The Rio Celeste Waterfall tour is a well sought-after hike that leads to a unique sky blue river and beautiful waterfall. You will see how the combination of two mineral-rich rivers creates the blue appearance of Rio Celeste. As an intermediate hike, it provides a good workout for people of most physical fitness levels.
At the beginning of the tour, you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to Tenorio Volcano National Park. It is a beautiful drive, allowing you to see the varied landscape on the way to the park. In comfortable air-conditioned vans, you will pass by small villages, family farms and see pockets of pristine rainforest.
Upon arrival to the park entrance, your bilingual guide will show you around and give you a chance to use the washrooms before beginning your hike to Rio Celeste. As this is one of the most popular hikes in the area, you will probably see other groups during your walk, both guided and going solo. The round-trip trail covers a distance of approximately 1.75 miles and can be muddy at times.
You will begin your hike with a steep uphill climb until you see through the trees the gorgeous waterfall cascading into a glistening pool of blue below. Here you will find a staircase allowing you to climb down several hundred steps to observe the massive white waterfall thundering into the blue river creating the perfect scenery for epic photographs. Take your time to climb down the stairs because it can be challenging for those who do not exercise a lot. Along the descent there are a couple of look out platforms. When you arrive at the bottom, as tempted as you may be to jump in, swimming is not allowed as the powerful waters generate a strong undertow, making the water unsafe for swimming.
Your nature guide who knows Rio Celeste very well, will point out any wildlife you may see within the park. Monkeys, birds, sloths, and iguanas often appear giving visitors a chance to take photos or to have a close up look through binoculars.
Onward to the rest of your hike, you will be walking on hilly terrain until you reach the next observation point which hangs over the blue river. Yet again another opportunity to take great photos. In this area you may smell sulfur which is being emitted from the natural jacuzzi volcanic activity in the river that allows the water to steam and bubble.
Keep walking another few minutes and you will get to the end of the hike which is where you can see the confluence of two rivers flowing into each other. You will learn from your guide how the combination of these two mineral-rich rivers causes the beautiful blue appearance of the Rio Celeste waters. On a clear day you can actually see the color changing as the rivers unite.
At this point, you will hike back the same way you came until you return to the entrance of the National Park. Your group will go to a nearby restaurant to enjoy a well-deserved hearty lunch and beverage. After lunch, you will be driven back to your hotel.
This tour takes approximately 6.5 to 8 hours and includes transportation, guide, national park entrance fee, and lunch. Transportation is included from hotels in Tamarindo, the Flamingo area, the Papagayo area, Jobo and Playa Grande and can take between 1.5 to 2.5 hours each way to get to the National Park. Please wear hiking clothes and enclosed hiking shoes. It is recommended to bring rain gear, personal water bottle and bug repellent. The waterfalls are best seen during the dryer months of January through May although is available year round and visible on any clear day.