live here, and any other animals, like white-faced, howler and spider monkeys, armadillos, collared peccaries, iguanas, snakes, or white-nosed coatis.

When you finish your hike, get ready for a refreshing swim in the Oropendola waterfall. It is a short walk from the national park entrance on a trail with varying terrain to get down to the river bottom. The Oropendola waterfall plunges an impressive 82 feet (25 meters) to a sparkling turquoise pool in the lush canyon of the Rio Blanco (White River), creating a picturesque tropical oasis.

After your swim, a car is waiting to take you to the Rio Negro Hot Springs, one of the most popular attractions at Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Surrounded by thick tropical dry forest, Rio Negro (Black River) flows through 10 manmade pools filled with steaming mineral-rich volcanic waters. You access the pools on both sides of the river by two hanging bridges. Heated volcanic clay is available to smooth all over your body like a spa body mask. After it dries, wash it off with cold river water before jumping back in the hot pools.

There are changing rooms, bathrooms, and lockers at the hot springs entrance. From there, you walk a beautiful trail less than a quarter-mile (350 meters) through the forest to the hot springs.

The entrance fee to the park is not included in the price.