Javier Elizondo’s job is simple; he travels around Costa Rica looking for waterfalls which are lost to the world. So far, he has mapped and discovered 90 waterfalls, from his overall target of 450. To put this search into perspective, Costa Rica, a tiny nation in South America, is gifted with exceptional biodiversity, and forests.
The over-riding arch of Javier’s search for waterfalls is conservation. He theorizes that well-documented routes to these natural attractions will make preserving them very easy. He plans to visit and document every waterfall of Costa Rica in a project called The Waterfall Trail.
So how does one become a finder of lost waterfalls? Javier, an architect with a well-paying job, realized he had a higher purpose in life after coming back from a hiking trip. After that epiphany, he meticulously researched and mapped 450 waterfalls for 2 years, while working full time.
It might come as a surprise to some that the waterfalls Javier maps, come surrounded along with some interesting legends. Locals believe that ‘The Witch’, an extremely dangerous waterfall has the power to take a mother’s love for her son or ‘The Velvet’, a waterfall stunning and dangerous in equal measures, is inhabited with a namesake snake that is as beautiful and deadly as the waterfall.
The good news is the fact that Costa Rica has been very active in preserving and protecting its natural gifts as a part of its pioneering ecotourism program. This means, it’s just a matter of time before Javier’s dreams of preserving these waterfalls will become a reality.
Check out the amazing photographs and legends of these waterfalls here – http://www.thewaterfalltrail.com/english/