Free Local Swimming Hole & Tarzan Swing In La Fortuna/Arenal (El Salto)

Travelling throughout Costa Rica on a budget? Don’t miss the free swimming hole and tarzan swing while in La Fortuna!

El Salto Waterfall

El Salto Waterfall

The swimming hole – otherwise known as “El Salto” – is located just outside the downtown core of La Fortuna. It takes only a few minutes to get to by taxi so the cost is inexpensive. The swimming hole is at a little clearing in a river (a clean river!) at the base of a small waterfall. It can be found under a bridge along the road from La Fortuna to San Ramon (upon exiting downtown La Fortuna, the route towards the La Fortuna waterfall). Driving on this road about 2-3 minutes from downtown La Fortuna you will pass the road (on your right) to the entrance to the La Fortuna Waterfall. Continue past this road (to not turn to the right) and about 50 meters after you will meet the small bridge.

El Salto Swimming Hole

El Salto Swimming Hole

Stop at the bridge and climb down the left side (a bit rocky, but not a difficult climb – total climb time is about 30 seconds) to arrive at the swimming hole. There are large rocks you can sit out on if you prefer not to swim, and there is a tarzan swing if you are daring enough to jump! Note: as you are driving on the road towards the bridge, if you pass the tour operating company “Arenal Mundo Aventura” on your right, you have gone too far.

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: When travelling, what types of “freebies” do you hope to find?
Pura vida!

4 responses to “Free Local Swimming Hole & Tarzan Swing In La Fortuna/Arenal (El Salto)

    • Light Project Stories –
      Great question! There is no “official” parking in the form of a parking lot or secured spaces, so parking is tricky. There is a stretch of land (south of the bridge) which can fit a few cars, so if you don’t plan to go on a weekend (when El Salto tends to receive more visitors) you may get lucky and capture a spot. If attempting to do so, and assuming you are driving south (from downtown La Fortuna out to El Salto), just after you pass the road/signs on your right that lead to the waterfall, the road you are travelling on will curve to the right and dip down a bit (this is where the bridge exists and El Salto is on your left). There is not much in the way of parking on either side of the road before the bridge, but if you pass the bridge, turn around, and come back, you may be able to locate space on a flat, grassy area on the right-hand side of the road. For turning around, you can do this at the entrance of Arenal Mundo Aventura’s Ecological Park (which will be on your right shortly after driving over the bridge; the entrance is wide enough to allow you to make a u-turn on the road). As a heads up, be careful! The road around El Salto is not overly wide and drivers speed along the route. We don’t typically recommend driving to/from El Salto since parking is unreliable (and not overly safe), but if you plan to make the stop, just be extra cautious getting into and out of your vehicle, and remember to lock the doors. 🙂
      Pura vida!

    • Kara –
      Great question! There is no taxi stop directly at El Salto, so taxi’s won’t know to visit the location specifically unless you make prior arrangements with the driver (we recommend setting up a plan with a hired driver ahead of time so he/she knows to return to El Salto for you). Otherwise, taxis often drive along the road that El Salto is located close to, so you could take your chances waiting alongside the road and hailing one (although you may be waiting a while). If worse comes to worse and you cannot prearrange a ride back to town or hail a taxi on the spot, you could always walk back to town (although this walk would take about 20 minutes). 🙂
      Pura vida!

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