Los Guatusos Plains
The counties of Upala, Los Chiles and Guatuso. San José is 236 Km from Upala, 233 Km from Los Chiles and 245 Km from San Rafael de Guatuso. Upala, the main city, is situated on the left bordering the Rio Zapote, flowing from the Nicaragua Lake, which you can get to by boat. It is a very picturesque village, as the river flows past houses, forming pools where the locals bathe. The rivers in the area are abundant in Guapote and Gaspar fish.
The area of San Rafael de Guatuso
It is known locally as Guatuso, which crosses the Río Frío, and is located 19 km to the northeast of Nuevo Arenal, arriving here via a dirt road of 40 km to the northeast of La Fortuna, via an asphalt road with panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano to the south. Some 10km before San Rafael, there is a gravel route of 10 km that leads to Venado, a good place for a one day visit, there are also cabins here.
The Venado Caverns
Located in the district of Venado, 3 km to the east, on the road to Upala, only 67 km from Ciudad Quesada. The Venado caverns where discovered in 1962, when the first expedition was made to the 350 meter cave and in 1969 when three explorations were made and they discovered 1.550 meters of 8 different caverns. In 1991 another exploration was made and they found four more caves, the total area of caves that have been discovered is more than 2000 meters. In the different caves there are stalactites and stalagmites and there is enough room for tourists to be able to go in and see them. You can explore this area for, 5 US$ entry, they are situated 4 km to the south of Venado. You can contract local guides in the village, or enroll on one of the circuits that the local hotels organize in Caño Negro or La Fortuna. There is a bus that leaves in the afternoon from Ciudad Quesada. Before you get to San Rafael; the route crosses an Indigenous Reserve of the Guatuso. In the rainy season, you can rent a boat to navigate the Rió Frio from San Rafael to the Caño Negro Refuge for Forest Wildlife. Some 5 km to the northeast of Guatuso, there is a 10km road which begins with a sign that says “Los Teñideros.” This route leads to the Río Celeste.
Adventures Caves Venado Costa Rica Ph (506) 2478-8008/ 8827-4159. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Just 45 minutes from La Fortuna de San Carlos, prepare you for an Adventure. Explore this caves that have formations more than 6 millions of years, climb the labyrinth, crossing waterfalls, leaving for natural chimneys and observe the amazing fauna. What includes; guide, entrance to the caves, flashlight, helmet, boots. What to bring; comfortable cloth and shoes, repellent, towel and change of cloth.
Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio
Ph (506) 2200-0135 Ph (506) 8895-9671 Ph (506) 2200-0135 Ph (506) 2402-1330 Ph (506) 2200-0176 Ph (506) 8359-6235. Public Service Hours: from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. / Schedule of entry to the Park trails from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to complete the tour / from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. pm Only Catarata / Entrance Fees 10 US $ for foreign visitors not resident in Costa Rica, except Central American / 1.50 US $ for national visitors and residents in CR / 0.55 US $ for primary and secondary students.
Right in the center of the mountains, with crystal water, which are an intense turquoise blue there are several hot springs along the way that are very inviting places for tourists to relax. This is the Río Celeste de Guatuso, which is also known as Teñidero. Located on the northeast foothills of the Tenorio Volcano, some 26 kilometers from San Rafael de Guatuso. The color of the water is a product of a dye that runs from the rocks and gives it an attractive tone. To see this you will need to take the road in between San Rafael de Guatuso and Upala County; although, if you want to walk through the mountains to the source it is 5km to the south of the Río Celeste community. Be careful with the hot springs as the temperatures are very high, and visit the majestic 15 meter waterfall that is perfect to go bathing. The river, with its dyed waters is approximately 36km in length.
How to arrive and leave
To visit the Celeste River within the park, two different routes are used, entering the park through two different sectors: Sector el Pilón “Administrative Office of the Park”, from Cañas 7 Km along the Interamerican highway, then turn off to Upala 42 Km passing through the community of Bijagua and again deviate east 11 km towards the community of Pilón de Bijagua. La Paz Sector; (in La Fortuna de San Carlos), from El Tanque 40 km to San Rafael de Guatuso and 15 km road to Upala to Katira de Guatuso. Then you must deviate 11 km east towards the community of La Paz de Guatuso.
Where to eat and sleep
Cabinas Milagro Ph (506) 2464-0037. Single / doubles with bathroom 7/ 13 US$. It is a family business which is located at the end of the village, 50 meters north and 25 meters east of the Catholic Church. To arrive here from the center, you will need to pass by the church, and then get to the Río Frio Bridge, and take a right turn opposite the football pitch. There are 15 rooms with private bathroom, fan and Cable TV.
Cabinas Tío Henry Ph/fax (506) 2464-0344. Single/ double with bathroom 12/ 20 US$, with shared bathroom 8 US$ per person. It is located in the center of the village 50 meters south of the Grupo Colono, there is a small under roof car park. There are 14 cabins with air conditioning and Cable TV, eight have a private bathroom and four are shared, the rooms and beds are made from rustic wood.
Cabinas El Bosque Ph/fax (506) 2464-0355. Single/ doubles with fan 6/ 11 US$, with air conditioning 10/ 15 US$. Located in the north of the village. There are 10 rooms some with Cable TV. There is also covered parking.
Soda La Mancha. On the main road opposite the Tío Henry Cabins. Serving traditional meals from 2.20 / 4 US$.
El Turista Restaurant. On the main road, good meals from 3 US$.
How to arrive and leave
The buses leave Tilarán or Ciudad Quesada every two hours, some continue as far as San José. Upala is located 40 km to the north east. The road is asphalt.