A river and a huge spring of thermal water were rigorously documented in Braulio Carrillo National Park for the first time in more than 40 years: it is the Rio Termal, north of the Barva volcano crater in the Cacho Negro sector.
Four professional Costa Rican mountaineers made the expedition that took four days to reach the point and a 24-kilometer walk (round trip) to be in this mythical place. “We achieved something that is a combination of a lot of research, luck, and effort. Leonel León (leader of the expedition) and I started an in-depth investigation of a mountain legend about a large thermal river with satellite maps and drone flights. In one flight, Leonel’s drone managed to observe a reddish ravine and a blue color that corresponded to the legend”, commented Javier Elizondo, author of the book “Waterfalls and Legends”, which compiles the best waterfalls in the country.
According to legend
The legend says that in Braulio Carrillo there are three rivers that run parallel, one is thermal, another ocher yellow, and another made of turquoise stones that make it light blue. “One morning, making drone flights, we managed to see a cloud that came out of the mountain like a kind of steam. This phenomenon happened three times, so we decided to go in,” Elizondo said.
“You have to understand that the expedition would involve entering Cacho Negro, a very remote mountain north of the Barva volcano, crossing the cliffs of the Sardinal River and crossing a valley,” he said. They traveled up the river and observed other streams of cold water coming together.
Then the unthinkable happened
“We found a huge hot spring, the most remarkable thing was the luck that we found it on our route, it is not like a waterfall that you see on a satellite map, this is like finding a needle in a haystack,” he added.
There they took photographs and documented the area; Furthermore, they point out that only professional mountaineers can enter and the information of the place will not be revealed to the public for its conservation.
“The route is secret, as well as the coordinates, these will only be revealed for the purposes of certified academic research, we do not leave any trace and if no one had entered 80 years, no one will do so in the next 200”, explained the author and mountaineer. Due to the remoteness of the mountain, they ensure that only a professional mountaineer has the ability to reach the site, as there are no trails or an established route.