They say that when God finished painting the sky blue, he washed his paintbrushes in the Río Celeste. The heavenly blue river and its waterfalls and lagoons – found in Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio – are among the most spectacular natural phenomena in Costa Rica, which is probably why the park is known to locals simply as Río Celeste.
Established in 1976, this magical 184 sq km national park remains a blissfully pristine rainforest teeming with wildlife. Soaring 1916m above the cloud forest is the park’s namesake, Volcán Tenorio, which consists of three peaked craters: Montezuma, Tenorio I (the tallest) and Tenorio II.
Your first stop will be the Puesto El Pilón ranger station at the park entrance, which houses a small exhibit of photographs and dead animals. Pick up a free English or Spanish hiking map.