PARQUE NACIONAL VOLCÁN TENORIO ET RÍO CELESTE
Petit Futé's opinion on PARQUE NACIONAL VOLCÁN TENORIO ET RÍO CELESTE
The hike to the Celeste river, a first-class natural attraction, is 6 km round trip (count between 2h30 and 3h). It is no longer possible to make a loop as it was previously the case, we now return by the same path. Swimming is also prohibited for safety reasons and to keep the river clean. The path is well traced, the walking is of moderate difficulty but you must be in good physical condition. A guide is recommended to discover the fauna and flora more closely. The trail through the rainforest (primary and secondary) leads to several attractions, starting with the waterfall, whose blue is truly unique. Paris Match magazine voted it the most beautiful waterfall in the world! Its circular basin, bordered by lush vegetation, surprises by the colour of its water, you would think you were in paradise! Of tectonic origin, it is 30 m high and its basin 17 m deep. You will also notice the morphos (blue butterflies) that fly around the waterfall most of the time. A Maleku legend tells that the Tenori cacique (the volcano owes its name to him) refused to let his daughter Eskameka marry a suitor. The girl came to cry at Río Celeste and, when the lover wanted to join her, she had become a beautiful blue butterfly. During the walk, you will learn more about the Tenorio volcano formed by three peaks: Cerro Tenorio Uno (the largest, 1916 m), Cerro Tenorio Dos and Cerro Montezuma, which can be clearly seen from the Celeste Lodge. It is considered active, even if there has been no eruption for 200 years. Also worth seeing is the Laguna Azul ("blue lake"). This lake is so beautiful in turquoise blue that the poet Celso Alvarado said about it: "It is the lake where God washed his brushes after painting the sky". Another very interesting place is Teñidero, where the water changes color from a total transparency to a turquoise color. This would be due to a chemical reaction between calcium carbonate and sulphur escaping from the volcano's entrails. It is the place where the Buenavista River and the Quebrada Agria meet. Another theory is based on physical observations; your guide can tell you more. On the way, you can finally see natural whirlpools created by springs at 45°C, which are the only visible manifestation of Tenorio's volcanic activity. As for fauna, many agoutis walk along the paths, coloured frogs wear low foliage and it is not uncommon to see a few howler monkeys. There are also tapirs, surprising insects, and lazy people. Many snakes live in the area so keep an eye out. Anyway, the fauna is different every day, of course, it is not a zoo and the observation is very random depending on the time of day, the season and the weather.
Opening time and information on PARQUE NACIONAL VOLCÁN TENORIO ET RÍO CELESTE
Open every day, from 8am to 3pm. Admission: 12 US$. For a guided tour, count about US$30 for two people and favour small groups. Within the national park, the Rio Celeste biological station has an information centre, a laboratory, toilets and a public car park (US$2 for parking).