Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Rainforest

Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Rainforest

As local legend has it, God washed his paintbrush in the Río Celeste after he painted the sky. Upon seeing the blue-tinted waters of this river, this legend will make a great deal of sense.

Featured in:Guided Tours, Hiking, Rio Celeste, Tenorio & Miravalles Protected Zone
8 hrs
Available Days:
6:30 AM
Hotel Transport Included
Mobile Ticket Included
Offered in English, Spanish

This full day tour begins with a hike through a primary forest in the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Alongside the forested trails, you’ll be able to spot a variety of plant and animal species. You’ll continue walking until you reach an impressive waterfall, which is near the place where the river’s light blue color intensifies and gels. This color, as it turns out, is the result of a chemical mixture of sulfur and carbonate, which originate in the Tenorio Volcano. The hike continues along the banks of the river and eventually passes hot springs.

Due to recent regulations from MINAET (Ministry of the Environment) it is not possible to swim at Tenorio Volcano National Park.

This tour is recommended for hikers or outdoor enthusiasts. It isn’t physically challenging, but you should be in decent shape, as it requires some stamina.
Average travel time from La Fortuna to Tenorio Volcano National Park is 2 hours approximately.

Attractions Visited

Rio Celeste

The Río Celeste winds through the verdant rainforest of Tenorio Volcano National Park. You can opt to see this bright blue river on a moderately challenging 4.5-mile (7.5 km) hike. It's also possible to take a 1-mile (1.5 km) hike that goes directly to the Río Celeste Waterfall from the entrance of the park.

Read more:Rio Celeste

Tenorio & Miravalles Protected Zone

Highway 6 is between two volcanic national parks – Tenorio Volcano National Park to the east and Miravalles Volcano National Park to the west. The rugged volcanic landscape is also home to a vibrant tropical forest.

Read more:Tenorio & Miravalles Protected Zone

What to Bring

Hiking shoes, sandals, binoculars, camera, sunscreen, money, and hat.

What's included

Lunch, water bottle, juice, guide, transportation, and entrance fee to the park.


Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.

Traveler Comments

This hike was strenuous which the description didn’t say. A lot of steps and heat. One thing I will say is time doesn’t seem to be much of a thing in Costa Rica. Our tour bus showed up over a half hour early to get us and we lucked out by walking back from the grocery at that time or we would have missed it (and thankfully we were awake). This happened with almost every tour either being early or ending later which we didn’t mind but some had stuff planned after these activities. This hike was said to be done and we would be back in Tamarindo by 2:30p. We got back after 5p and the guide said we made really good time on the hike because usually it’s even later then that to get back. Would be good to have accurate times.


We were picked up on time. It was a 2 & a half hour drive from our resort, but it was worth the trip. Danny, our van driver, went out of his way to help us see as much wildlife as possible during the drive. The waterfall was gorgeous and well worth every step of the hike.

- TONYA , MAY 2017

Incredible! I have never seen anything like it before so beautiful and well kept. Saw a lot of wild life many different birds, monkeys, and sloths!

- KURT S, AUG 2014
As local legend has it, God washed his paintbrush in the Río Celeste after he painted the sky.Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Rainforest33
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Miravalles Volcano Combo TourTenorio Volcano Area

This tour begins with a one-hour drive through the Guanacaste mountain range. During this portion, you’ll be privileged with excellent views of the dormant Miravalles Volcano. Although the volcano hasn’t experienced significant eruptions in some time, it continues to expel gas and geysers near its base— expulsions that are used by the government to produce geothermal energy.

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