Hike to Rio Celeste

Duration: 6-7 hours
Location: Arenal Volcano
Departure: 7:30 – 7:45 am
Includes: Transport, bilingual guide, entrance fee, hike, lunch
Bring: Hiking shoes, poncho, hat, repellent, camera

Rio Celeste is located along the skirts of the Tenorio Volcano National Park and is a must-see destination. We depart from la Fortuna (Arenal area) on the way we will pass through different landscapes, plantations, and rural towns. Once in the national park, we will hike through the forest to see a beautiful waterfall but to get to the foot of the waterfall is necessary to go down 250 steps. Here, you will find a viewing platform where you can take some memorable pictures. Then, the tour continues through the rainforest allowing you to observe some animals such as Tapir, small rodents, monkeys, snakes, and sloths. In general, the trails are uneven, irregular, uphill, and slippery (We recommend renting boots at the entrance of the park, do not forget to bring socks). Afterward, we continue to the lagoon where you can see boiling water, and to Los Teñideros which is the area where the river changes its color. To understand the color of the river, we must know that two completely transparent rivers, the Quebrada Agria River and the Buena Vista, converge to form the Rio Celeste (Blue River). It is precisely from the point of union of both that the waters cease to be transparent and become blue in the following 14 kilometers downstream. For that reason, that point is known as El Teñidero. Scientists observed that in the river was a layer of a whitish substance that covered all the stones of the bottom of the Rio Celeste. They went to the tributaries and looked for the presence of the same substance and found it in greater quantity in the Buena Vista River and in a small amount, almost insignificant, in the Quebrada Agria.

When analyzing the substance by electron microscopy in the laboratories, they discovered that it is a type of mineral called aluminosilicates. It is composed of aluminum, silicon, and oxygen, and being suspended in the water, is responsible for reflecting the Sun’s light so that the flow looks blue. The answer lies in the particle size of these aluminosilicates because the size determines how they reflect sunlight. In the Buena Vista River, the particles have a size of 184 nanometers (nm). On the Celeste River itself, they are much larger, at 566 nm

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