The 60 acres (24.5 hectares) Ardent Light Motherland is blessed with about 20 amazingly beautiful waterfalls with natural pools born from a total of three mountain spring water sources at the mountain tops. The tallest one is an impressive 200 feet (61 meters) tall waterfall (see above photo). There are also a couple of double-waterfalls ranging from 30-45 feet tall. The smallest waterfalls are around 3-4 feet tall. The natural pools range from kid-size wading pools to adult-size diving pools. The waterfalls and pools are most abundant during the rainy season and some of the more shallow pools almost disappear during the dry season. However, there are more days and hours of sunshine to enjoy the waterfalls and pools during the dry season versus the rainy season so you really can’t go wrong with either season.
A Hidden Paradise in Pejibaye
These pristine waterfalls and pools were almost never visited before because the previous owner of the land just used the land to plant some crops but not for eco-tourism. In fact, the previous owner of the land was only aware of only four of the waterfalls on the land so we had bought the land thinking there were only four waterfalls! Little did we know, that the land would become the land beyond our wildest dreams. As now guardians of this amazing paradise, we feel the responsibility to keep it protected and as natural as possible and promise to never mar its natural beauty with any permanent construction or human defilement. We do feel though that it should be shared and enjoyed for its healing and uplifting qualities as Nature intended.
There are four established hiking trails that lead to four sets of waterfalls with pools for a total of about 15 waterfalls with pools. The rest of the waterfalls and pools are accessible only by traversing further up or down the river. We have yet to explore down the river beyond the 40 feet double-waterfall that is a little further down from the 200 feet waterfall. There seems to be more waterfalls down there but that could only be explored by rope repelling down. All hiking trails are dirt paths through dense secondary tropical rainforests and range from moderate difficulty to easy. All hiking trails have been recently cleared and maintained to make hiking safer and easier. We have not experienced any biting insects in these forests so we have found bug repellant to be unnecessary even during the rainy season.
- Trail to bottom of tallest waterfall (200 foot Weeping Tree Waterfall named by James Thurlow Beach) – This is considered a moderate difficulty hiking trail due to its steepness and length. It’s about a 15 minute hike at a normal pace, 20-25 minutes if at a leisurely pace and taking pictures along the way. Some wooden hand rails are set up and some dirt stairs have been carved into the hiking trail that goes down to the bottom of the tallest waterfall since it is a steeper slope than the other trails and therefore the most difficult trail out of the four, but many say the most worth it. If you trek further down the river from the Weeping Tree falls, you will behold many other beautiful waterfalls and pools including the breathtaking 35 foot Twin Hearts Waterfalls (named by Trey Abernethy).
- Trail to the top of the tallest waterfall – An easy to moderate hiking trail as it is less steep and a shorter trail. It takes about 10 minutes to hike at a normal pace, 15-20 minutes if one takes a slower, careful, and leisurely pace down. The beautiful set of waterfalls this hiking trail leads to is a close tie with the set of waterfalls that the first hiking trail leads to because the view from the top of the Weeping Tree waterfall is as equally breathtaking as the view from the bottom of the Weeping Tree waterfall. If you trek further up the river you will behold many other beautiful waterfalls including one with a pool deep enough to dive and swim in (9 foot in dry season 12 foot in rainy season).
- Trail to 3 levels up from the tallest waterfall – An easy hiking trail as it is mostly flat but with a small pair of stairs down and up towards the end. It is about a 15 minute hike at a normal pace and 20-25 minutes at a leisurely pace. You can explore even more waterfalls and pools up and down this river. Immediately down river is the deep pool waterfall that is deep enough to jump and swim in.
- Trail to 50 foot Goddess Waterfall (named by Rosidey Monge) – An easy hiking trail as it is a mostly flat walking trail with some small inclines. It is about a 15 minute hike at a normal pace and 20-25 minutes at a leisurely pace and taking pictures along the way. This waterfall is most impressive during the second half of the rainy season and forms more waterfalls.
The first hiking trail above is not recommended for children under 5 years of age, unless they are physically adept for their age.
All waterfall tours are guided to ensure safety and so hikers won’t get lost. As your guide on the tour, we can offer some physical assistance such as holding your hand during some tricky part of the trail or carrying some of your belongings if you need assistance. You can also use one of our walking sticks we have available on the hike to also help make the hike easier. Though hiking on these trails is at your own risk, we want to do our best to keep our guests as safe and comfortable as possible.
What to Bring for the Hike
We recommend guests to bring the following to optimize their enjoyment of the waterfalls and pools:
- Swimsuit – most will work up a good sweat when they reach the waterfalls and will want to jump right into the pools or take a refreshing shower under a waterfall. All will definitely get some water on them when they visit the bottom of the tallest waterfall.
- Towel – this is really optional as we have found that most get dry by the time they hike all the way back.
- Non-toxic natural sunscreen – this is recommended for those who have fair skin, who burn easily, or are allergic to the sunlight. Most conventional sunscreens are toxic. We have Dr. Mercola’s Natural Sunscreen we can share if you forget to bring yours or cannot find natural sunscreen.
- Water bottle – most will work up a good thirst when they reach the waterfalls. Though the waterfall pools are safe to swim and bathe in, we do not recommended drinking it in large amounts.
- Camera – to take precious photos and videos of your excursion
- Food – feel free to bring food along for a nice picnic by the waterfalls and pools. If you prepaid for food, we will provide both food and water. See Accommodations page for more details.
A day pass will allow you to spend the day touring the waterfalls. In our experience, you could literally spend a whole day at just one set of waterfalls or one hiking excursion, especially either of the first two hiking trails listed above since they lead to a set of amazingly beautiful waterfalls and pools with lots to explore.
$5 per person, children 10 and under are FREE
Accommodations for Overnight Stays
See the Accommodations page for details.
Transportation, Directions & Reservations
Advance notice or reservations are required so we can prepare for your visit. See the Directions page for information about transportation, directions, and contact information.
Why Are We Charging?
We are just in the beginning stages of our path to self-sufficiency. Since we are not 100% self-sufficient yet, we will have expenses. Our goal is bring our prices down and to eventually share and offer everything we have for FREE. That can only happen when our expenses are zero. Zero expenses means zero need for money. We are doing our best to eliminate all unnecessary expenses (e.g., no longer using toilet paper, just using our hand to wipe and washing our hands with water and soap), and becoming fully self-sufficient, and inspiring others to be self-sufficient, will enable us to eventually eliminate all other expenses.
All proceeds are greatly appreciated and will be responsibly directed to:
- Self-sufficiency projects, including greenhouses and food forests to provide fresh organic food for guests/interns, guest/intern cabins with shared and private bathrooms, communal kitchen, dining, and living areas for guests/interns, educational hands-on workshops, etc.
- Community outreach projects such as a scholarship fund for internship programs for those who cannot afford them and adoption of orphans by the tribe
What Others Have Said…
Rich and I arrived at our planned “scouting excursion” destination on Saturday, stunned! We beheld a true “paradise” panoramic that neither pictures or words could describe. Nestled there is Ardent Light community. We had an exhilarating time with Ngoc and Jal, and their incredibly bright children. Ngoc and Jal were generous hosts, offering us nourishment (most delicious banana-coconut milk smoothies) grown on their land, yummy delicacies from their garden and local pejibaye. On their property (about 60 acres) we toured only a small section, including an impressive waterfall and the central area where they now live and work. They shared with us their projects in progress: permaculture design, greenhouse and gardens, water catchment, sites for communal living (kitchen and work spaces), the view from the future yoga/workout pavilion is beyond spectacular and areas for houses, cabinas, even tree houses, all for developing a self-sustainable, ultra-self-governing community. This excursion alone is worth the whole trip. ~ Carolyn Trimmer
There is a wonderful feeling of freedom in Costa Rica! Especially …. Under one of your favorite waterfalls! Paradise in Costa Rica! Thank you for sharing the wonderment of your world with us that day and the following Sunday too! Awesome moments to cherish for a lifetime! Missing all of you! So love your amazing family! Truly … The most magical rain forest on Planet Earth! My mind, body and soul yearns to return to paradise! And to this loving family of nature! So love my Costa Rican family! Awesome parents raising three extremely awesome children! ~ Marjie Paton
Your energy and spirit at Ardent Light fills my heart with love and joy. I will be bringing you home in my heart. Stay true to your destiny here. Your love is healing…I miss you guys so much, but have grown an ENTIRE new heart from my beautiful ArdentLight-land-experience! OMG. It’s as if the entire weekend was one long meditative breath that I had been yearning for some time now…my senses are still vibrating with all your kick ass energy you and your new home have shared. I can’t thank you enough how important the trip was to me. I can’t thank you enough how the experience there changed me — for just a handful of simple reasons, really. Anyway, it was obviously one of the best trips ever! No doubt!! ~ Lisa Beyersdoerfer (read Lisa’s official travel review)
It’s the sort of place I’ve been looking for and thinking of for years. Can’t wait to be there again. ~ Juan El Chemi