Río Celeste and Tenorio National Park

Río Celeste is one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular sights — a river that is strangely sky-blue, or turquoise in places, because of aluminosilicates suspended in the water. It boasts a stunning waterfall that tumbles nearly 30 meters into a beautiful blue pool.

The river is the centerpiece of Tenorio National Park (129 sq. km.), an often overlooked attraction in northern Costa Rica between Arenal and Rincón de la Vieja national parks. In the middle of the park is the 1,913-meter Tenorio Volcano.

Río Celeste and its waterfall can be viewed from a fairly easy trail that can be hiked in two or three hours. The trail passes a blue lagoon that bubbles in places because of venting volcanic gas, and leads to a place where two colorless rivers meet and the water first turns blue.

There are a variety of lodging options around the park or in the nearby town of Bijagua. Río Celeste can be reached by day trip from Arenal.