Rio Celeste and the Volcano Tenorio National Park

Video Source: My Tan Feet

Local Legends says “When God finished painting the sky, he washed his brushes in the river that now bears the name Rio Celeste.” Rio Celeste is a right blue river named after the color of its water caused by dissolved minerals at the confluence of two small rivers.

Rio Celeste is located in the Volcano Tenorio national park is about 11km from Casitas Tenorio. The trail is about 7km in total. After 1.5km you will pass the decent to the impressive waterfall. Other highlights include the impressive blue lagoon, bubbling hot pools, the Teñideros” (or dye point) where the river takes its blue color from merging with a small creek and a lookout point. The park opens at 8am and entrance is not permitted after 2pm.

The colour of the river can change after high amounts of rainfall due to sediments carried in the river, however after several hours of dry weather the river’s colour can be restored to its remarkable blue colour.

Please note: Swimming in the river and hot springs is no longer permitted. You can swim in the river outside the park. Dive past the park entrance and you will pass a bridge that crosses Rio Celeste. You can park your car here and swim. Please see our activities page for more information.

For a comprehensive guide to visiting Rio Celeste, check out this excellent article from our friends at the MyTanFeet travel blog.

Driving Time from Casitas Tenorio: 40mins
Entrance Fee: $12 (Visitors) 1000 Colones (Nationals/residents)
Duration: Approx. 4-5 hrs.
Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult
Bring: Hiking boots, long pants, camera, rain jacket, insect repellant, hat.
Notes: A car with high wheel clearance (not necessarily $X$) , or a taxi can be arranged for about $55 round trip.
Tour Operator: Book a tour through Bijagua Rainforest Tours