Rio Celeste: the bluest waterfall on earth
“When God finished painting the sky, he washed his paintbrushes in the Rio Celeste.” That’s how local people describe the wonder of the Celeste River in Costa Rica. It’s said that the Rio Celeste Waterfall is quite possibly the bluest on earth.
Hidden within the cloud forests of Tenorio Volcano National Park, the magnificent bright blue Rio Celeste Waterfall takes tourists’ breath away.
The heavenly blue river, waterfalls and lagoons of Tenorio Volcano National Park are among the most spectacular natural phenomena in Costa Rica.
After a long hike in the rain forest, you can hear the roar of the waterfall before you see it. A powerful river came crashing 60 feet down into a dazzling pool of turquoise blue water. Going up, you will find the river is resting in calm lagoons. And a little farther up, you can witness the origin of the blue water. Two brooks merge together, turning clear water into a divine hue of turquoise.
Celeste River is fed by two colorless rivers, the Buenavista River and Sour Creek. Then what gives the river the color?
Scientists give several explanations. Some say that the blue coloring is the result of a chemical reaction between the thermal steam that emanates from the bottom of the river and the calcium carbonate that enters the river from a small stream.
Other say that the distinctive color is not a due to a chemical species but to a physical phenomenon known as Mie scattering.
Buenavista River carries a large concentration of aluminosilicate particles with a small diameter. Sour Creek has a high acidity due to volcanic activity. When these two streams mix to form Celeste River, the drop in PH causes the aluminosilicate particles to aggregate and enlarge to a diameter of about 566 nm. These suspended particles produce Mie scattering which gives the river a strong turquoise color.
The Tenorio Volcano National Park protects 31,807 acres of primary rain forest that serves as shelter to an immense diversity of life. Besides being home to an exceptional amount of nature, this area offers a wide range of attractions.