Get to Know the Secrets of the Celeste River

It Is One of the Most Beautiful Natural Sites in Costa Rica!

When a legend exists, there is a place where God ‘cleans His brushes’ when He finishes ‘painting the sky’. This spectacular place is in Costa Rica, specifically in the Tenorio Volcano Park. It is also one of the most popular rivers in the country for its particular coloration that ranges from light to dark turquoise tones.

For years, scientists tried to find the reason why 14 kilometers of the river was dyed deep blue but it was until 2003 when researchers from the University of Costa Rica and nationals took water samples, both from the celestial river and its 2 tributaries  Quebrada Sour and Rio Buena Vista and solved the puzzle.

The answer to the mystery of bluish color was in the composition of water. When the colloidal silica also called silica sol or hydra silica sol, was suspended in the water, it reflected the sunlight and fooled the human eye that returned an image of turquoise blue water.

According to the researchers, this optical illusion is due to the fact that in any river, sunlight penetrates to a certain depth and no particular color is deflected or reflected the surface, so it seems transparent. However, in the Celeste River, the water passes some of the sun’s rays and reflects the group of bluish tones. Thus the water turns blue to the human eye.

A place to get lost

It is one of the main reference sites, with its almost 30 meters of fall presents the particularity that its pose is of an intense light blue color. Its depth is around 17 meters.

A ‘Blue Lagoon’ for real

It is a small lagoon where there is a large accumulation of colloidal silica, which generates an intense blue color especially visible on sunny days.

Blue River
Celeste River in Tenorio National Park


It is the exact point where the Buena Vista River and the Quebrada Agria converge. Its main attraction is the deposition of colloidal silica at the bottom of the river which allows the river to begin to take on the characteristic celeste color.

Light blue can be dangerous. And in addition to the characteristics of the celestial river in the background the stones could be slippery, causing some danger of falling.

Celeste River

It is in Costa Rica where the magical presence of the Celeste River takes place. In his birth, from the joining of the Quebrada Amarga and Buena Vista rivers, which are found in the Canton of Guatuso, in a province called Alajuela. This is where the beautiful Celeste River is framed in its surroundings.

Celeste River waterfall

Another of the main attractions of which, however, the celestial river is a waterfall that forms a pool with the most celestial waters that you have seen. We recommend you to see other beautiful waterfalls in the Algar river.

You cannot miss within the route to the river, the corresponding walk through the pool of the most celestial waters on the planet. It is with great fury that the jets crash against the turquoise water and cause a true spectacle to be generated as if taken from a magical tale.

The waterfall of the Rio Celeste has an approximate height of about 30 meters. The water in the pool fills in the waterfall. So it has a unique and beautiful light blue color, which becomes so intense.

Characteristics and care of the waterfall

It has been calculated that there is a depth of approximately 17 meters in this pool. Bathing has been banned in it, as well as in any other place around the protected area. This measure is due to preventing the introduction of pollutants into the pool.

Any danger to visitors is also prevented because the Celeste river currents can be dangerous. And in addition to the characteristics of the celestial river in the background the stones could be slippery, causing some danger of falling down.

Other main attractions

In addition to the so-called ‘teñideros’ and the Celeste River Waterfall, there is a blue lagoon where there is also a considerable amount of colloidal silica. So when the day is quite sunny, it shows a spectacular deep blue color.

It also has a viewpoint from where you can see part of the Tenorio Volcano in terms of its massif; the one that is composed of 5 volcanic cones, which are inactive.

Another place, t d is named ‘Borbollones’, which is a source of the so-called hot springs and that is generated by a fracture that lies deep in that area of ​​the Celeste River. This causes sulfurous gases to emerge and become hot waters.

This is also called ‘hot springs’. Where visitors can take a bath and fill with sulfur mud, which is highly recommended as medicinal therapy.

SOURCEYohander Rodríguez
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