Costa Rica

Rio Celeste - An Unreal Blue, Day Trip from La Fortuna, Costa Rica

by Becabouttheworld on March 16, 2012

Rio Celeste - An Unreal Blue, Day Trip from La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Rio Celeste is an unearthly, azure blue river because of the volcanic minerals in the water. After a stunning cloud forest hike, you can swim in steaming natural hot springs, go to a lookout area where the river is three distinct colours and then head down a steep and very slippery path to the beautiful waterfall. It's a good idea to go early because the hot springs can get crowded. Just take a packed lunch and take in the view while you wait your turn (the pool can comfortably fit about 9 people).

The path is very obvious and well-signed so a guide isn't necessary unless you want to know more about the flora and fauna, but I highly recommend the gumboots/wellies for hire at the front entrance for $3. The mud can come almost to the knee in some areas!

It is strange walking through the forest with the occasional jets of warm air that heat the path from vents in the mountain and rockfaces!

How to get there: Visiting La Fortuna you are inundated with tourist offices, touts and hotels that all offer tours, but the price difference for the same or similar tour is crazy!

Make sure you shop around the various offices, because heading out to the Rio Celeste and the gorgeous trails that lead to it can be done in a couple of different ways, and whichever option you decide on, make sure you bargain with them for a good price!

Pricey: The tour offices sell a deal for $90 per person with transport, entrance, lunch and a guide.

Moderate: Get a driver for $50 per person which includes the park entrance. Take your lunch with you or get the driver to pull over at a bakery on the way because the hot springs are a great place for a picnic.

Cheap: Another option if you have a good map, is to get a group of people together and hire a 4WD for $75, then pay $10 each person for park entry (then do the same as above for cheap lunch).

As an aside, on the way there, get your driver to stop at the enormous La Paz Arbor (tree) which is enormous and magestic, dig around in the leaves around the base and you should be able to see a couple of frogs, then look up to see beautiful birds sitting high up in the branches.

A great way to spend the day in La Fortuna. You usually leave town at about 7 am and return by 3pm.

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