This province of Costa Rica has its own personality; and especially its own smell. Although its seemingly bland exterior image disguises it from its golden core, it reveals itself to me each time that I make it to Cortes or Llanos de Cortes. Incredible things always happen.
Once, I heard that no one ever sees these falls in the evening, at the time when they are said to display the most of their beauty. Cortes is such a popular spot that I never imagined I would get to see them without the swarms of people.
"Possibly at sunrise or sunset?"
The Potrero River, ending just after the waterfall, is said to carry gold. The fine gold that is swept along in the river originates from leaves of gold within the mines that is then deposited and hidden inside the walls of the waterfall.
Long ago, it was believed that it was possible to find various hidden treasures of wealth in the river. Many tried to look for the place but none were able to find it. The people gave up and the golden river became a legend to the people.
It is said that in order to see the minerals, it must be dawn or dusk in the time of summer solstice. One must first look inside the waterfall itself. At dawn, inside the cave, it is said that you can see small inscriptions indicating towards the secret location of where the gold lays and only the one who lacks greed and who is pure of heart and brimming with life can see it.
The most magical time is just moments before sunrise. The water turns blue and the leaves stain the pool in a golden light which radiated throughout the cave.
This place means a lot to me. Some time ago, it showed me wealth and happiness, and today it gave me a perfect day.
At sunset I could see a map reflecting in the golden pool! However not the map leading me to the gold but a map full of waterfalls.
I still keep the map in my memory, it is impossible to forget.
It's the one that continues to guide me in finding these amazing places and their legends.