In the beginning of 2017 I, Sapphire & Elm co-founder Stephanie, spent over four months traveling through most of Central America.
By the time I made it to Costa Rica to meet my family for eight days, I had seen a lot of beautiful and magical places. Places that felt very raw, rugged, and authentic. If you've been to Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, you can probably imagine that I was a little surprised at how developed Costa Rica was, especially in places like La Fortuna and Tamarindo.
I really shouldn't have been surprised. I knew that Costa Rica has been a haven for tourists for a while, and the last 10 years in particular tourism (especially American tourism) has sky rocketed.
I know my parents, especially my father who everyone will admit a bit scared to travel to Central America, really appreciated things like English speaking and clean, drinkable tap water. Me on the other hand was loving being out of place in areas like Lake Atitlán, Guatemala and Ometepe, Nicaragua.
One of my favorite places in Costa Rica was the area of Tenorio National Park / Rio Celeste.
After my family left, my friend and I continued to travel Costa Rica for another couple of weeks. Our first stop was Tenorio. It was a last minute decision, I hadn't heard much about it previously. But we decided to check it out for ourselves.
We stayed away from town, closer to the entrance of Tenorio National Park.
Driving up there, the dirt roads were very primitive. When we arrived at our hotel, we found out we were the only ones staying here! The owner offered to make us dinner. Until then he suggested we spend the day at the river on the property.
I was stunned at the beauty of this river! It was the perfect place to take a dip, lounge in the hammock, and drink a few local beers.
Around lunch time we walked to the local market. It was about a 30 minute walk through undeveloped roads and houses, lush trees, and dogs playing happily in the streets. When we arrived they had almost nothing to sell other than the basics.
We bought some simple home-made cheesy crackers and an aloe vera drink. We didn't need much, we were saving ourselves for dinner prepared by our new friends/hotel owner.
We ran into several friendly and happy dogs exploring their streets! I just love dogs in Costa Rica! They have so much freedom, and are so well behaved, well fed and very cared for!
The next day we hiked through Tenorio National Park. I was equally blog away.
The particular color of the Rio Celeste comes from mixing minerals of two rivers.
As with almost every place on earth, please note that Tenorio / Rio Celeste isn't for everyone. We are all unique and our trips should reflect that.
There is so much to do in Costa Rica, your holiday time is both limited and valuable. Contact Us for personal recommendations for your trip to Costa Rica, Central America and beyond!