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       celeste river waterfall aerial view with step trail dji
  - Costa Rica

Celeste River Waterfall Hike

Celeste River Waterfall Hike

Destination: Arenal, Flamingo, Liberia, Nosara, Playa del Coco, Playa Grande, Playa Hermosa, Playa Junquillal, Rincon de la Vieja, Samara, San Jose, Tamarindo


  • 100-foot waterfall with a 52-foot deep cerulean pool
  • 10-foot deep florescent blue lagoon
  • Tenorio Volcano-fed boiling water surging to the river surface in the low jungle
  • View point of Tenorio Volcano
  • Small hanging bridge used to cross a blue river
  • See where and how the water turns blue ("Teñideros")


  • Hours : 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
  • Tour length : 3.5 hours
  • Hike level : Easy to get to waterfall; Moderate in the blue lagoon trail bordering the river
  • Location : Tenorio Volcano National Park
  • Price : From $115 with transportation and lunch; price changes based on departure location
  • Swimming : Not allowed in the Celeste River inside the national park
  • What to bring : Rain jacket, hiking shoes (non-slip preferred), camera, binoculars, comfortable clothing

Emerge from lush rainforest to discover the 100-foot (30 meter) Celeste River Waterfall and its cerulean pool. Walk under towering trees look at the volcano-fed boiling water surging to the river, stop at a viewing platform for a glimpse at Tenorio Volcano, admire the fluorescent blue lagoon, cross over a blue river on a hanging bridge, and witness the magical natural boarder where fresh water turns blue.

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Twin rivers escape from springs underneath the Tenorio Volcano, their clear waters twist away down the valley through the Tenorio National Park. As the rivers merge, their waters churn into a fluorescent blue; a chemical reaction caused by the crystallization of copper sulfate, colloidal silica and sulfur.

The celestial waters flow through the rainforest, complimenting the emerald greens of the forest flora on their way to the blue lagoon; where the waters laze in a giant, azure pool devoid of life save for the tall, green grass-like weeds growing in the shallows.

Farther down, the river builds momentum joining with other rivers before flowing over the edge of a 100-foot waterfall in a spectacular cerulean shower.


Your guide will have your entry tickets ready to enter the park – if your tour includes the entrance fee. Otherwise, your guide will assist you purchasing them at the main park ranger office.

You will follow an easy one-mile (1.5 km) dirt trail at a slow pace spotting wildlife with the help of your guide from the main gate of Tenorio Volcano National Park. Wind down a cliff on a set of 80+ steps on an "out-and-back trail to the waterfall with awesome views of the old and new growth rainforest.

Climb back on the step trail! Take the lagoon trail (a bit steep) in one area, admire the Tenorio Volcano view – if it is clear, continue for about a mile to the blue lagoon, past the boiling river water, further about one fourth of a mile cross the hanging bridge to find where the fresh river water changes its color to blue, locally known as "Teñideros". The total distance including the return is about 2.1 miles (3.5 km).


You will not be able to swim in the pool or enter the water.

Torrential rain may change the fluorescent blue waters into amaretto color. We will inform you the day of the tour if the rain is likely to create this phenomenon, and you may opt to take the tour another day.

Departure & Return

  • Departure point : Tour departs from all major hotels in Arenal, Conchal, Coco, Flamingo, Nosara, Papagayo, Potrero, Samara, Tamarindo
  • Departure time : Hotel pickup is between 1 and 3 hours before tour start time depending on hotel location
  • Return details : Tour returns to original departure point between three and five hours after tour start time

Celeste River Waterfall Hike in Pictures

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