Rio Celeste / La Fortuna Waterfall, Costa Rica

Rio Celeste is a waterfall located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park in Costa Rica. Rio Celeste is around 2 hours away from La Fortuna waterfall by car.

By: skye__evelyn

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Waterfalls / North America

Getting to Rio Celeste 

Rio Celeste (rest of the pictures) is a little bit of a mission to get to, but well worth the mission. It took around 2 hours from La Fortuna and for about half an hour we were on a very bumpy dirt road. We didn’t have a Four Wheel drive but still made it in one piece in our mini car. I would recommend a four wheel drive. Tours do go to Rio Celeste so if your aren’t up for driving the bumpy dirt road then defiantely do a tour which can be done from the town of La Fortuna.

Getting to La Fortuna

La Fortuna Waterfall (picture above) is a short 5 minute drive from the town of La Fortuna. If you don’t have a car than a taxi is cheap enough and easy enough. A guided tour is not necessary. Go as soon as it opens or as early as possible to avoid any crowds. We were lucky enough to have it to ourselves.

Rio Celeste

Where to stay

Arenal Backpackers Resort was a very nice hostel. Around 10USD a night for a dorm room Good location, nice pool, friendly staff, free car parking. Close to La Fortuna Waterfall and some other nice sites to see. If in Tamarindo (by the beach) I highly recommend staying at Casa Aura Hostel. Around $30USD a night for a private room. By far the best Backpackers i have stayed in. There are a lot of bars around, surfing and close to the Nicaraguan border if you are planning on crossing.


La Fortuna was about $8USD or 4300 Colon
Rio Celeste has a $10USD entrance fee or 5400 Colon
Currency: Costa Rica currency is Colon

Rio Celeste

How much time will you need there:

I would recommend spending at least a week in Costa Rica. You will see a decent amount in this time with still some time to chill out. I spent a night in Jaco, 2 nights in La Fortuna and 3 nights in Tamarindo. La Fortuna was my favourite. A lot of wildlife, waterfalls, rainforest and so on. Leave a whole day for Rio Celeste. We spent 4 hours walking through the jungle here. Amazing spot. La Fortuna waterfall can be done in an hour.

Rio Celeste

When is the best time to visit Rio Celeste

Anytime is the best time to go. I was there in the rain season June, and we had hardly any rain.

What to do

Hire a car, its easy enough to get around with a gps. If you aren’t comfortable with driving in another country then the buses are also a good option for getting from place to place.

Rio Celeste

What not to do

I always try and eat local anywhere i go. There are a lot of Americans living in Costa Rica so in some areas (Tamarindo) it was a little harder to find local restaurants.

Why should Rio Celeste / Costa Rica be on my bucket list:

Costa Rica should defineatly be on your bucket list. So many waterfalls to explore, volcanoes, rainforest walks, wildlife (sloths, toucans), $1 coconuts

My Story

I had the most amazing time in Costa Rica, driving around in our ultra mini hire car. We never ran into any kind of trouble. Locals were always friendly. Everywhere we visited was breathtaking, from turquoise waterfalls to wildlife filled rainforest and some of the best surfing beaches in the world, Costa Rica has it all.

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