Whilst the north of Costa Rica still doesn’t feature much on the typical tourist trails, the best place to start would be one of the more popular destinations in the region, Rio Celeste.

Located 100 miles north-west of San Jose and sandwiched between the Arenal to the south, Tenorio Volcano National Park to the west and the Caño Negro Forest to the east, this area enjoys proximity to many different habitats but is ultimately renowned for its famous light-blue river and waterfalls tinged so by volcanic minerals.

There are a variety of trails in Rio Celeste that can be explored on foot. Whether you’re just looking for a leisurely stroll, or a more strenuous hike, the area is bursting with wonderful wildlife spotting opportunities. And bird-enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with hundreds of species to be spotted in the lush jungle. Go for a dip in the hot springs of Tenorio National Park and swim in the sky blue waters of the Celeste River and its waterfall. Other activities include horse riding, river rafting, canopy tours and bike riding.

If you want to get a feel for the region’s culture, take time to visit the Maleku indigenous tribal village where you can learn about the people who call Rio Celeste home.

What to do

  • Take a dip in the hot springs of Tenorio National Park
  • Swim in the sky blue waters of the Rio Celeste and its waterfall
  • Wildlife spotting in the Cano Negro
  • Horse riding
  • Bird-watching
  • River rafting
  • Hanging bridges and canopy tours
  • Bike riding
  • Visit the Maleku Indigenous Tribal Village