Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Horseback Riding and Swimming in a Waterfall

Ojochal, Costa Rica Vacation Day 6     April 11, 2012

It was softly raining when we woke up, which was not good since today we had reservations to do the Nauyaca Waterfalls tour. It's a horseback riding tour to the waterfalls, with stops at a farm for breakfast on the way in, then lunch at the same farm on the way out. We headed out hoping we would see the sun since riding a horse in the rain didn't sound like much fun.

As we got closer, the rain did stop, and the sun was slowly clearing the clouds away. Several other families were also going on the same tour, and once everyone was accounted for, we went down to meet the horses.

Chloe & Abby on horses at Nauyaca Waterfall, Costa Rica
Chloe & Abby get their horses
Now, before I get too involved with this post, I should point out that I really am a bit nervous about riding horses. I'm always afraid my horse will either run wild with me clinging desperately to its mane as I try to hang on, or that my horse is going to throw me off and then trample me. Chloe was the big "push" behind doing this tour--she really wanted to ride the horses.

Things started off ok--until we started going downhill. Remember how it had been raining earlier? Well, the ground was still wet and pretty muddy. As my horse, and the others around me, kept losing their footing as they slid downhill in the mud, I kept seeing my life pass in front of my eyes. It didn't help that there were many areas where the path took us next to steep drop offs on one side, and my horse seemed to like tempting fate by walking right along the edge.
our family horseback riding to Nauyaca Falls, Costa Rica
A calmer part of the trail
Once past the first major down hill portion, I calmed down a little, but now Chloe was having problems. (You may remember from my previous post, that if someone is going to get hurt, it's more than likely going to be Chloe) As horses sometimes do, her horse and another one were vying for "first place" in the line, and one of the horses kicked her ankle. Thankfully it didn't take too much longer to get to our breakfast stopping point. The guides were very empathetic and helped her off the horse and brought her to a nearby table. They also quickly got her some ice. You could tell they were quite concerned that she was hurt, and even brought out a Dominoes set to play with her to help cheer her up. It was very sweet.

Chloe playing Dominoes with ice on her ankle
After breakfast, she was still in pain, but felt she could continue on. So we got on our horses again and headed out to the waterfall.

Soon we came to the area where we dismounted our horses, but still could not see the waterfall. After a short hike through the jungle . . .

Gary and Abby hiking to Nauyaca Falls, Costa Rica
Gary and Abby hiking to Nauyaca  Falls
we saw THIS!
picture of Nauyaca Falls, Costa Rica
Nauyaca Falls, Costa  Rica

It was a spectacular sight! Notice in the picture above that the falls continue up to the top right. The picture below will give you some perspective on how large the waterfall actually is. This picture is of some of the brave people in our group swimming (Ahna & Chloe both made it in). The water was too cold for me to go in past my knees!

picture of swimming in Nauyaca Waterfall, Costa Rica
Swimming in Nauyaca Waterfall, Costa Rica

Now for the truly brave, you can climb up the waterfall, then jump off it! Here's a video of someone in our group doing just that, and the crowd cheering for him--look for the guy in the blue swim trunks.

After everyone was done swimming, we got back on the horses and headed for lunch. Both the breakfast and lunch were very good, and of course, they had Costa Rican coffee to go along with it. During lunch we were visited by this beautiful, wild toucan.

Costa Rican Toucan

Also these scarlet macaws made an appearance.

Costa Rican pair of Scarlet Macaws

The rest of the trip back was uneventful. Despite my fear of what my horse was going to do to me, and Chloe getting kicked in the ankle, we did have a good time. It was well worth it to see the waterfall.

We ended the day eating at another Ojochal restaurant called Exotica. Again, the food was outstanding!

Exotica Restaurant in Ojochal, Costa Rica
Exotica Restaurant
Exotica Restaurant Ojochal Costa Rica
Inside Exotica

Exotica Restaurant in Ojochal, Costa Rica
My dinner

Exotica Restaurant in Ojochal, Costa Rica
My dessert

Another great finish to another wonderful day!



  1. mmm that shrimp looks delicious. I haven't seen that waterfall yet. It's amazing how much Costa Rica has to offer!

    1. It was delicious! And yes, it is amazing how many things there are to see and do in Costa Rica. I don't think it's possible to run out of things to see.