Tenorio Volcano National Park (Rio Celeste Waterfall)

Tenorio Volcano National Park (Rio Celeste Waterfall)

If you love hiking surrounded by a lush forest, watching animals, birds, and exotic plants, we recommend you visit this park. The turquoise color of the Celeste River offers impressive landscapes, worth knowing and admiring.

Located in the Volcanic Mountain Range of Guanacaste, this Park houses a rainforest that protects species of flora and fauna of regional importance, such as Tapirs, Guatusas, Chachos de monte, Morpho Butterflies, and Toucans among other species of mammals and birds.

The Tenorio Volcano National Park and Tenorio Protective Zone are an integral part of the Agua y Paz Biosphere Reserve, named by UNESCO in September 2007.

The extension of the National Park is 12,871.53 ha, and that of the Tenorio Protection Zone is 5,553.98 ha; Together they protect a territory of 18,425.51 hectares. It is located between the cantons of Upala and Guatuso in the province of Alajuela, Cañas, and Tilarán in the province of Guanacaste.

It has great potential to generate usable ecosystem services for the surrounding communities. Promotes the conservation, management, and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources located within its territory and its surroundings.

It has high biodiversity including endemic species such as the Anolis tenorioensis and the Jícaro danto tree, endemic to the Cordillera de Guanacaste.

Culturally it is of high importance for being part of the ancestral territory of the Maleku people.

How many species are found in the park?

540 species of birds.
72 species of mammals.
52 species of reptiles.
27 species of amphibians.
3,690 species of plants.
534 species of fungi.
6,024 species of arthropods.

Life Zones

Very Humid Tropical Forest.
Premontane humid forest.
Very Humid Premontane Forest.
Premontane Rain Forest.
Lower Montane Rain Forest.

The tour consists of a nature trail with an approximate distance of 2.5 km, during the tour you can see the main attractions of the Park, such as the waterfall, the blue well, the bubbles and the teñidero.

The crystalline water is dyed turquoise in an act of magic that is formed by a natural spectacle that you can witness in a segment of the route known as El Teñidero.

During the tour, you will be able to appreciate the main attractions of the Park detailed below:

The boiling pots or bubbles: are fissures and cracks through which, at high temperatures, gases typical of the volcanic activity of the place escape.

El Teñidero: the point where the phenomenon that gives the river its celestial coloration begins. From many other sectors, you can see the turquoise color of the water, but this is the only place where you can see the change in the color of the water.

The blue lagoon: a small pool of intense turquoise color. In this segment, the entrance to the river is not allowed because they have a high concentration of natural chemical substances.

Río Celeste Waterfall: It is one of the icons of the Park. The waterfall is approximately 30 meters high and represents one of the park’s main attractions due to its bluish color.

Hot springs: they are the product of volcanic activity and are located in the riverbed.

Without a doubt, the Tenorio Volcano National Park “is a magical place that offers a wide variety of possibilities to appreciate the wonders of nature and natural phenomena that are difficult to find. If you don’t know it, it’s time to do it; You won’t regret it”, assured Vilmar Villalobos, administrator of the Park.

Type of trail: medium difficulty, strong difficulty.

Trail distance: 2,470 meters.

Approximate travel time: 1.5 hours.



Keep the admission ticket during your stay in the National Park.
Travel only on established trails.
Pets are not allowed.
The entry and consumption of alcohol and any type of drug is not allowed.
It is not allowed to extract any type of material, vegetable or mineral.
It is not allowed to make any kind of mark on trees, rocks or any other element.
Entering or bathing in any body of water is not allowed.
Feeding wild animals is not allowed.
The carrying or use of any type of weapon is not allowed.
Excessive noise generation is not allowed.
Do not leave solid waste.
Do not handle wildlife species.


To Purchase Tickets

Purchase tickets online in advance to guarantee admission.

Purchase link: https://serviciosenlinea.sinac.go.cr/

Online reservation tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9qhTDmtS2o

There are six available reservation options to enter Tenorio Volcano National Park.
Choose the entry time that works best for your schedule:

  1. 8:00 to 8:40 a.m.
  2. 9:00 to 9:40 a.m.
  3. 10:00 to 10:40 a.m.
  4. 11:00 to 11:40 a.m.
  5. 12:00 to 12:40 p.m.
  6. 1:00 to 1:40 p.m.

Important note: Visitors may enter up to 40 minutes after their reservation time.

Entry is limited to park capacity.

The park will honor all valid reservations made online.


Costa Rica resident, adult: ₡904
Costa Rica resident, child: ₡565
Non-resident, adult: $13.56
Non-resident, child: $5.65


Address: El Pilón de Bijagua, Upala, Costa Rica.
Waze: Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio