Hiking Trails

hike to waterfalls & swimming holes

rios lodge hiking trails

Imagine hiking through the Costa Rica rainforest, pulsing with the sounds of birds, insects, and the occasional rambunctious family of howler monkeys. Explore waterfalls, cool off in turquoise swimming holes, and marvel at the all but ostentatious lushness of the rainforest plants and flowers. All this is possible at Rios Lodge! Explore kilometers of maintained forest trails throughout the Lodge and adjoining rainforest reserve properties.

All the hiking trails at Rios Lodge are available only as guided experiences. Here’s why – It’s a real deal jungle out there! Our trails go through primary and secondary Costa Rican rainforest, usually involving wet conditions, intimate experiences with biodiversity, and wonderful views. Having one of our expert, naturalist guides with you helps minimize your risks while exploring the rainforest.

Natural Waterslide Trail

The Natural Waterslide hike heads up the creek from the lodge to the waterslide, and has an optional loop return at the lodge. Plan 30-45 minutes to hike there, spend another hour at the slide, and another 30-45 minutes to hike back to the lodge.  This waterslide is steep and not for everyone to do. Hiking to it is beautiful and enjoying the waterfall without doing the slide is always fun, too. 

Pacuare River Trail

The Pacuare River Trail is how hiking guests typically leave the lodge. It is the access trail for staff to and from the lodge, as well. This trail travels upstream from Rios Lodge 1.5 km (0.9 miles) to a traditional cable car crossing over the Pacuare River. The hike is moderate, with some hills and flat sections. It takes from approximately 15-30 minutes, depending on your fitness level, how many pictures you stop to take, and how much luggage you are carrying. The cable car crossing is used by local communities and Rios Lodge staff and guests to access trails on the other side of the river. There are no roads for vehicles on that side of the river. After crossing the river on the cable car, a shuttle will take you up the 4×4 river access road (approximately 15 minutes) to the Pacuare Butterfly Garden.

Rios Tropicales Reserve Trail

The Rios Tropicales Reserve Trail is how guests hike into the lodge. You’ll start from the Pacuare Butterfly Garden and do a 10-15 minute 4×4 shuttle to the trailhead. The trail is a well-maintained nature trail that is an approximately 2.6 km (1.6 miles) long descent from the top of the ridge all the way down to the river. A suspension bridge takes you across the river and to the Rios Lodge. The hike down to the lodge is 35 – 50 minutes, depending on how often you stop to take pictures of the beautiful rainforest.