Rio Celeste – Mystical, magical, and breathtaking are the only words suitable to describe this unique natural treasure. Tucked away in the northern region of the Costa Rica, just 1 hour from Bosque de Paz, this river draws the attention of visitors from around the country and around the globe. It´s exquisite turquoise blue color results from a chemical reaction of the blending of sulphur and calcium carbonate.
In addition to the brightly colored water, the national park also offers thermal hot springs, boiling mud pots, and a large waterfall. You’ll hike through both primary and secondary rainforest in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, while searching for monkeys, sloths, tropical birds and other exotic species. The hike itself can take up to 5 hours, so be sure to have good shoes and long pants. Because this area can often be muddy, rubber boots are also rented at the entrance if you choose.
While you can hike on your own on self-guided, well-marked trails, you will get much more out of the experience if you go with a local guide or tour company, so you can learn interesting information about the history and characteristics of Rio Celeste, not to mention they have a trained eye to spot the wildlife easier.
What you need to know:
- Swimming is currently prohibited due to the high sulfur content in the water which can cause skin allergies
- Hike is recommended for people on good physical condition, and includes primary and secondary forests
- Self-guided option available, just pay the entrance fee upon arrival. Reservations are not necessary
- If not going with a guided tour, having your own vehicle (4×4) is the only feasible option to get there
- When it’s rainy the blue river turns a chocolate color and may leave you disappointed…try to visit during the dry season
- Don´t forget your camera with plenty of memory space and batteries, and binoculars if you have them.