Top 7 Facts About El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde
Top 7 Facts About El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde
El Tigre Waterfalls is one of the most incredible adventure parks in Monteverde, Costa Rica. This place is tucked away on the outskirts of Monteverde, surrounded by beautiful nature with trails, waterfalls, and more.
This post will share the top five facts about El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde. From how long it takes to how challenging the trails are, what you should wear if you plan to visit this magical natural paradise, and where to get your tickets. I’ll also share the pros and cons, so you can have an objective perspective from someone who lives in Monteverde and has visited El Tigre Waterfalls many times.
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With this out of the way, we can start our in-depth review of El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde. Let’s jump right in.
Here’s a quick summary of the article:
Top 7 Facts About El Tigre Waterfalls:
- The trail is 5.2 KM (3.2 mi) long.
- It takes 3 hours at a moderate speed.
- There are four main waterfalls.
- You can swim in the river.
- The entrance is $49-$59 per person.
- There are also three extra “Bike Ziplines.”
- It’s best to visit during summer.
- (Bonus) Suitable for kids seven and up.
How Long is El Tigre Waterfalls Hike?
El Tigre Waterfalls Hike is 5.2 kilometers long (3.2 miles); on average, it takes 3 hours at a moderate speed. Most of the trail is downhill, and even though El Tigre Waterfalls Hike is self-guided, the course is well-marked, making it hard to get lost. Just follow the signs and stay inside the trail.
Note: Even though the trail is mostly downhill, it’s moderately technical, with sharp rocks, slippery terrain, and no handlebars for support. Instead, the course is rustic and natural, which is excellent for connecting with nature genuinely, but it can be challenging if you lack experience hiking on technical surfaces.
Tip: El Tigre Waterfalls hike starts at reception, where you can take a picture of the map. And I recommend you do this as having the map on your phone or camera will help you understand where you are as you reach each waterfall.
In the past, they would give you a printed map; however, they stopped printing maps in 2021, which is better for the environment as we move into a more digital, less paper-based world. Thus, make sure to photograph their map before starting the course.
The following is a picture of the El Tigre Waterfalls Trail Map I took. Even though the total distance is 8 km (4.5 miles), the trail is only 5.2 KM (3.2 miles), and the rest is on horse or Safari car.
How Many Waterfalls Can You See at El Tigre Waterfalls?
There are four main waterfalls you can see at El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde. However, during the rainy months between May and November, you may see up to ten waterfalls throughout the course as the heavy rain forms new waterfalls along the way.
The four main waterfalls are between 15 and 30 meters tall (50 to 100 feet). And even though they are far smaller than what you would find in other waterfall sites in Costa Rica, such as La Paz Waterfalls, they’re still gorgeous.
“El Tigre Waterfall” is the main waterfall on the course, and this beautiful 30-meter drop (100 feet) is visible year-round. However, its breathtaking, monumental force is more prominent during the rainy months.
Here are two pictures of “El Tigre Waterfall,” one taken from the balcony and the other from the base of the trail. I’ve been to this place many times, and these two photos are from our most recent trip in September 2022, when I took my daughter and her cousin for the first time with us.
Since the hike is reasonably technical and relatively long, I recommend it for eight or older kids. Camila, my daughter, and Said, her cousin, were nine when we made this trip, and fatigue was starting to overwhelm them when we reached the last waterfall.
Can You Swim in El Tigre Waterfalls?
You can swim at El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde. Several areas have small natural pools along the river, and the trail connects with them on multiple occasions, making them accessible. On the other hand, the river’s water level is relatively low. Thus, if you’re 1.80 cm tall like me (5’9), the river’s water will generally not pass your chest.
Note: Since the river’s water level is low and considering there are plenty of big rocks on it, you will probably not swim like you would in an artificial pool. Instead, you should expect to be able to immerse yourself in the water rather than floating around.
Another aspect to consider is that depending on what you’re used to, the temperature of the water might be too cold for you. Monteverde has an average temperature of 23°C (74°F), so the water temperature is much lower at around four Celsius degrees (39°F).
From my experience, having visited El Tigre Waterfalls many times, jumping in the river can be a refreshing experience to recharge energy spent on the hike during the hotter months, January through April). Otherwise, during the cooler months, from May through December, it can be a freezing experience, but you’re welcome to give it a shot.
When is the Best Time to Visit El Tigre Waterfalls?
As you can read in my post “The Best Times to Visit Monteverde, Costa Rica,” the best time to visit El Tigre Waterfalls is from December through April, the summertime in Costa Rica. During these months, the days are mostly sunny with a gentle cool breeze and an average temperature of 22°C (72°F). As mentioned above, this is also the best time to swim in the river.
The second best time to visit El Tigre Waterfalls in Monteverde is from May through August and November when the rain is not so heavy. As mentioned above, this is the best time to see the formation of more than the regular four waterfalls.
On the other hand, September and October are the least recommended months to visit El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde. The rainfall during these two months is significantly higher, and so are the chances of heavy storms. Furthermore, the trail becomes extra slippery and potentially dangerous, especially if you lack experience hiking on technical terrain.
What Should You Wear at El Tigre Waterfalls?
You should wear comfortable clothing and shoes at El Tigre Waterfalls in Monteverde. Your wearable items should include light hiking pants, a breathable baselayer, and a pair of hiking shoes with good traction for technical terrain.
And you will want to dress appropriately for the season. For example, during the warmer months, from January through April, you will want to wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, and sunglasses. Additionally, you will need to use bug spray and sun protection, even if the day seems partially clouded. Likewise, from May through December, you should carry long pants, a light rain jacket or a poncho, and hiking boots with extra grip to gain traction on the slippery terrain.
On the other hand, you should avoid bringing jeans and warm, 100% cotton-made clothes as they will give you a suffocating feeling as your body temperature rises along with high humidity. Likewise, it would be best to avoid regular sneakers, as they can be tricky on the slippery trail. And don’t bring sandals as they will destroy your feet and can easily cause an accident on the technical terrain.
Since I’ve been to El Tigre Waterfalls many times before, it’s easy to forget the basics, and sometimes I have to remind myself of what I need to bring to avoid the pitfalls above. The last time we visited, I forgot about this and got a 100% cotton-made sweater, and I paid the price. It felt humid and hot, and then it started raining, and it felt cold. A rain jacket is a must if you’re traveling during the rainy season.
For more helpful information on what to bring to Monteverde, please refer to my article, “Ten Things You Must Bring to Monteverde, Costa Rica.”
How Much Does it Cost to Enter El Tigre Waterfalls?
El Tigre Waterfall Monteverde costs between $49 and $59 per person, plus taxes. In Monteverde, this is one of the best value-for-money experiences and the one I recommend the most for adventurous folks.
The price includes lunch after the hike. It also has a ride on horses or a Safari car to return to the reception after finishing the trail. Once you check-in, you can choose whether you’d like the 10-min Safari car or the 35-min horse ride. I’ve done both, and while riding on a horse can be relaxing, I prefer the Safari car, an old, unique Land Rover that’s bumpy as can be up the hill while I enjoy the ride and the views.
You can also upgrade to add a new activity El Tigre Waterfalls implemented in June of 2022, which they call Zipline Bike. You ride a bike connected to three zip lines 70 meters above ground level (230 feet) for a total of 500 meters of zip-cycling adventure (1,640 feet).
This activity can only be booked on-site, and availability depends on a few factors, including the rider’s weight, height, and weather conditions for that day. Here’s the promo video by El Tigre Waterfalls recorded and another one of my daughter conquering El Tigre on a ziplining bike.
Even though El Tigre Waterfalls nature park is about 10 hectares (around 25 acres), there is a limit on the number of people who can enter the park daily, so it requires a reservation.
How to Make Reservations for El Tigre Waterfalls?
Click here to make reservations for El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde. You can pay via Apply Pay, Google Pay, or with a Credit or Debit Card. And you can cancel online with a flexible cancellation policy, so you get a full refund if you cancel at least 24 hours before your tour day.
Once you make your reservation, you will instantly get a confirmation email with the instructions and map to get to El Tigre Waterfalls, unless you add transportation, in which case, you will get a follow-up email telling you what time they will pick you up at your hotel/Airbnb.
Here’s the end of this article. Thank you for reading this far, and feel free to share this info with fellow travelers as you deem appropriate. Happy travels and ¡Pura Vida, amigos!
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About the Author
I am the founder of Monteverde Tours. I live in Monteverde and love nature, adventure, and Mountain Biking. My partner and I love spending time outdoors and dining in Monteverde. We have more than 30 years of combined experience in the area, and there is no park, coffee shop, or restaurant we haven’t tried at least once!
We love helping visitors and connecting them with the different tours and activities to have a memorable experience in Monteverde.
If you need help planning things to do in the area, send us a message, and we will happily assist you!