Rio Celeste
Rio Celeste
4.5
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  • Tracy J
    41 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Must-Do Hike!
    This is considered one of the best hikes in Costa Rica for a reason! Not only will you see abundant wildlife as you navigate the trail, the waterfall itself is spectacular and the chance to see the blue river and where it changes color is something extremely unique. Along the way, you'll be treated to a majestic lagoon and a bubbling section of the river. Parking was easy right outside the park (for a small fee). I would recommend going early to avoid crowds. Parts of the trail have significant grade and could be muddy or slippery when wet. Be sure to continue past the waterfall to the end of the trail, or Tenidero. No wading or swimming is allowed inside the park, but you can wade in the Rio Celeste at the bridge crossing just outside the park (you will cross that bridge as you approach the park).
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written June 22, 2023
  • gluten free traveler
    94 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing!
    We stopped and did the hike on our own on our way from Springs Resort to Dreams Las Mareas. A perfect way to break up our trip and a driver stayed with our stuff. Definitely a sight to behold and highly recommend. There was some steep parts and stairs but nothing too difficult. Took us two hours to do the whole thing.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written August 9, 2023
  • CC-CT
    111 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful but touristy
    It was beautiful, it’s gets a 4 for that but it is touristy location. There is just so many people and we were there in the off season. You can’t swim here, you can just look at the falls. There appears to be more to hike but it was closed off when we were there. You will pay a fee to enter, it’s a provincial park fee. You need to register first then pay but they have wifi there it’s just slow to do. There are guides that will do it for you as well, it’s a little faster and there is no extra fee.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written August 29, 2023
  • Anne0319
    Kingsbridge, United Kingdom214 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A truly beautiful waterfall!
    A really lovely waterfall that is truly one of a kind. I have never seen a waterfall so blue before! To see the very clear definitive colour flocculation too between the two rivers was also something I will never forget. It really was a picture perfect waterfall that looks exactly like a holiday brochure! I’d say it is definitely worth the trip and you won’t be disappointed. However, be aware that the park is very busy. We got there pretty much as soon as it opened and there were already lots of people there. The earlier you get there, the better I think. As we were leaving we noticed how quickly the park filled up, so definitely be an early bird!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written September 9, 2023
  • Christine B
    Toronto, Canada29 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous falls are your reward on this ambitious hike!
    Ambitious hike with LOTS of stone stairs! Wear good shoes!!!! Many hikers were wearing flip flops?!? Gorgeous falls. A great side trip. Go early morning to avoid crowds!
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written November 12, 2023
  • Janine P
    Red Deer, Canada3,196 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Scenery
    I took a one day tour from La Fortuna (1.5 hour drive away), and had a great guide ( Crystal) lead us through the trails, looking for wildlife and explaining things we came across. Trails can be slippery and when raining, puddles form quickly, so be prepared with gripping footwear. Binoculars may be good to carry, as well as a raincoat/umbrella. Check in allows you to bring no food into the NP.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written November 14, 2023
  • Logan S
    33 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Breathtaking view with a couple caveats.
    This was a worthwhile experience. The hike to the falls was not particularly challenging; however, if someone is not in good physical condition they will need to take their time. There are two things to be aware of though. The first is that beginning this year you will be required to register online to enter the trail. My wife and I were blindsided by this when we showed up, the staff were not particularly helpful, and the website is in Spanish only so be sure to take this step ahead of time. The second is that you’d be better served to visit this fall on a sunny day because the rainfall makes the trail much more treacherous and turns the beautiful turquoise water and nasty brown.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written December 15, 2023
  • EBtravelerNj
    East Brunswick, New Jersey84 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Breathtaking 2 ways!!!
    This was well worth the drive from La Fortuna. It took about an hour and a half but we enjoyed the countryside and stopped in an excellent Soda on the way for a yummy pre-hike breakfast. Getting to the park was easy. The signage was good. The hike was easy to start. It was about 45 minutes to the waterfall and then the steps down to the waterfall were steep and high. I don’t care for heights so i found this challenging. Once at the bottom a beautiful waterfall is in front of you with amazing blue water!!!! The trek back up the steps was nothing compared to the hike to the end of the trail to see where the two rivers meet and create the blue water. That was difficult in spots but well worth it! I was captivated by the color of the water along the trail but out of breath. Bring water to drink and no snacks. Snacks are not allowed in the park and your bags are checked upon entrance. Try to get your tickets in advance because you can only get them online but they will help you do it there if you don’t have tickets.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written December 17, 2023
  • Michelle H
    13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Breathtaking!
    This place is a hikers dream! The waterfall was beyond beautiful! Lots of people, but that’s to be expected at a place that beautiful! The hike was easy enough for a young one, and our teens. Definitely take your time and enjoy all the wildlife and scenery. Don’t miss this when in Costa Rica.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written January 6, 2024
  • amdgriggs
    Sheffield, United Kingdom1,652 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful national park & lovely area
    We spent a couple of the best days on a 2-week guided tour here - staying in a lovely small hotel near the National Park, doing a memorable guided walk through the park with Jonny, our top class guide, and seeing the waterfall and the blue lagoon, tubing down a section of the Rio Celeste (huge fun, and again expertly guided by Jonny), and then swimming in the improbably clear blue water of the river the next morning. Lovely scenery, a big range of wildlife to see in the park (but we definitely needed Jonny’s keen eyes and encyclopaedic knowledge), and we really benefited from getting to the park early in the morning before the crowds built up and the noise increased (how do 20 people in a group expect to see anything if they’re all talking non-stop?!). Don’t miss any of this if you’re in Costa Rica: it was a real highlight.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written March 19, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Melissa S
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
The tour was fantastic. Waterfall was breath taking. Isaac and Manuel were terrific tour guides. They knew their stuff and they cared how you were doing on the hike. Even the driver Carlos did a fantastic job driving. I would highly recommend them. Thanks again for a great day!!!!
Written May 7, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveltoendofearth
United States53 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
This is highly reviewed so I’ll add a few tips
- Book tickets beforehand and arrive during your time slot; they didn’t let us in earlier
- There is a restaurant right in front of the admission office; unfortunately we didn’t enjoy the food there but were glad it had restrooms
- it’s a long hike if you want to see the waterfall and also the beginning of the “blue” river. They are in two different directions and on a hot day, doing both can take a good amount of time
- Our time slot was 1pm and we got out around 4:30pm because we took our time enjoying both hikes. We were among the last ones to leave as it was getting dark-ish .. so it got a little scary because we didn’t know if the place actually closed at 4pm and what that meant.
- Take plenty of water. The hikes are not difficult but there are plenty of steps and it can get tiring
- You cannot get in the water; we wore bathing suits but couldn’t swim anywhere
- The waterfall is breathtakingly blue in color
- If driving from Bijagua, Google maps showed us two routes, one going through the north and one heading south from Bijagua. The one the heads north can get a little scary if you don’t have a 4x4. We went quite a way and then turned around when the road got a little too unpaved for our comfort. The road that heads south from Bijagua is paved and our sedan preferred it ;)
- If swimming in a waterfall is your primary motive and you can only visit one waterfall, skip this one and go to La Fortuna
Written April 5, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rdg16
Denver, CO28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
This was an excellent detour on our drive from La Fortuna to Tamarindo. The hike was a perfect amount of time (around 60 minutes round trip) and the waterfall was absolutely beautiful.
Written March 25, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

amdgriggs
Sheffield, UK1,652 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
We spent a couple of the best days on a 2-week guided tour here - staying in a lovely small hotel near the National Park, doing a memorable guided walk through the park with Jonny, our top class guide, and seeing the waterfall and the blue lagoon, tubing down a section of the Rio Celeste (huge fun, and again expertly guided by Jonny), and then swimming in the improbably clear blue water of the river the next morning. Lovely scenery, a big range of wildlife to see in the park (but we definitely needed Jonny’s keen eyes and encyclopaedic knowledge), and we really benefited from getting to the park early in the morning before the crowds built up and the noise increased (how do 20 people in a group expect to see anything if they’re all talking non-stop?!). Don’t miss any of this if you’re in Costa Rica: it was a real highlight.
Written March 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kellokaykay
British Columbia, Canada43 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
So disappointed. We made the trek to the trailhead and were not only shocked at how many people there were at this site but also how terribly disorganized the admission process was. Having been there years prior with no admission fee and a smattering of other swimmers enjoying the natural hot springs we were quite discouraged to see this has turned into a very busy sightseeing venture for a few businesses. We were directed to a small covered space along with dozens and dozens of other tourists from all over the globe and instructed to sign into the free wifi. This would then allow us to connect to the address provided where we were expected to create a profile for a third party site where we would purchase tickets. Not only did the wifi not work consistently but the site was so overwhelmed by the copious tourists scrambling to buy tickets but the would repeatedly site crash. Then the wifi would cancel and we’d all start the process over again. The few that did manage, after 20-30 minutes or more of trying (no exaggeration) could only get booked for the following day. However, they told us their tickets didn’t appear in their mailbox. We gave up. Two or three park staff were there to ensure nobody snuck in without their electronic ticket but they were not accepting payments in person and refused to provide any assistance or help to those struggling. It would be worth looking into prior to arriving because a few people told us they couldn’t get the site to work when they tried the day before from their hotel. A mere 10 years ago this was a free and open space to enjoy and now it is a circus. It is an incredibly beautiful spot to see but keep in mind that today swimming or going in the water is absolutely forbidden, anywhere. Hope things improve with the process and you’re able to have success. Pura Vida.
Written January 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle H
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
This place is a hikers dream! The waterfall was beyond beautiful! Lots of people, but that’s to be expected at a place that beautiful! The hike was easy enough for a young one, and our teens. Definitely take your time and enjoy all the wildlife and scenery. Don’t miss this when in Costa Rica.
Written January 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kirsten
San Francisco, CA118 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
If you are in Costa Rica, you have to visit this waterfall. The hike may be challenging for some people but it is worth it in the end.
Written January 5, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EBtravelerNj
East Brunswick, NJ84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
This was well worth the drive from La Fortuna. It took about an hour and a half but we enjoyed the countryside and stopped in an excellent Soda on the way for a yummy pre-hike breakfast.
Getting to the park was easy. The signage was good.
The hike was easy to start. It was about 45 minutes to the waterfall and then the steps down to the waterfall were steep and high. I don’t care for heights so i found this challenging. Once at the bottom a beautiful waterfall is in front of you with amazing blue water!!!!
The trek back up the steps was nothing compared to the hike to the end of the trail to see where the two rivers meet and create the blue water. That was difficult in spots but well worth it! I was captivated by the color of the water along the trail but out of breath.
Bring water to drink and no snacks. Snacks are not allowed in the park and your bags are checked upon entrance. Try to get your tickets in advance because you can only get them online but they will help you do it there if you don’t have tickets.
Written December 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Logan S
33 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
This was a worthwhile experience. The hike to the falls was not particularly challenging; however, if someone is not in good physical condition they will need to take their time. There are two things to be aware of though. The first is that beginning this year you will be required to register online to enter the trail. My wife and I were blindsided by this when we showed up, the staff were not particularly helpful, and the website is in Spanish only so be sure to take this step ahead of time. The second is that you’d be better served to visit this fall on a sunny day because the rainfall makes the trail much more treacherous and turns the beautiful turquoise water and nasty brown.
Written December 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mhughesgt
Cumming, GA4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Great hike. Some up and down hiking but the falls, scenery, and wildlife were amazing. Took some great pictures.
Written November 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Rio Celeste - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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