Las Minas natural waterfalls and swimming pools (Minas del Aguacate)

I had to thank our property manager, Andrew Partain for this recommendation. We were talking about going to the beach and he brought up this spot as a fresh water alternative. Wow!  We were all amazed at how wonderful this place was. Located near an abandoned gold mine, the river runs down the mountain over waterfall after waterfall with plenty of natural pools below. If you were dreaming about a gorgeous stream flowing down the mountain hillside with incredible views abound, this would be your dream come true.

As one of the more picturesque areas, I feel the need to let some of the photos do the talking for this blog. As such, here it goes:


My daughter (12), my wife and mother in law all joined in for this little adventure. Love spending time in Costa Rica with the family.

Of course, how can we have a great swimming pool and not go for a swim? The water was a bit chilly on this cloudy day but my daughter and I got used to it pretty quickly. How deep? Deep enough that I couldn’t touch in the middle but it has a nice gentle slope when walking out that far.


These photos were taken in August during the wet season. If traveling during the dry season, there may be a lot less water. Regardless of the season, let common sense and your hiking experience dictate your travels. There are some well beaten paths but this is not a common tourist area.

What to bring? I’d recommend shoes or boots (although we hiked in sandals and managed well), a bottle of drinking water, a towel and proper attire if you want to take a dip in the river and a walking stick. A camera is a nice addition and if you get some good photos, share them on our Facebook page! There are plenty of huge boulders to rest on and have a picnic or just lay back and soak up the sun. A backpack would be handy to keep both your hands free for the hike. A pair of swimming shoes would also be a good bet here and help with some of the rocks.


I’m a big fan of Minas del Aguacate. I’ll be back more than a few times. It took us less than 30 minutes by car from Villa Serenidad in Atenas.

How to get there? My recommendation is to enter “Minas del Aguacate” into google maps. It worked for us. Your mileage may vary. Some parts of the road are gravel and/or narrow. Take your time, no reason to be in a hurry. The river is best in the wet season but don’t get caught in a down pour. Flash flooding is always a possibility near mountain rivers. There is a parking area at the bridge that crosses the river with room for several cars. The pools and waterfalls seen in our photos are about 100-150 yards (100-150 meters) up the mountain from the parking area. We’re planning on venturing below the parking area next time and maybe heading up the mountain even further.

PLEASE, clean up behind yourself. Our goal is to always leave an area cleaner than we found it. Pura Vida!

Note: Be sure to check out our 2023 update article which can be seen at this link here.

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