Tenorio Volcano National Park in Upala – Costa Rica

The Tenorio Volcano National Park in Upala is a hiker’s paradise. Apart from the two craters and peaks, there are a host of other attractions in the park.

Location and How to Get to This Specific Site

If you are in San Jose, take the highway heading to San Carlos. Go left at Upala and go to Bijagua. Follow the road until you see the park’s entrance. You can also take the Interamerican Highway heading to Canas. Keep driving until you get to the Bijagua turnoff. Drive for another 20 miles until you see the park entrance.

What to See There

Wildlife and bird watching is a common activity at the park. Some of the animals you will see are the turkey vultures, hawks, white-faced monkeys, pumas and many more. There are also plenty of trails in the site.

Two of the most popular are the Rio Celeste and the Tapir Lake trail. There are also lodges that provide horseback riding services. You can also go swimming or immerse in the Celeste River. Other attractions include the Mysteries of the Tenorio footpath, Montezuma Volcano and the Bulk of Tenorio Volcano.


The park was established on March 16, 1976. Since its creation, the site has become extremely popular. The site is also home to thermal geysers, hot springs and mud pots. The development of the site includes the Celeste River and various volcanic formations. Its location means it generates a precipitation of 4,000 mm annually.


The admission fee to the Tenorio Volcano National Park in Upala is $10. The guides to the Rio Celeste tours cost $50. These tours however, include the transportation and lunch. The ranger station is open everyday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Other Info

The ranger station offers maps for hikers. The park also numerous restrooms and first aid kits. There are also guides that showcase the park’s best trails.

You are not allowed to remove any fauna or flora in the park. Also keep in mind you cannot use radios or other gadgets that may disturb the peace. When hiking, try to stay on the footpath at all times. You cannot come in dressed as a mascot. Firearms are not allowed inside the park.

The Tenorio Volcano National Park’s Celeste River is blue owing to the calcium carbonate and sulfur. The Celeste River Waterfall also turns blue on certain occasions. However, the river does not produce sulfuric smells.