Rio Celeste gave us a great nature hike with some natural ingredients that spiced our adventure into the rainforest.
We started our adventure to Rio Celeste early in the morning, we were picked up at La Fortuna by our guide-driver Bryan from Seven Tours and then drove heading up north to the lowlands and searching for the Tenorio National Park, where Rio Celeste is located.
After an hour we stop in a town called San Rafael in a local Soda (Typical Small Restaurant) to grab some coffee and a bite. Then we drove 30 more minutes until reaching our destination.
Once at the National Park entrance, Bryan gave us some indications and showed us the bathrooms. We cannot enter the park with food, only small fruits, and a bottle of water. Bryan explained to us that the park rangers try to reduce as many materials as they can to keep the park clean and safe for tourists and wildlife.
The Park and trail of Rio Celeste
After a safety speech and general learning about the area we registered and entered the trail. We were impressed! The trail is quite good, about 200 meters of the trail are paved, then the rest is well-kept and covered with gravel and is easy to walk.
Rio Celeste Waterfall
Our first goal was the waterfall, it took us about 25 minutes to get there, once you are approaching the trail gets a bit steep, and then you have the waterfall at your sight, -a panoramic sight-, we walked down about 250 steps to reach the base of the river where there is a lookout with the Waterfall in front of you, just magnific!
I’ll tell you, the walking down is good, but the one coming up is a bit challenging, however totally healthy. The steps are in great condition. You can take great selfies at the waterfall lookout, the waterfall is beautiful, totally pristine falling on a light blue natural pool.
Then we continue the trail to find the next attraction, the lookout. On this lookout, we have an incredible panoramic view of the Tenorio Volcano and the mountain range.
Passing the lookout, we will find the “Laguna Azul”, which is a beautiful natural pool with intense Light Blue color, turning blue according to the weather and sunlight which deserves a picture.
We kept walking to the place where the river is born, but before we stopped at a place called “The Borbollones”. In this place we see, feel, and smell the activity of Tenorio Volcano on the river and the area. Bryan explained to us that as the steam from geothermal activity escapes from the volcanic veins, they produce hot bubbles on the water and liberate a smell of sulfur all around. Very interesting!
The Teñideros of Rio Celeste
We get back on track and finally get to the place where the light blue River gives birth. They call this place “Los Teñideros”, in English may be translated to the dyers. This is because right at this place the two rivers’ joints and create the Rio Celeste. The Buenavista River and the Quebrada Agria (Agria Creek) encounter and give us the Rio Celeste.
Th guide told us that the Buenavista River water comes loaded with heavy particles of minerals like Silica, Aluminum, and Oxygen and the water of the Quebrada Agria is extremely acidic, this combination multiplies the presence of those minerals in the new river, the presence of a high concentration of these minerals produces an optic effect that makes us believe that the river is light blue color, shocking! Right, is not a chemical effect, it’s all an illusion, produced by the sunlight reflection. But a magnificent illusion.
We stayed for a while at Los Teñideros enjoying the view and putting attention to Bryan’s briefing.
On the way back we saw a couple of snakes, we saw the vine snake, very quickly, but we saw a couple.
About Flora & Fauna
Certainly, the beauty of Tenorio National Park is amazing. We could spend hours talking about the Celeste River, the waterfall, the views of Tenorio Volcano, The Borbollones, and The Teñideros. But we also could talk about all that we saw in terms of nature. We enjoyed an incredible tropical humid forest, surrounded by lush and life everywhere.
This place is a paradise for birdwatchers, we saw so many birds like toucans, motmots, herons, tanagers, and a few more. Unfortunately, our phone is not quite apt to take pictures of birds due to the distance. But I assure you that you will not be disappointed about wildlife watching.
We also spot some interesting insects like crickets, bees, and beautiful butterflies flying around. The ones which impressed me the most were the spiders, they are huge! And they are impressive.
About reptiles, we already talked about the vine snake, but we also spotted some turtles, lizards, and blue jeans frogs.
We also heard a howler monkey family passing by, but they were a bit far from our pathway, however, Bryan told us that is common to spot the howler monkeys around, he also explained that sometimes it is possible to spot the white face monkeys as well.
I was impressed, I took this hike thinking about the river, hoping to see the waterfall with its light blue color and to know how the river gets this color and where it comes from.
I could say I didn’t think too much about the wildlife we could spot, but in the end, it was a nice surprise.
The visitors come to this national park looking for Baird’s tapir. Is the famous one in the place. However, Bryan explained to us that they are mostly nocturnal. They have seen it several times during the day, but it is not that common. They are more active at night, and they usually enjoy being in the deep forests or taking baths in the rivers and wetlands. According to Bryan, tapirs are not that friendly, so if you are lucky to find one, you must keep a safe distance.
Suddenly we were approaching the trail exit, with a nice feeling of being happy to enjoy all that we saw, and the good exercise is taken to achieve it.
After bathrooms, we took our way to our next stop, which was lunch! We were hungry!
The peace tree
We stopped on the way, just at the side of the road to admire the peace tree, a giant kapok tree. A local guide told us that this tree may have between 400 to 500 years old, due to its size basically.
We walked around the tree and the local guide gave us lots of information about it. Especially about the roots called buttress roots or huge ground roots, just amazing! We also saw some bats on these buttresses.
Bryan told us that we must think about all that this tree had to overcome to still be there. Probably this tree survived earthquakes, hurricanes, logging, and so many more.
Don Alexis Farm
Bryan took us to a place called Don Alexis Farm on the way back to La Fortuna. We enjoyed a typical meal called Casado, delicious by the way. I took the chicken Casado, but other choices were available such steak, fish, pork, and vegetarian of course!
We took approximately 25 minutes from the national park to Don Alexis Farm.
After lunch, we walked don Alexis Farm and knew all about what they have planted in there, Bryan explained to us all about the plantations. We also spot a couple of toucans and a Jacana on a small lagoon of the place. We learned so many interesting things about the trees and plantations they have, we knew the pepper, the wild cherry, the ilang-ilang tree which smells incredibly good it’s the secret ingredient of Chanel perfumes, and some others.
Then we got to a place where they have bathrooms and benches, at this place you can dress up and take your swimming suit to enjoy the Celeste River.
At the National Park is forbidden to swim, but here at don Alexis’ there is a very nice, big, and quite natural pool to swim into the Celeste River. It was refreshing! and nice, I don’t get tired of this light-blue color.
We also spot more blue-jeans frogs at this place and a leaf-litter toad.
I could say that this is one of the best parts of the whole day, a very funny moment in a beautiful place.
So, unfortunately, this was the end of the tour my friends, we got back to La Fortuna after this. We took almost an hour to our hotel, around 3:45 pm.
It was a wonderful day in Rio Celeste.
Want to experience it?
We live an incredible experience with Seven Tours, you can have more information about the Rio Celeste Hike.