Río Celeste

Bridge over the Río Celeste
Rio Celeste river, inside Tenorio Volcano National Park, is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful and mysterious natural places.  The local legend has it, that after God was done painting the sky he washed his paintbrushes in this river, hence the name - Rio Celeste (river of the sky).  The scientific explanation, the river’s blue hue is the result of a mixture of sulfur and carbonate, which originate in the nearby dormant Tenorio Volcano.

The river is surrounded by rainforest and is home to many species of wildlife, including sloths, anteaters and a variety of exotic birds.  Despite Rio Celeste's unparalleled beauty, this is one of the less visited locations in Costa Rica.  Hence the park doesn't get too crowded and preserves its natural state.

You can visit Rio Celeste on a day trip from Arenal, Monteverde or even from the Guanacaste coast.  The hike through the rainforest on the banks of the river is approximately 4 hours.  You will stop along the way at Los Teñideros, the origins of the color.  This is where two brooks meet, causing a chemical reaction that forms the turquoise colored river.  You will continue the hike until you reach the Río Celeste waterfall.
Photos

Tours that Include Río Celeste

End the trip with a drive to the Pacific coast for some beach time
Map of Highlights of Costa Rica: Arenal, Monteverde, & Manuel Antonio - 9 Days
Highlights of Costa Rica: Arenal, Monteverde, & Manuel Antonio - 9 Days

The jewel of Central America, Costa Rica offers an array of adventures, from city to cloud forest to sea. This weeklong itinerary includes trekking near an active volcano, some of the world’s best bird-watching, and snorkeling with sea turtles. It's a trip that encompasses the country’s most spectacular and varied landscapes, plus an opportunity to savor the culture of local villages as well as that of San José, Costa Rica’s dynamic capital city.

Trail to the Rio Celeste waterfall
Map of Arenal Waterfall Expedition - 4 Days
Arenal Waterfall Expedition - 4 Days

This quick-hit excursion to Arenal Volcano National Park offers an outdoor adventure where Costa Rica's stunning waterfalls take center stage. The trip starts and ends in bustling San Jose, but the village of La Fortuna will be your base as you enjoy Arenal's many cascades. Keep an eye out for wildlife on a hike to the incredible Rio Celeste waterfall. Along the way, cool off with a swim at the base of the waterfalls, or indulge yourself with a dip in the healing waters of Tabacón before heading back to the capital.

Manuel Antonio beaches are known for sunset views
Map of Costa Rica Hiking Adventure - 10 Days
Costa Rica Hiking Adventure - 10 Days

Checking off three key regions in Costa Rica, this 10-day itinerary is perfect for adventurous travelers. The trip starts with a visit to Costa Rica's famous Arenal Volcano for hiking and natural hot springs before continuing to the Pacific Ocean for some beach time at Manuel Antonio National Park. Finish off in one of the country's most remote areas—Osa Peninsula—for undeveloped rainforests, rare wildlife, and near-empty coastline.