Nov 7, 2015

Lost Waterfall # 2

A friend and I spent one Sunday morning hiking up the Lost Waterfalls trail in Bajo Mono, Boquete.  We got as far as the second of three waterfalls located in the area. The hike was a bit difficult, due mainly to the steep incline and damp earth pathways, but arriving at such a peaceful location truly compensated for the effort.   
My friend, being in better physical condition than I, attempted the additional hike to Waterfall # 3, but returned disappointed.  She said the trail was essentially a straight vertical climb that required holding onto ropes and trudging through slippery mud.  She felt the trek was nearly impossible at this time of year and encouraged me to emphasize its inadvisability.  I was more than happy to take her word for it...

This was our second visit to the area, having reached only the trail head on our first outing.  The waterfalls are located on private property and there is a $5 charge per person to visit the waterfalls.  We were told the owner is Wendy Burton, someone I've never met, and that she is retired and no longer visits the grounds with any frequency.  (Given the effort entailed in getting there, this is understandable.)  The fees are purportedly used to maintain the trail, however one shouldn't expect maintenance characteristic of trails in the US , Canada, or other first world countries. You are keenly aware you are in the rain forest when you hike these paths.   The rates charged for hiking the property could conceivably raise sufficient funds to support the Ngobe caretaker and family living in a tiny hut at the trail entrance, but then again, maybe not.  We encountered no other hikers on either of our two outings there. 

Getting to the trail head is an effort in and of itself.  The only way to get there is on foot.  On our first attempt, it took about 45 minutes and a lot of huffing and puffing. Most of the walk is uphill. On our second trip, we made it to the trail head in about 15-20 minutes due to better physical conditioning and not stopping for photos. There is a small cabaña at the trail entrance that rents out for $90 a night on Airbnb.  We were told it has no electricity nor internet. Our enthusiasm for staying at the cabaña was dampened by the thought of carting food, drink, and personal items up to that location.  

Start of path to trail head 

Cabaña right next to the trail head

View from the start of the Lost Waterfalls Trail

Caretaker's hut

From the trail head to the first waterfall is about a 10 minute climb and the trail then levels off and eventually heads downhill. 

We chose instead to follow the trail up to the second waterfall...

The pool at the bottom of the falls was large and deep enough to swim, but I've never been a fan of cold water.  The spray alone was enough to prompt use of an extra windbreaker.  Instead we made ourselves comfortable on some large rocks and enjoyed a quick picnic lunch before heading back down to a quicker pace---Chiriqui style, as seen below.