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Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4,065 posts
27 reviews
Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

We are in Playa Hermosa with 4WD and wish to see Rio Celeste. Most info seems tp talk of visiting from the Arenal area. Can we get into the park from the North? What kind of drive is involved? How long is the hike to the waterfall? Strenuous? We were already in Arenal and would rather not drive all the way back. We would do the visit independently. Thank you for your help.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
1. Re: Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

You can get to the Rio Celeste from the town of Bijagua, which is about 2 hours from Playa Hermosa.

To get there: Drive to Liberia and turn right on Rt 1. Go south for about 45 minutes - through Bagaces - until you reach the turnoff for Rt 6 to Upala. (The turn is not well-marked until you are very close. It will be just after the bridge over the Rio Tenorio, which is marked and about 15-20 minutes south of Bagaces.) Turn left and follow that highway until you reach Bijagua - about 34 km. This is one of the prettiest drives around - so enjoy it. About 8 miles from the turnoff, you will go over a little rise and if the day is clear, you can see 6 volcanoes: Tenorio, Miravalles, Santa Maria, Rincon de la Vieja, Cacao and Orosi.

Once in Bijagua, you will pass a couple of supermarkets on your left -- the turnoff is just past that -- you will see a bunch of signs on your right. Turn right onto the road for the National Park. Just follow this road ( it is gravel/rock so kind of slow going) to the entrance to the National Park. Park your car and pay your entrance fee and there you go!

The hike is kind of moderate, I think. I was 62 the first time I did it and not a marathon runner by any means! It's not a perfect "walk in the Park" kind of thing - you will encounter some mud, maybe have to walk across a stream or two that's about 3" deep, up and down hill, etc.

You can often find guides at the entrance to the Park and it would be great if you would hire one of them. Your hike will be much more enjoyable and you will see a lot more. One of them that I know is Jonathan - a very nice young man - but I don't have his contact information. If there is no one there, oh well. It's still a great thing to do.

Edited: 09 November 2013, 18:46
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4,065 posts
27 reviews
2. Re: Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

Thank you Hattie....

Once at trailhead, approx how long a walk? Round trip?

Steve

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

It will depend on how you walk/hike, how many times you stop to say "Oh..... look!" or take photos. But three hours is a good estimate for seeing everything and having time to enjoy it.

Quitman, Texas
Level Contributor
146 posts
231 reviews
4. Re: Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

Just went to Rio Celeste earlier this week. Despite this being the "dry" season, rain poured on us the entire hike. Hiking boots or rubber boots were almost a necessity because the entire trail was a sloppy mess. The reward of seeing the waterfall made it all worthwhile, however! We stayed at Casitas Tenorio in Bijagua and Donald, the owner, was our guide. His expertise in pointing out a LOT of birds during our drive to the park was especially appreciated.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
5. Re: Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

TexasStarshine - you hit the one rainy day out of about a week's worth of sunny days! In the Tenorio area, I like to summarize the different seasons by saying during rainy season - it rains 6 days and is sunny for one day. During dry season, it's sunny for 6 days and rains for one day. You got that one day! lol

And yes, Donald is one of the best guides around. Very knowledgeable about birds especially, but really all aspects of Costa Rica, including plants, mammals, etc. And just a really nice person.

You can reach him at 8312-1248 - he speaks excellent English. Or -- send an email to the Casitas Tenorio website www.casitastenorio.com

6. Re: Rio Celeste from playa Hermosa question

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