A new friend of ours invited us out to Bosque del Niño, a nice area for hiking and picnicking not far from Grecia center. It had been a while since we wandered a shady green piece of local forest, and we were itching to explore without needing to travel very far. The place is perfectly tranquil, only touched with a bench placed at a look out point and a very clear path that climbs up and along the mountain to a slender, misty waterfall.
Our three year old was quite the trooper, almost dragging me along the first uphill stretch. He tuckered out after about twenty minutes of jumping and “wee-hooing” over big dirt steps and roots. We were well equipped for a long hike with two kids that day, each sporting an Ergo baby carrier. One year old Petra happily kicked and pulled at baby bamboo leaves from her seat on my back. There are a few steep hills falling from the sometimes very narrow trail, so if you have small children, I recommend keeping them in a carrier once you reach the sign that reads “600 meters catarata” (catarata means waterfall).
The effort to get to the waterfall was challenging for me, especially with a baby on my back. It was actually pleasant to feel my blood pumping once we got the the highest point of the trail. There were many places that require extra caution and careful placement of your feet, so only attempt this if you are in good shape and wearing suitable shoes. A small bottle of water is necessary as well.
We were impressed with the high-falling waterfall. Chris somewhat stepped/slid down to the misty river bed and let our son enjoy an up-close look. It was chilly that morning, so we didn’t let him get a full waterfall-shower. Our return to the parking area was much easier, as it was downhill most of the way. At the completion of this hike, Chris and I felt refreshed and energized for the day. It’s nice to still be able to get a work-out in when you have young kids!
The park usually charges something like 400 colones (less than $1) for residents, but they’ve been known to way over-charge tourists. We weren’t approached for an entrance fee, probably because we arrived early at 7:30am. I wouldn’t have paid more than 3,000 colones, however, since that is the price to visit Los Chorros, a more magnificent waterfall nearby.
If you’d like to go hiking in Grecia, and are looking for some exercise, give Bosque del Niño a go.
How to get there by car:
-From Grecia Central, follow the signs to Poás
-Turn left at a well-marked sign for “La Colina” (It will have a picture of a two-ridged mountain on it)…a soda/restaurant will be on your right when you turn left
-Follow this road straight to the center of San Isidro de Grecia
-Just past the church and soccer field, you’ll see a fork in the road with a sign for Bosque del Niño, go right at the fork
-About a kilometer down this road, you’ll see a sign for Bosque del Niños, make a left
-Follow for 4 kilometers, until you reach the entrance of the park, parking is on the left in the grass.
-The entrance to the trail is on the right side of the park, below the grill area.
(If you don’t have a car, this isn’t easily reachable. You could take a bus to San Isidro, and then a looooong walk to the park, or take a taxi the whole way.. it’s 3,200 colones to take a white taxi from Grecia central to the church in San Isidro, so expect to pay up to 5,000 colones for the total trip, I’d imagine.)
If you go, watch out for these caterpillar piles–that would be a squishy step!