A Guide To Visiting Rio Celeste – Costa Rica

Rio Celeste is one of the most beautiful sights in Costa Rica, this gorgeous turquoise river is located inside the Volcan Tenorio National Park, in the northern part of Costa Rica. This spot is a popular destination in Costa Rica, receiving more than +60,000 people a year. We visited this amazing place in November and this post is going to help you enjoy your visit even more.

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If you are coming from Liberia, Guanacaste head east on the 1 highway until the Upala exit, from there head north for about 45 min until you arrive to the charming town of Bijagua, if you are going straight to the Volcan Tenorio National Park drive 20 more minutes, follow the signs. If you are coming from any other direction you can use Waze or Google Maps.



Here’s some useful information about the National Park that might help you out in your visit:

  • Opening hours: Everyday from 8am to 2pm (you can stay inside the park until 4pm).
  • There is parking inside the grounds and across the street (1,000 colones).
  • Entrance fee: $12 adults and $5 children / 800 colones residents.
  • From the main street most of the road to the park is gravel and cement.
  • There is only one main park entrance/exit.



The hike through the park is very rustic, the entrance is paved for the first 300 meters, after that there is about 200 meters of gravel and then the trail becomes dirt and rocks the whole way. These are our recommendations for a comfortable visit:

  • Shoes: tennis shoes (one’s you won’t mind getting dirty) or hiking shoes.
  • Clothes for women: very light shorts, any type of sport leggings or tight yoga pants, any kind of tank top, anything that you feel comfortable in.
  • Clothes for men: sport shorts, regular shorts, t-shirts or tank tops.
  • Backpack: make sure to bring some water, snacks, your camera and a rain poncho just in case.


We recommend staying in the area at least one night, this way you can fully enjoy the park, have a good night’s rest and contribute to the area, something very important to the locals that have businesses here. We recommend these two great options for staying near Rio Celeste:

Casitas Tenorio B&B: this charming B&B its great for relaxation, they offer 6 casitas to accommodate couples or entire families. This place is surrounded by lots of nature and birds, and the owners are extremely nice and helpful (check out our full review here).

Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel: with 26 rooms, an amazing pool and a tropical atmosphere, this hotel is another great option to stay in while visiting Rio Celeste, and the best part is that is only 5 min away from the park entrance (check out our full review here).


Being foodies, we always want to know where the food is, so here’s a few options to get your meals around the area:

Soda Los Pilones and Soda El Parque: these two are right in the entrance of the National Park, they offer Costa Rican food, quick snacks, like empanadas, nachos or patacones. They are both great options, very inexpensive and the food is delicious. They only take cash, so make sure you have enough when visiting either one.

Kantala Restaurant: this gorgeous restaurant is located inside the Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, they offer lunch and dinner, and their international cuisine menu is delicious.

El Barrigon Pizzeria: located in Bijagua, this awesome establishment offers delicious pizzas at a very affordable price.



  • The Waterfall: this amazing water is the first stop in the hike, with a fall of around 30 meters, it’s an impressive sight.
  • The Blue Lagoon: keep walking on the trail and you will find this colorful lagoon.
  • Hervideros or Borbollones: hot springs where you can see the water bubbling to the surface.
  • Teñideros: this is the spot where the magic happens, where the river turns blue.


We highly recommend adding this stop to your adventures in Costa Rica, we are sure you will enjoy it.