Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve Costa Rica

05 Feb

A while ago a friend showed me how to get to Hitoy Cerere and took a hike to the waterfall that falls into the Hitoy River.  This is the primary river basins of the Hitoy and Cerere rivers that flow out of the Talamanca Mountains to the west.  Hitoy is a Bribri word meaning “moss covered” as in river rocks.  Cerere means “clear waters” and a lot of that flows down these canyons when it rains!  This national park is one of the least visited by tourists primarily  due to its remoteness.  You really have to make an effort to get to the ranger station and from there you are on your own in the deep jungle wilderness. 

hitoy mapThis map shows the whole road to the Ranger Station leaving from Penhurst.

hitoy map2  This map shows that you go straight pass the bridge.

The road wanders through a large banana plantation.  The turns are not marked so you have to kind of guess which one to take.  The road turns at a group of houses used by the bananerios and starts to climb out of the valley.  As you head up the mountain you come to an intersection and bear left.  This part of the road takes you to the ranger station.  Once you get to the station and pay your entrance fee, you set off on your own, there is no cell coverage here especially as you head up the river canyon.  The road getting there is very rocky, if you have a rental car you could probably do it, I would not take a car there if I owned it.  I have a 4×4 so it was no problem.

road 2road 3road to hitoyhitoy ranger The ranger station where you pay your entrance fee.  Little else is available here so bring things you need, water, raingear and solid shoes to hike the river.  These rocks are slippery and sandals or flip flops will not do!!!!!

starting down the path

This path leads toward the river from the ranger station, once you leave here everything looks the same so please take note as you are walking of the turns you take.

cutting across to the river

We hiked this during the month of August, it was a dry July (only 12 inches of rain) so the water level was low and made it easier to walk.

hitoy forest

This is the very dense canopy you see as you are walking up the river.

starting the river

We wound our way through some of the side waters and now are walking up the Hitoy River.  You can imagine how difficult this would be if the water was running strong.  I would not recommend it for sure.


The is the bedrock that the river runs through, it’s a conglomerate that was deposited as a debris flow, most of the rocks are suspended in sand.  This outcrop is continuous all the to the falls.


The trees tower high from the river bank.


leaning treehitoy river       slippery rocks   rocky river

The water runs clear and cold, but on a hot day who cares if its a little cool.  Blue Morphos dance up and down the river stream as and added attraction.


After about a 45 minute to an hour hike you reach the water fall.  This cascade falls about 150 feet down the green moss slopes into a pool below.  Very peaceful place to relax a while before returning back to the ranger station.  For those who like adventure it is highly recommended, but best to have a local guide to help navigate the way.  Pura vida………………….

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Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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