One of the areas I was told was a must-see in Costa Rica was exploring the trails of the Rincon de la Vieja. I would concur, trekking through the Rincon de la Vieja is a must. There are several areas to the park, I'm convinced we could have spent more time here and still only uncovered a small section.
We loaded up in the rental SUV early that morning and made our way from Tamarindo to the park entrance by the Hacienda Guachipelin. This entrance was both the direction of our GPS and the instruction we received from our white water rafting shuttle driver. We had to pay for entrance into the park, a per-person fee, I'm not sure if this fee would have been accessed if we chose a different entry point.
Our first hike was around the sulfur pools, but the trail which lead near the top of the volcano was closed (and has been for quite some time). Had we realized the views around the base of the volcano were all there were available on that section, we may have skipped it and headed towards the waterfall.
Hiking to the waterfall, Catarata la Cangreja, was said to be about 6 miles round trip (I'd say that was accurate). It was not a hike for the faint of heart, about a intermediate level, with an interesting traverse. Any effort was worth the views and sightings (and hearing) of lots of wildlife. The end was a sweet reward of a swim in the pool of a waterfall, Catarata la Cangreja. We also jumped from the rock ledge next to the waterfall. During our climb out, we passed a group of people from Asia there filming in the wild. You just never know what you'll come across on the trail. Time did not allow for the short hike to the second waterfall. We really could have explored this area all day!