Where is Rio Celeste Located?

Rio Celeste is in the northern part of Costa Rica, in the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Tenorio Volcano and the park cover an area of approximately 39 square kilometers and are known for their impressive natural beauty, diverse flora and fauna, and volcanic activity.

Since Rio Celeste is located in a tropical rainforest, it’s home to various plant and animal species, including toucans, monkeys, and jaguars. 

The rainy season typically runs from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in September and October. The river can become swollen and muddy during the rainy season, making the bright blue water less visible. 

Also, the area experiences high humidity and precipitation throughout the year. Average temperatures in the Tenorio Volcano National Park area range from around 20-30°C (68-86°F) throughout the year, with the highest temperatures typically occurring in March and April.

Some of the cities near Rio Celeste include the following:

  • Upala: This small city is located approximately 15 kilometers (9 miles) north of Rio Celeste and is the closest major settlement to the park.
  • Bijagua: This town is located about 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of Rio Celeste and is a popular stopover point for visitors to the park.
  • Liberia: This is a larger city located approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of Rio Celeste and is the capital of the Guanacaste province.
  • La Fortuna: This city is located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) southeast of Rio Celeste and is a popular tourist destination known for its proximity to Arenal Volcano and hot springs.

Things to Do in Rio Celeste

Since Rio Celeste is located in the stunning Tenorio Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, visitors can choose from various activities and experiences to enjoy. Some of the things to do in Rio Celeste include:

  • Hiking: The Rio Celeste trail includes a popular 1.5-kilometer trail that leads to the stunning Rio Celeste waterfall and blue lagoon, or laguna azul, in Spanish. Overall, the trek takes about 3.2 km to complete.
  • Wildlife viewing: Tenorio Volcano National Park is home to various plant and animal species, including monkeys, sloths, toucans, jaguars, and, if you’re lucky, tapirs. Visitors can go on guided nature walks to spot some of these creatures.
  • Birdwatching: The park is also an excellent spot for birdwatching, with over 300 species of birds known to inhabit the area.
  • Photography: The park’s stunning natural scenery, including the sky-blue river, lush rainforest, and spectacular Rio Celeste waterfall, makes it a perfect location for photography.

Overall, Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano National Park offer visitors a range of activities and experiences, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Hanging bridges Costa Rica
Costa Rica River Pool

Essential Tips to Visit Rio Celeste

If you plan on going to Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, you need to consider a few things. These include hiking gear, hiking boots, comfortable clothing, water and snacks, and paying an admission fee to enter the park.

Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your trip:

  • Plan ahead: Tenorio Volcano National Park and Rio Celeste waterfall are popular destinations, especially during the high season from December to April. So, planning and booking your accommodation, park entrance, and tour of the Rio Celeste trail in advance is a good idea.
  • Stay hydrated: If you’re taking part in a Rio Celeste hike, it’s essential to stay hydrated throughout the day because of the high humidity and temperatures in the park. Consider taking a reusable water bottle with you for convenience and to avoid dehydration.
  • Respect the environment: Tenorio Volcano National Park is a protected area in Costa Rica, so it’s essential to respect the environment and follow all rules and regulations, including staying on designated trails and not littering.
  • Hire a local guide: Hiring a local guide in Rio Celeste, Costa Rica, can enhance your experience by providing insights into the park’s flora, fauna, and history. They can also help keep you safe while hiking the trails.

Are you planning a trip to the Rio Celeste waterfall to see the Laguna Azul and explore Tenorio Volcano National Park? Our guides are passionate about sharing their knowledge of the area. 

With us, you can spot hidden wildlife, go on rafting adventures, do chocolate tours, cross hanging bridges, and enjoy the best photography spots. 

Also, if you’ve got questions about how to reach Rio Celeste, extreme weather conditions, hiking trails, national park hours, or anything else, rest assured we’ll provide you with all the info you need to safely and comfortably explore the Rio Celeste area.

Take advantage of the opportunity and experience Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano National Park. 

Contact us today to make your trip an unforgettable experience!


1. Is Rio Celeste a hard hike?

The difficulty of the hike to Rio Celeste depends on the individual’s fitness level and experience with hiking. While the hike to Rio Celeste is not considered easy, it is a rewarding experience for those up for a moderate challenge.

2. How long does it take to hike Rio Celeste?

The hike to Rio Celeste is approximately 3.2 kilometers long and generally takes 3 to 4 hours to complete.

3. Can I swim at Rio Celeste?

No. Rio Celeste’s Laguna Azul is tempting, but swimming is prohibited to protect the river’s unique natural environment. Keep in mind that this prohibition applies not only to the lagoon but also to the entire river inside the park and along its trails.

4. What is the best time of year to visit Rio Celeste, Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Rio Celeste, Costa Rica, is during the dry season. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it easier to hike the trails and see the area’s stunning natural beauty.

5. What should I wear to Rio Celeste, Costa Rica?

When visiting Rio Celeste, Costa Rica, during the dry season, you should wear comfortable and appropriate clothing suitable for the climate and the activities you plan to do. This includes comfy and sturdy hiking shoes, breathable clothing, sun protection, and insect repellent.

6. Can I Visit Rio Celeste in the Rain?

Yes, you can visit Rio Celeste in the rain, but it’s important to be prepared for the weather conditions. If you visit the blue lagoon during the rainy season, remember that the trail might be slippery or wet. For that reason, bringing rain gear is mandatory.

7. Is Rio Celeste Suited to Kids/Families?

Yes. Rio Celeste can be an excellent destination for kids and families if they are prepared for hiking and outdoor activities.

8. How Tall is the Rio Celeste Waterfall?

Rio Celeste waterfall is a 98-foot drop.

9. What animals can be found at Rio Celeste?

Due to its location in the rainforest, many animals can be found near Rio Celeste, including howler monkeys, sloths, tapirs, jaguars, toucans, and butterflies.

10. How muddy is the trail to the Rio Celeste Waterfall?

The trail to the Rio Celeste Waterfall can be muddy during the rainy season, particularly on steep inclines or near the river. The trail is well-maintained and generally easy to follow, so there’s nothing to worry about.

For more details, please get in touch with us at Find My Costa Rica