A river with crystal clear waters that turn turquoise with the help of the sunlight reflection. It is not an act of magic: it is a natural spectacle that you can only witness at the site known as Los Teñideros. Surrounded by a lush forest which offers an impressive landscape worth seeing and admiring.
The Celeste River owes its color to a joint of two rivers, the Buena Vista River and Quebrada Agria River, this perfect combination gives us this natural marvel. The mix of minerals present in each one creates this heaven-like color on the water thanks to the reflection with the sunlight.
The Celeste River is born and flows within the Tenorio Volcano National Park in the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range, this Park is home to a rainforest that protects species of flora and fauna of regional importance. There is a local indigenous legend that tells that after God finished painting the skies, he washed the brushes in the Celeste River.
This volcano is the one that gives its name to the park itself and has a height of 1916 meters. It is located in the Guanacaste Mountain range. It is made up of four volcanic blocks and has two twin craters, all of them inactive since at least 1864, but which can be seen throughout the route through the national park itself thanks to its high altitude.
Within the area, the Tenorio volcano, with its four cones, offers natural panoramic views that allow appreciating the plains of the Pacific and the Caribbean, as it is located in the continental divide. Magnificent views all-around of mountains, valleys, and nature give you a beautiful picture to remember for years and the best souvenir you can have.
The park is located about 12 km away from Bijagua Town, this town is also a very touristic place with beautiful choices of hotels and some other attractions around with very nice weather. There is a new road which goes from La Fortuna to Bijagua, passing exactly in front of the Tenorio Park's main entrance. It is a very scenic and easy road to enjoy a quiet drive.
The main trail of the park is well-kept and most important parts are paved and wide enough to enjoy a very entertaining and learning hike, which goes mostly along the river. The closeness of the trail with the river gives us the chance to spot a very important diversity of animals, and if we are lucky, we can name a few such the monkeys, sloths, peccaries, tyras, agoutis, morpho butterflies, bushmaster snakes, fer-de-lance snakes, and other venom snakes.
The most iconic animal of the park is the Baird's Tapir, seen by some lucky ones. Tapirs are mostly nocturnal, so there is a project next to the park which offers a night hike in search of the Tapir.
The length of the trail is about 3.5 km or 2.2 miles, nowadays it is not a heavy hike as all the trail has been paved or ballasted, however, it is a good hike, so we always recommend being ready for it and be hydrated at all times and wear comfy clothes. The flora is typical of a cloud forest and a rainforest, highlighting a great diversity of heliconia, ferns, palms, and orchids. The most characteristic trees are the sapote, the pilón, the jícaro and the aguacatillo, very important trees that hold the ecosystem.
There are different waterfalls that also retain the intense blue coloration that we have mentioned before. Some have a considerable height, with a fall of up to 30 meters. According to park rangers the depth of the waterfall may range from 12 to 15 meters depending on the time of the year.
Of course, we must mention the fact that it is completely forbidden to bathe in any part of the Celeste River since, in order to continue enjoying the views it offers, it must be kept in perfect condition and clean with our help, also to keep the visitor's safety.
Los Hervideros is a place that contains hot springs where the temperature can reach up to 95 Celsius degrees, so bathing in the area is not possible. It is interesting to see the bubbles coming out from the river which gives us the idea of this activity, and also when you approach a bit you can feel the change in the temperature.
In the course of the river itself, there are some extensions that form small lagoons, such as, in this case, the blue lagoon, where these minerals -especially silica- normally accumulate in the bottom, producing the optical illusion of more intense blue color. A must-do stop along the way.
In the course of the river, a very curious phenomenon occurs that leaves all those who are lucky enough to witness it impressed. As we mentioned before, in this place we have the joint of the rivers that give life to the Celeste River, it's simple, you see one river of intense blue color on one side and a regular river on the other side, then the lightblue river, just amazing!