Tenorio Volcano National Park - Rio Celeste

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Tenorio Volcano National Park - Rio Celeste: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rio Celeste Hike & Sloths Wild Life

1. Rio Celeste Hike & Sloths Wild Life

Hike through the tropical rain forest and discover many picture-perfect sights along the way. Visit “Los Teñideros”, see the volcano's furnace vents, the magnificent Rio Celeste waterfall, and 2 species of sloths at the Sloth Sanctuary. Once at Tenorio Volcano National Park, your guide will give a short introduction, and then the hike starts going through the tropical rain forest, where fauna and flora are plentiful. During the hike, visit “Los Teñideros”, where two streams of crystalline water come together and form the astonishing blue color that gives the river its name. Come by the volcano’s furnace vents that expel gases of extremely high temperatures, and get the chance to take a dip in the natural hot springs. See the spectacular Rio Celeste waterfall. Head to the Sloths Sanctuary, where you will see 2 different species of sloths and wildlife in their natural habitat. The final reward will be an exquisite traditional meal at the end of your journey.

Tamarindo: Celeste River and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

2. Tamarindo: Celeste River and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

Embark on an adventure and discover sloths, beautiful waterfalls, and a true bluewater river. Start off with a hike through Tenorio Volcano National Park and discover the rainforest in a 2 hour easy to moderate hike.  Marvel at the Celeste River, one of the most popular rivers in Costa Rica, well known around the world by its particular natural color from light blue to turquoise.  In addition to the stunning beauty of the water, the river also has several thermal hot springs and boiling mud pots. Plumes of volcanic gases are expelled and in some places give the appearance of boiling water. Visit a 98-foot waterfall and take in the stunning atmosphere.  After your swim, a small hike leads you to the place where sloths are at a very low height in their natural environment, as well as toucans and red-eyed leaf frogs.  Enjoy a country-style Costa Rican lunch with salad, rice, beans, and options for meat, chicken, or fish. On your way to one of Costa Rica's most beautiful waterfalls, the Llanos de Cortez waterfalls with a 65-foot height and 49-foot width drop into a tranquil pond with a white sandy beach, that's perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

La Fortuna Town: Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park Tour

3. La Fortuna Town: Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park Tour

Following your pickup from your hotel in La Fortuna Downtown, you will venture to the heart of the Tenorio Volcano. Once having arrived there, you will discover the mystery of the minerals that produce the reaction that causes the river to turn a marvelous light-blue color. You will explore right where the Buena Vista River and Roble River merge, with both rivers originating from the volcano. The colors of these rivers is caused by the different concentrations of minerals. The natural chemicals mix and cause a reaction between the sulfur from the volcano and calcium carbonate from the rain, creating one of the most beautiful attractions in Costa Rica. Later on in your tour, you will be taken to a breathtaking waterfall called the “Bride’s Veil”, which is the highlight of your adventure. You will then be taken to the Tenorio Volcano viewpoint, thermos mineral hot springs, and volcanic mud ponds. At the conclusion of your geothermal experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin in La Fortuna Town.

La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Hike

4. La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Hike

After being collected from your accommodation in La Fortuna, you will make your way to Rio Celeste. Rio Celeste is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica, and on a clear day, it is possible to receive spectacular views. Upon arrival to the park you will set off on a 7-kilometer hike, which passes by the River Celeste Waterfall, the Tenorio Lookout, the Blue Lagoon (a great place for taking pictures), and Borbollones (little geisers), before you finally arrive to Teñideros.  In this area, mother nature magically mixes the water of two crystal clear streams, changing the water's color to a beautiful bright, light blue (hence the name Rio Celeste, or "Light-Blue River"). After visiting the most beautiful places of this park there is a tough hike back to the park entrance, where you will have a delicious, well-deserved lunch waiting for you.

Río Celeste National Park Hike

5. Río Celeste National Park Hike

Once we arrive to the Río Celeste National Park, you may use the facilities to get ready and look at the information booth provided by the Río Celeste National Park. We will then begin a hike through the dense, lush, tropical rainforest that surrounds the Río Celeste National Park. The hike is approximately 3-miles long and considered intermediate. You and your naturalist guide go at your own pace and you'll learn interesting things about the rainforest along the way. We then arrive to "Los Teñíderos" where two rivers come together to form the celestial, turquoise blue water color that gives the waterfall its name "Celeste." We'll return, walking back through the Rio Celeste National Park to the "Ollas" -- or mud baths -- and take a moment to relax in the natural hot springs. For the grand finale, we then walk-on further to see the spectacular Río Celeste waterfall - the perfect place to take photos. We finish off with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and then head back to La Fortuna. Please note: the Río Celeste waterfall may lose its blue color during rainstorms. Our policy is to advise clients the day of the tour if it is raining in the area and offer the tour for the following day, should clients want to postpone or change to a different tour. No refunds for inclement weather.

Small-Group Blue River & Tenorio Volcano National Park Hike

6. Small-Group Blue River & Tenorio Volcano National Park Hike

Discover one of the most amazing sights in Costa Rica on a full-day tour of the Tenorio Volcano National Park, part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area, including a 3.5-hour hike to the crystalline waters of Los Teñideros in the Celeste River. Marvel at the magnificent turquoise waters and surrounding nature of the Rio Celeste. Located on the flanks of the Tenorio Volcano, the river is unique in Costa Rica and astounds visitors with its natural beauty. A circuit trail of 4.2 miles (7 kilometers) will take you through the forest, passing scenic spots such as Los Teñideros, where the river acquires a different color due to the chemical reactions. Visit the mud-filled fumaroles of Las Ollas (“Cooking Pots”), legendary for their healing properties. Continue to a startling turquoise waterfall of the Rio Celeste, before heading back along the banks of the river, enjoying the bubbling water and the nature surrounding you along the way. Finish your tour of one of the most interesting places in Costa Rica with a delicious lunch.

Other Sightseeing Options in Tenorio Volcano National Park - Rio Celeste

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What people are saying about Tenorio Volcano National Park - Rio Celeste

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 18 reviews

This was a several hour hike quite a workout with a lot of climbing steps and rocks, but the reward of the magnificent beauty of the Rio Celeste waterfall, lagoon, and seeing the two rivers meet was well worth the effort! Brian and Kenya were amazing informative tour guides. Kenya made sure she helped all the less fit hikers up & down the trail. Please note you need to be in pretty decent physical shape to do this hike

I really enjoyed this! Steven was such a friendly and knowledgeable guide as well. The hike was beautiful, but it was challenging at times and Steven was very patient with me taking my time. We even got to stop and see a sloth on the way which added to it as well. I could tell Steven loves his job and enjoys sharing nature with others. I highly recommend this activity.

The tour totally exceeded our expectations. The national park with the Rio Celeste is simply beautiful. Santos was a great guide who told us a lot about Costa Rica, nature and the park. We learned so much that day and are very grateful. Lunch was delicious too. Booking was easy and the tour started on time. Thank you Santos! :)

The guide was excellent - so knowledgeable! The day included much more than I ever expected! This was such a well rounded experience - I definitely recommend it! I feel like I got to so much more about Cost Rica! Pura vida!!

We enjoyed this tour. Our guide Jason was very knowledgeable and passionate.