The brilliant blue waters of Rio Celeste create an amazing sight as you discover one of the natural wonders of Costa Rica. On this guided hike, you’ll enter Tenorio National Park where soon you’ll be greeted by a beautiful turquoise waterfall. From there you’ll follow the trail to several other look-out points until you reach the place where the magic begins. Two volcanic rivers join producing a natural chemical reaction turning the color of the resulting river into a bright peacock blue.
This is a special tour only for guests staying at the Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel. It begins at the hotel’s reception area where you will meet your guide who will take you on a short hike to the entrance of the National Park. There you’ll have a chance to fill up your water bottles and use the washroom before embarking on a 4 to 5 hour trek through the rainforest.
After around 300 yards of hiking up the natural trails in the park, you’ll come across the edge of a canyon where you’ll see a large, breathtaking waterfall flowing way down into the river. To see it more closely you can choose to go down a steep, well-constructed staircase of about 250 steps, with a railing, to visit the observation platform.
When you get to the platform you’ll probably say it was worth it because you’ll have the advantage of being right next to the 300-foot cascading waterfall as it tumbles into a sparkling pool of blue water. An excellent place for taking photographs.
After hiking the 250 steps back up the staircase at your own pace, you’ll regroup, catch your breath, then resume walking through the lush verdant rainforest. Your guide will share many interesting facts about your surroundings as well as point out and identify any wildlife you may encounter. Commonly seen or heard in the park are monkeys, sloths, reptiles, and many species of exotic birds.
You will stop to rest at a few more observation platforms along the way featuring scenic views, including one sitting directly over the blue river and another high over the tree canopy providing ideal conditions for birdwatching.
Continuing your walk, you will come across the hot springs that flow into the river. It is prohibited to swim but interesting to see the effects of the volcanic activity heating the water and creating a sulfuric smell.
At the very end of the trail, you will have arrived at the magical point where two brown rivers converge, turning the water into bright blue before your very eyes.
Local lore suggests that when God was finished coloring the sky, he cleaned his brush in the river, which turned the water celestial blue. For those looking for a more scientific explanation, the transformation is actually a natural chemical reaction caused by two mineral-rich rivers flowing together. Your guide will give a more in-depth explanation of this wonderful phenomenon and the role Tenorio Volcano plays in the process.
At the half way point, your guide will provide a fresh tropical fruit snack to keep you fueled up for your full adventure.
This 4 to 5 hour moderate hiking tour includes a bilingual guide, park entrance, and a fruit snack. It is available only for guests staying at the adjacent Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, therefore transportation is NOT necessary. Please wear fully enclosed hiking shoes as the trail can become muddy during the wetter months. Long pants and long sleeve lightweight clothing are recommended along with bug repellent, bottled water, rain gear, camera and binoculars.