Costa Rica Day Trips

7 Reasons to Visit Río Celeste

Seven reasons why Rio Celeste is one of Costa Rica’s most unique natural attractions

1. The waterfall. The intense blue color makes it one of the most unique in the world. Although the waterfall is one of the first sights along the walk, we recommend saving it for last.

Photo: Andrés Madrigal
Photo: Andrés Madrigal

2. The river. The trails lead to the different sections of the river. the hike is not too technical, and is perfect for children. Remember to bring water, snacks, and comfortable hiking shoes.

Photo: Andrés Madrigal
Photo: Andrés Madrigal

3. The blue lagoon. The deeper the water, the more intense the blue becomes.

4. Los Teñideros. The dye beds are two streams that merge and the river takes on its unique coloration.

Photo: Andrés Madrigal
Photo: Andrés Madrigal

5. The hike. Takes around four hours, and is covered in lush vegetation. Is this tropical perfection? You decide. We certainly think so.

Photo: Andrés Madrigal
Photo: Andrés Madrigal

6. The lookout point: The view showcases Tenorio Volcano in all its splendor. It’s the perfect place to rest and eat a snack.

Photo: Andrés Madrigal
Photo: Andrés Madrigal

7. Los borbollones: Hot springs dot various sections of the river.

For an in-depth article on Río Celeste read here.

General Information

The park offers a general information kiosk, potable water, restrooms at the entrance of the park, local guides, talks, and paths.

The entrance fee for foreigners is US$12. Costa Rican residents pay ¢800. The park is open daily from 8:00 to 4:00, although the lastest you can enter the park is 2pm. Park phone is 2206-5369.

Where to Stay: 

Our favorite place to stay is Río Celeste Hideaway. This gorgeous lodge is located close to the entrance to Tenorio Volcano National Park, where Río Celeste is located. Within the manicured grounds you’ll find lush tropical gardens, a pool, finely appointed bungalows and suites with private decks overlooking the rainforest, an excellent restaurant, and bar. Costa Rica Tel (506) 2206-4000, US Toll free 1-800-320-3541

How to Get There:

From San José: Take the Pan-American Highway towards Liberia. Five kilometers after the city of Cañas, turn right and go 30 km until you get to Bijagua. Continue five kilometers east, where you{ll see signs for the park. Turn right here and drive around seven kilometers on a gravel road that will take you to the park entrance. It takes about 3:30 hours from Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela.

From Liberia: Just an hour away.

From Arenal: 1:30 hours from Arenal Volcano. A four-wheel-drive vehicle with high clearance is recommended.

What to bring: Comfortable clothes that can get wet, tennis or hiking shoes, insect repellent, bathing suit, and water.

• Do not leave the established paths.
• Do not take any plants or animals from the park.
• Do not swim in restricted areas.
• Do not go near or under the waterfall.

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  1. Sunday February 5th, 2017 at 02:43 AM — Reply

    Thanks for the excellent article! There are a range of accommodation options in the area including our little B&B in Bijagua called ‘Casitas Tenorio’. Rio Celeste is a magical place and it should be on everyone’s travel bucket list, that’s for sure! Thanks for your great article and awesome photos. Pura Vida!

  2. Lynn
    Wednesday May 3rd, 2017 at 06:48 PM — Reply

    This beautiful area will never be forgotten by either my husband or I. We trekked to this beautiful waterfall, early one morning last year – 2nd June with our photographer and celebrant. In the early morning sunshine, and with the stunning blue back drop of the Rio Celeste Waterfall we got married. We laughed as we passed a number of bemused tourists as we trekked back with me in a full length, designer wedding dress and wearing the biggest smile on our faces that would have been seen that day! We then went and honeymooned at the magical Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel where we were treated like VIPS. Happy, happy times😀

    • Wednesday May 3rd, 2017 at 07:09 PM — Reply

      Wow, that’s a story for this website!

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