This amazing turquoise color river/waterfall is located inside the Tenorio Volcano National Park in the north area of Costa Rica between the province of Guanacaste and Alajuela, and it is part of the Guanacaste Volcanic Range. This hike can take up to two hours.
Rio Celeste Hiking and its different stopovers.
The total distance of the hiking is about 5,3 kms, (3,2 miles ), this is from the main entrance to the “Teñideros”, round trip.
1 Stop ~ The Waterfall.
It is located about 1 mile from the entrance of the trail, here the relief is flat for about 450 meters, after that we ascend for about 800 meters at the entrance of the trail that takes to the waterfall we walk 253 steps down to get to the waterfall. The height of the fall is about 30 mtrs, ( 98 ft ), and the deepest part of the pond is about 17 mtrs ( 55 ft ).
2 Stop ~ Lookout point of the Tenorio volcanic massif.
It is located just 550 meters from the waterfall, the relief is flat to concave or hollow. It’s possible to observe the Tenorio Volcano and its 5 cones , Tenorio 1, 2, Montezuma and Carmela.
3 Stop ~ Blue Lagoon.
From the lookout point we descend for about 200 meters from this point the relief is flat. There is a high accumulation of colloidal silica in the lagoon that makes it look turquoise during sunny days.
4 Stop ~ Hot spring.
Just 50 meters from the lagoon, it is a hot spring generated by a fracture that allows the exit of sulfurous gases and thermal waters.
5 Stop ~ “El Teñidero”, The Dyer. ( Physical phenomenon known as Mie Scattering ).
It’s just about 350 meters from the hot spring.
This is the exact point where two colorless rivers, the Buenavista River and Sour Creek join. Buenavista River carries a large concentration of aluminosilicate particles with a small diameter. Sour Creek, as its name implies, has a high acidity due to volcanic activity. When these two streams mix to form Celeste River, the drop in PH causes the aluminosilicate particles to aggregate and enlarge to a diameter of about 566 nm, ( nanometers ), These suspended particles produce Mie scattering which gives the river a strong turquoise color.
Duration of the tour: 7-8 hours
Note: If it has rained torrentially in this area the waterfall loses its light blue color due to all the sediments carried by the river.
What to bring/wear:
- Raincoat or poncho
- Hiking shoes
- Insect repellent
- Extra clothes (in case you get wet/mud dirty)
- Water/Hydrating Beverage
- Park entrance fee
- Tour guide certified by the Costarican Tourism Board
- Private transportation
- Souvenir shop (optional)
For bookings or information about prices and packages send an email to
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