Hike alongside the sky-blue Rio Celeste

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Visitors to Costa Rica may want to pay a trip to Rio Celeste, a picturesque river known for its gorgeous scenery.

Striking Color

Rio Celeste, the name of which means "heavenly river," runs through the lush Tenorio Volcano National Park in the northern Costa Rican provinces of Alajuela and Guanacaste. The body of water's moniker stems from its striking color, which is caused by the interactions of chemicals and minerals linked to the region's volcanic activity.

Hiking to Rio Celeste

All of Rio Celeste's most popular attractions can be seen from a single trail, the entrance to which lies near the small town of El Pilon. The path runs for approximately two miles, and its relatively short distance ensures that even travelers who are not in peak physical condition can enjoy the river's beauty.

Beautiful Waterfall

The first thing that visitors will see on a hike near Rio Celeste is the stream's well-known waterfall, a majestic cascade located close to the beginning of the trail. The waterfall can be seen from the top of the path, but visitors hoping for a better view can go down a steep trail that leads to the base of the attraction. From the bottom, tourists can watch as the sky-blue waters crash down around them into a brightly colored pool.

Laguna Azul

Once hikers have returned to the main trail, they can continue on to a lookout point, which gives visitors expansive views of the nearby Tenorio Volcano. Afterwards, the track leads them to the Laguna Azul, a beautiful lagoon known for its calm waters and vibrant blue hue. Travelers can then move on to the "Borbollones" - a Spanish word meaning "gushing" - section of the river, which earns its name thanks to its bubbling thermal waters and its strong sulfur smell.

From the Borbollones portion of the Rio Celeste, hikers walk over a suspended bridge known as the "Mysteries of the Tenorio" before arriving at the spot where a creek flowing off of the volcano meets the main river, giving the Rio Celeste its signature sky-blue color.

Travelers looking to unwind after their walk can continue hiking until they reach the end of Rio Celeste's trail, where they will find a group of thermal pools. Tourists who brought their swimsuits on their trip are welcome to take a dip in the pools, where the mineral-rich waters will help them relax as it rejuvenates their skin.