Strengthening Our Senses in Costa Rica's 'Sensoria'
About 70 kilometers north of Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, nestled beneath a lush green shawl of mammoth trees, lies Sensoria. Here, towering canopies, swaying vines and crystalline blue waterfalls create a sensory experience like no other. This is a place where jaguars, pumas and tapirs roam free; where the calls of howler monkeys, and the hum of insects and tropical birds infuse the air with electricity.
Sensoria is a private nature reserve located in Guanacaste province's Rincón de la Vieja National Park and has only been in operation for 15 months. The mission of this team of passionate individuals is to preserve the untamed beauty of the rainforest by way of educational tours, which they offer daily. Tours last about three hours and include a welcome drink, a brief overview of the day, hikes to several waterfalls in the area and lunch, which you receive upon your return to the main lodge.
Matt and I were fortunate enough to experience Sensoria this week with the team from Travel + Explore. After following our GPS to the wrong side of the mountain (note: do not follow GPS directions to Rincón de la Vieja National Park, use the GPS coordinates below), we finally passed beneath the wooden sign declaring our arrival in Sensoria. Our guide, Joaquin, greeted us and directed us to his colleague Maria, who was waiting at the entrance to the main lodge with glasses of fresh blackberry juice for us to drink.
After a brief overview and signing of release forms, the 14 of us were each handed a walking stick and set off into the rainforest. Step by step, we ventured into unknown territory, dodging hanging vines and protruding tree roots, to reach our destinations: the sky blue Aguilar Waterfall and Pool, the 20-meter-high Buenos Aires Waterfall and the warm thermal spring, Dantas Waterfall.
How to Get There
From Liberia City in Guanacaste: continue north towards Nicaragua. Approximately 20 km later, turn right towards Quebrada Grande . In Quebrada Grande, turn left on the paved road towards Dos Ríos. Once in Dos Ríos, turn left at the local high school towards the next town -El Gavilán-, and continue towards Buenos Aires de Upala. After a small bridge continue approximately two kilometers on the main road. As a reference, you'll pass the sign towards Blue River and a few blocks later you'll see a cement sign for "AyA". Turn right, follow the sign of Sensoria and continue up the road for another 3.7 km. Sensoria is the property at the end of the road. [GPS POSITION N 10’51.98.4 W 85’19.570]
Tips & Recommendations
- To get to Sensoria, you absolutely need a 4x4 vehicle. The terrain is bone-shaking at best and, especially during the wet season, some roads can become flooded. We used a standard Daihatsu rented from Budget and, though it stood up to the test of driving 20 km over rocky terrain, a more durable car is highly recommended.
- Douse yourself in bug spray and reapply after each swim in the waterfall.
- Bring a change of clothes and a plastic bag to put your wet bathing suit in. Keen sandals/ water shoes are also highly recommended as some waterfalls can be rocky at the bottom.