Location: From La Florida drive toward Rio Claro (about 25-30 mins), and just before you reach the Lagartos Bridge, turn right onto a dirt road. From there it is about 8 km (15 minutes driving) to where the river crosses the road and you will leave your car. Appointment by booking only!
Drive time: 40 - 45 min from Finca Bellavista
Operation: Sylvan welcomes visitors each day at 09h00. Exit is 14h00, unless you opt to book one of the rustic field station cabins for an overnight stay. All visits begin with a 30-45 minute river walk through the Rio Sorpresa, guided by Fiona who will impart her 30+ years of expertise on how to spot local wildlife. You will then be welcomed at the field station with complimentary coffee and a packed snack, wrapped in a banana leaf to help keep your energy up! After the field station break you'll be escorted on another 30-45 minute nature walk through the rain forest to the waterfalls where you can swim and relax, When you are ready you will return to Sylvan Camp for a home-cooked meal. After lunch you'll see the gardens and you have time to freshen up before walking back out to your car.
What to bring/wear: A swimsuit and clothes that you don’t mind getting wet, closed-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, and/or water shoes for hiking to/from the falls. Towel, bug spray, a change of clothes.
Airbnb Experience link
The waterfall at Finca Bellavista is a great spot to hang out, and it’s only a 15 minute hike from The Fusion Home (score!). But, if you want to really take it to the next level and check out an even bigger local waterfall and some amazing natural swimming holes, you must go visit Sylvan Falls!
We cannot speak highly enough of this hidden gem - it’s owned by a friend of ours, biologist and naturalist Fiona Reid, who also owns the beautiful "El Fenix" treehouse here at Finca Bellavista.
Details will be sent to you on booking and you will be met here. It’s a 1.5 km walk (flat and very easy) that crosses the river 7 times (yes you need river shoes or rubber boots!) and then you will arrive at camp. Stop here for coffee and a snack, use of washrooms, changing clothes, then onto forest trails (a bit up and down but not as steep as most of Finca Bellavista) for another 1.5 km to reach the river and the first waterfall. There is a steep, narrow trail from here that takes you to a huge swimming hole with a small fall, and on to a second 50-ft fall. After swimming and relaxing, head back to camp for a late lunch and exit.
Amy and I have made several trips to Sylvan Camp and falls, either with friends or just with MJ to explore the property - it's an amazing slice of paradise full of life and currently the only place of I've seen the green and black poison dart frog. I've only seen the blue jean poison dart frog at Finca Bellavista - interesting enough, Fiona actually did a blog post about it!
We love hanging out with Fiona, whether it's at Finca Bellavista or Sylvan falls. Her knowledge of the wildlife combined with her witty sense of British humor makes for a fun filled day adventure often accompanied via a fun filled evening with rum!
Highly recommended for a fun day out and as an overnight adventure whether traveling with loved ones or friends. Thanks for having us @Fiona, hope to see you soon!
Our good friend and fellow South African 'Quin' is the founder of Sol Moteado, an LGBT community that will be established within Sylvan reserve!
Sol Moteado means 'dappled sun'. It was established by Dr Quin Wills, out of his love for Costa Rica's rainforests, people, beaches, festivals, and tree houses.
By partnering up with Fiona Reid, a world-renowned naturalist and founder of Sylvan, Quins goal is to offer guests the opportunity to stay in the rainforest, swim in waterfalls, and have access to wildlife tours unlike anything else. The best part is that each night you stay sponsors a night in a safe house for an LGBT refugee.
If anyone has had an experience at Sylvan falls that they would be willing to share, we would love to hear about it below. We encourage you to leave a positive review for Fiona if you enjoyed yourselves!