How to get to Río Celeste. A guide with directions, location and map

When you go to Costa Rica, a place that you can not miss to get to is Rio Celeste.

Here we bring you all the information you need, so you can visit it once you are there.

Of course, to have a full experience during your visit, Río Celeste area offers places like hotels, where you can stay and from where you will make your starting point for the tour you have planned during your stay.

How to get to rio celeste
Celeste river hiking

Location of Rio Celeste

The Celeste River of Costa Rica is located in the canton of Guatuso, in the province of Alajuela and in the Tenorio Volcano National Park.

It is located within the Arenal and Tempisque conservation area.

Hotel  in the Celeste River area
Hotel in the Celeste River area

The river is formed by the confluence of others, the Buena Vista and the Quebrada Agria, both flowing through the foothills of the volcano itself.

The most remarkable thing and for which it is recognized worldwide is the incredible optical effect that it offers to all those who are lucky enough to visit it.

Río Celeste Costa Rica

To check on more maps information about Celeste River click here

The waterfall of Celeste River

Along a hiking trail within the Tenorio Volcano National Park you will find a multitude of wonders, to finally reach the brilliant blue of Rio Celeste.

But on that journey you will marvel at the Río Celeste Waterfall.

The mighty waterfall puts on a spectacle as it plunges 98 feet into a pool of sparkling blue water surrounded by dense tropical forest.

From the ranger post to the waterfall turnoff, the trail is relatively flat and paved, then the rest of the hike is unpaved.

The water fall of Celeste River
The water fall of Celeste River

How to get to Rio Celeste

From San José

For independent tourists, the best way to get there is by bus from San José to Ciudad Quesada and from there take another bus to Guatuso, from where you can take a taxi to Río Celeste.

Another way to get there from San José is to go to Fortuna de San Carlos and from there to Upala, reaching the street that leads to Pilón de Bijagua.

From this street to Río Celeste it takes an hour and a half. You can also purchase a tour. You can get from San José to Rio Celeste by car and even by plane.

From La Fortuna

Another point from which you can go to Río Celeste is from La Fortuna or Arenal Volcano.

The distance between the two is 47 km. By road it is 104 km. and the best way to get from La Fortuna to Rio Celeste without a car is by bus and taxi.

There are full-day tour services for Rio Celeste from La Fortuna.

how to get to Celeste river from La Fortuna
To Celeste river from La Fortuna

From Tamarindo

Also if you are in Tamarindo you can go from there to Río Celeste.

The direct distance between Tamarindo and Rio Celeste is 99 km and by road is 151 km. It can also be reached by car, taxi, bus or plane.

If you come from the Liberia International Airport, you have to go along Inter-American Highway 1 towards Upala (Route 6) until you reach Bijagua and from there to Río Celeste.

This trip takes approximately 1.5 hours, about 75 kilometers by car.
Directions to Rio Celeste

To book a jungle night tour in Costa Rica click here

Why is the water so blue?

There are two versions that explain why the celeste river has the color it has.Celeste river means blue river.

One such explanation is scientific.
According to the scientific explanation, the color of the celestial river is the result of the mixture of two rivers.

One of them is the Buena Vista River, and the other is the Quebrada Agria River.

These two separately are relatively clear. What happens when the minerals of both rivers are mixed, forms the striking blue of the celestial river.

On the other hand, the legend says that the celestial river got its color, when God was painting the sky, and he dipped his brush in it.

How to get to celeste river
Celeste River waterfall

Rio Celeste tourist attractions

There are lots of things to do at and around Rio Celeste.

Here is a list of some of the attractions:

  • The fauna: In the region there are peccaries, white-tailed deer, ocelot and birds.
  • The blue Lagoon.
  • The waterfall.
  • The tropical forest that is around it.
  • The viewpoint with views of the Tenorio volcano.
  • The bubbles.
  • Rio Celeste Tubing Adventures.
  • The teñideros, where you can observe the water in shades that range from aquamarine, light blue, turquoise, to deep blue.
  • The hot springs.
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