Suscribe Newsletter / Suscribase Boletin Facebook twitter YOUTUBE Idiomas: Languajes:
Costa Rica Explorer Guide
Costa Rica's best
online magazine
Costa Rica Articles News Cultural Agenda About us Rent a Car Advertising & Services Red Cultura Main
  • General information
  • Recomendations
  • How to get there?
  • Nearest hotels
  • Make your comments
Tenorio Volcano
General information


It is located in the Guanacaste Mountain Range between the cantons of Upala and Guatuso of Alajuela, and the cantons of Bagaces, Cañas and Tilaran of Guanacaste.
Conservation Area:
Arenal – Tempisque Conservation Area (ACT)
12.872 hectares
Every day from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
When to go?

Dry season: January through April

Conatct information
(00506) 2206- 5369// 2200- 0135
Regional Office:
(00506) 269-5908
(00506) 2695-5180
Send mail
Web Page:
Visit Wen Page
Camping permissions:
General information
This national park has volcanic structures, hot springs and an amazing light blue-colored river, which forms a waterfall that is well known for its stunning beauty. Besides, the influences of the Atlantic and Pacific weathers allow a great diversity of flora and fauna.

The Tenorio Volcano National Park is mainly formed by well-preserved primary forests. It has savannahs in its low areas, rainforests in the middle areas and cloud forests in the high-altitude zones, where it protects endemic and endangered species.
It has these life zones: low montane pluvial forest, very humid tropical forest, pre-montane-tropical transitional forest, very humid pre-montane forest and pre-montane pluvial forest, which is the most common.

Among its interesting sites, there are many peaks, domes and volcanic craters. It also has hot springs (with temperatures that reach 94°C) and bubbling pans, a river and a light-blue, turquoise colored waterfall, a spot where the water gets dyed in its blue color and a blue lagoon.

This park also has rivers that are very important for power generation, agricultural activities and livestock breeding, as well as for the maintenance of important ecosystems found downstream, like Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.
The Rio Tenorio begins its flow from the west base of the Tenorio Volcano, and from the south base, the Tenorito and Martirio rivers. From its top you can see the plains of Guatuso and San Carlos, the lake of Nicaragua, the Caño Negro Reserve and the Arenal Lake. The Rio Frio also flows from its base and you can also see macadamia plantations.

The average annual rainfall is of 3.500 mm due to the climatic influence of the Caribbean. The temperature ranges from 15°C to 23°C.
Dry season: January through April

There are many trees like aguacatillos, sapotes, pilons, trees from the lauraceae family, marias, oak trees and the jicaro danto, which is an endemic species of this mountain range, and is known for having its flowers and fruits attached to the trunk. It is part of the tapir’s diet.

In the different altitudes (from 700 m to 1.916 m) the vegetation is very diverse, with palm trees, heliconias, amaranths, plants of the ginger family and pantropical monocots in the understory, and also plenty of bromeliads, aroids, orchids and plants of the gesneriaceae family.

The great variety of flora in this park is due to its 8 different life zones, which go from the pre-montane humid forest to the short cloud forest.

In the Tenorio Volcano National Park you can find many species of mammals, such as felids like the jaguar (Pantera onca), the puma (Puma cocolor), the jaguarundi (Leopardo pardalis) and the margay (Leopardus wiedii). There are also tapirs (Tapirus bairdii), peccaries (Pecari tajacu), mountain goats (Mazama americana), pacas (Agouti paca), Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata), squirrels, howler and white-faced monkeys and anteaters.

You can also find birds like the umbrella bird (Cephalopterus glabricoliis), guans, toucans, bellbirds (Procnias tricarunculata) and trogons.

There are snakes like the fer-de-lance and the Picado’s jumping pitviper.

Services and facilities on the Park
General information
Stay for 20 people
Meals (with previous reservation)
First aid supplies
Local guides
Souvenir store
Auto-guided manual
Station for investigations
Trails: Misterios del Tenorio (from the administration) and La Paz (from a private entrance)

Inside the Park:
Observing the Rio Celeste and its waterfall
Visiting the blue lagoon
Visiting the spots where the water gets its blue color
Walking through the trails
Observing the hot springs, the fumaroles and the high-temperature mud boilers
Visiting the viewer
Climbing the Tenorio Volcano
Attend conferences (with previous reservation)

Outside the Park
Visiting the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Visiting the Miravalles Protective Zone and the Malekus Native Reserve
Fishing, windsurfing, boat tours and other sports and activities in the Arenal Lake
Mountain biking
Horseback riding
Nearby hotels
Rafting and boat tours in the Rio Tenorio

Tenorio Volcano
  • Recomendations
  • Interesting data
Tips para el viajero
Access recommendations
The schedule of the park is every day from 8:00am to 4:00pm.

General recommendations inside the park
In case you need any help, go to the park rangers, they will be more than glad to assist you.

Clothes and accessories recommendations
Bring light and comfortable clothes, sunscreen, hat or cap and sunglasses.
Bring comfortable shoes for walking, mosquito repellent, photo camera and binoculars.
Bring water bottles, flashlight and raincoat.

Stay recommendations
Camping is not allowed.

Recommendations when walking through the trails
Be careful with the hot springs, fumaroles and mud boilers because they are usually very hot.
Recommendations for a responsible tourist.
Please do not litter; pick up the garbage and throw it away properly.
Pets are not allowed.
Do not take with you any plants, animals or volcanic materials from the park.
Please remain inside the marked trails.

Recommendations with the animals
Some of the animals may be hard to find because of different reasons, like the fact that they're night creatures, their reproductive or migratory behavior and the forest's density.

Datos interesantes
Datos interesantes:
Volcanic structures:
Tenorio Volcano: it has an altitude of 1.916 meters and is located in the south end of the volcanic complex. It is made by mud and lava formations and is composed by 4 volcanic cones, other domes and pyroclastic cones, an old boiler and 2 twin craters that are identified as Montezuma Volcano. It has dense primary vegetation and landslide marks.

Its weather and east and west slopes preserve large primary forests. The very humid pre-montane forest is very altered in the slopes because of the constant volcanic activity of its neighbor, the Arenal Volcano.

It also has savannah, rainforest and cloud forest habitats, and from its highest point you can appreciate a beautiful scenery that includes the plains of Guatuso and San Carlos, the lake of Nicaragua, the Caño Negro Reserve and the Arenal Lake.
It’s said that in 1816 this volcano erupted; however, there is no evidence of this eruption. In 1864, a study about the forest’s density took place and the possibility of an eruption was dismissed. In 1998, the volcano’s surroundings suffered an earthquake of moderate intensity.

Montezuma Volcano: it is 1.500 m high and is composed by two cones that have their craters in good conditions and one cone that has its east side destroyed. It has gas and vapor emissions (fumaroles) in the northeast side, 965 meters above sea level, in the place known as Las Quemadas. There are also thermal spots in La Casa and in the banks of the Rio Roble.

Bijagua volcanic unit: it has many lava accumulations from the Tenorio and Montezuma volcanoes in the south section. In the north end it connects with a set of ancient volcanic formations that are possibly associated with volcanism of the Tertiary period.

Ancient Tenorio: it is a set of volcanic cones of low altitude, like the cone Cerro Olla de Carne. There are volcanic mud and lava formations, and here you will find the blue lagoon.

Alluvial Areas: these are layered sand and clay volcanic sediments that can be one meter thick. Its lands are fertile and have been designated for livestock breeding and permanent agricultural activities.

Misterios del Tenorio natural trail: it is 3.2 km long and takes about 3-4 hours to go over it. It goes through the tropical forest and you can see streams, hot springs (of different temperatures) and the “teñideros”, which are the spots where the water gets dyed in its blue color. It starts next to the administration and ends in the impressive waterfall of Rio Celeste. It takes you to a viewer on the top part of a hill from where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the different volcanic cones that form the Tenorio Volcano massif. This is the most popular trail and its entrance is in Bijagua.

La Paz trail: it is more than 3 km long and takes about 3-4 hours to go over it. In order to get to this trail you must enter the park though Guatuso.

Both trails connect in the hot spring zone and where the water gets its blue color, a little after the viewer.

Rio Celeste
The Rio Celeste forms when two rivers with very different chemical properties meet, producing a chemical reaction where the water gets dyed in a blue color. It has limestones composed of copper sulfate and calcium carbonate that release particles into the water stream because of erosion.
Its light-blue, turquoise color remains all the way down to the waterfall. It is located northeast from the Tenorio Volcano and goes through the dense rainforest for more than 36 km.

Other sites of interest:
La Danta lagoon or blue lagoon: you climb through the mountain for about 3 hours to get to the old crater of the Tenorio Volcano. Here you will find a lagoon that is 1.500 meters above sea level and is surrounded by evergreen vegetation. According to the legend, you can see a human shape along its banks.
The “teñideros”: this is a unique phenomenon on Earth caused by sulfur emissions and calcium carbonate particles.
The boilers: hot springs and gas emissions with temperatures that range from 31°C to 94°C.

Tenorio Volcano
como llegar?
How to get there?
Transportes Upala (Ave. 7-9, Street 12, San Jose)
Office phone number: (506) 2221-9022
These buses stop in both of the park’s entrances, through the routes of Cañas and San Carlos.

Entrance through the Pilon Biological Station:
From San Jose, take the route #1 heading north until 7 km after Cañas. Then take a right turn and keep going for 42 km more, reaching the community of Bijagua. Keep driving for another 5 km and take the exit to the right for 11 km on a gravel road until you get to the park’s main entrance.
Entrance through La Paz:
From San Jose, take the route #1 heading north until you get to the exit for San Ramon. Then keep driving in direction to San Juan on the route #702, towards La Fortuna of San Carlos. Take the route #4 to San Rafael of Guatuso and keep going in direction to Upala until you get to Katira (15 km). Once here, take a left turn for about 11 km on a gravel road. You enter the park through a private property where you must pay the entrance fee.

Other kind of transportation


Tenorio Volcano
Sus comentarios son importantes para mejorar la calidad de nuestra publicacion. Muchas gracias
Comments See all comments
Find the best services to enjoy your vacations in Costa Rica
Where to go?
Rincon de la Vieja National Park
The active crater is located in the north border of the park. Its activity has been recorded since (...)
Guanacaste National Park
The Guanacaste National Park has three sections: Maritza section, Pitilla section and Cacao (...)
Tenorio Volcano National Park
The Tenorio Volcano National Park is mainly formed by well-preserved primary forests. It has (...)
Palo Verde National Park
In Palo Verde there are 15 different habitats where you can find: hills with plenty of calcite (...)
Las Baulas National Park
The creation of Las Baulas National Marine Park served as protection to the population of (...)
Miravalles Protected area
The Miravalles Protector Zone has wet, very wet and cloud forests as well as the Miravalles (...)
Pochote (Salinas) Beach
This is an ideal spot for swimming and practicing aquatic sports, from here you can see the (...)
Puerto Soley Beach
It has a moderate marine slope to consider as well as a moderate to strong swell. You must be (...)
Hermosa (Guanacaste) Beach
This beach community offers security and conservation of the natural resources, thus, Playa (...)
Rajada Beach
Abundant marine life inhabits this waters as well as the dense forest that accompanies Playa (...)
Blanca (Santa Elena) Beach
Two peaks guard playa Blanca, one on each side, Punta Blanca (northwest) and Fila Carrizal (...)
Potrero Grande / Ollies Point Beach
There is also an extraordinary point break in the river mouth called Ollie’s Point. There are (...)
Cuajiniquil Beach
With light grey sand and crystalline blue ocean it’s an excellent choice for relaxing all day (...)
Pietra Beach
From the beach you can observe a small island called Las Chocoyas. It is guarded on both sides (...)
Culebra Beach
Its specific location in the gulf permits a natural protection from strong marine currents, (...)
Manzanillo (Papagayo) Beach
Playa Manzanillo also offers a dense tropical dry forest as well as a mangrove rich in (...)
Naranjo Beach
This beach extents up to 6 kilometers long and is decorated by fine light grey sand. There are (...)
Nancite Beach
Because of its environmental importance, this beach has a restricted access for visitors; only (...)
Coco (Ocotal) Beach
At the same time this is a particular place to coordinate different boat tours. From here you (...)
Flamingo Beach
Its natural resources are abundant, that is why this beach hosts constant sport fishing (...)
Conchal Beach
This is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the country, surrounded by an (...)
Ocotal Beach
This beach is surrounded by two rocky structures, Punto Cirial and Pico La Flor which are 80 (...)
Santa Rosa National Park
This National Park was named after the Casona Santa Rosa National Monument. In March 20th, 1856, (...)
Coco – Ocotal
Playas del Coco and Playa Ocotal are part of the Bay of Ocotal, which
Hermosa - Panama Beach
Just as its name implies, Hermosa (Beautiful) is a beach of
The city of Liberia is located among the plains of the province of
The city of Nicoya reflects part of the colonial history of Costa
Nosara - Azul Beach
This coastal zone has protected areas of great biological importance,
Papagayo is a natural scenery of an amazing and unforgettable beauty,
Rincon de la Vieja
This zone is part of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park.
It is a beautiful bay with golden sands, surrounded by a dry tropical
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is one of the most attractive cities in the entire region
This coastal region has amazing natural sceneries, where the sound of