It’s the destination renowned for the blue river: the Rio Celeste that flows through Volcán Tenorio National Park. A unique blend of minerals and water acidity creates its most brilliant hue when the sun shines brightly. A visit to the national park is unquestionably worthwhile. While some travelers pass through on their way from La Fortuna to a destination in Guanacaste, at Edventure Travel, we believe it’s worth staying in Bijagua for at least two nights.
Apart from the Tenorio volcano, this region is home to another dormant volcano, the Miravalles volcano. Nestled between these two volcanoes is Bijagua, a village of approximately 5,000 residents. The area exudes a rural and authentic atmosphere. It’s certainly part of the tourist sector, yet the local community strives for sustainable tourism development. Tourism must go hand in hand with nature conservation, and as many locals as possible should benefit from visitors. Local entrepreneurs work together to source their supplies. In the village, various businesses can be found, including a cheese factory, cocoa producers, and several local family restaurants.
Due to its location in the northern region of Costa Rica and its altitude of around 600 meters, Bijagua has its own microclimate. This is advantageous for numerous animal and plant species. Although it’s close to the drier and hotter Guanacaste, it can be a bit chilly with a breeze. The average temperature hovers around 23 degrees Celsius. The weather and climate are influenced by the Caribbean side.
Due to its unique environment, Bijagua is home to several species that are endemic to the region. The area comprises both primary and secondary forests, protected in part by the Tenorio-Miravalles biological corridor. The flora includes palms, heliconias, ferns, bromeliads, and orchids. The ‘Jícaro Danto’ tree is endemic, with its fruit being a favorite snack of tapirs. In addition to tapirs, the region is inhabited by pumas, tayras, ocelots, pacas, wild boars, sloths, howler monkeys, and capuchin monkeys. Various snakes, such as the eyelash viper pictured here, and frog species can also be found. In 2018, a completely new frog species was even discovered in Bijagua! And to top it off, the area is a paradise for birdwatchers, with over 400 species to be spotted.
The tapir is the largest native mammal in Central America and unfortunately, this species is also endangered. Organizations like Nai Conservation and Costa Rica Wildlife are dedicated to tapir protection. Some tapirs are equipped with GPS collars to study their behavior. Since 2016, the tapir population in Bijagua has increased, and they are being spotted closer to the residents. They are skilled swimmers and have even been observed swimming in the Rio Celeste. The local tourism organization has declared September as the “Month of the Tapir” with the goal of promoting tourism while raising awareness about tapir protection. During this time, one of the tapir’s favorite fruits is ripe, leading to increased tapir activity in the area.
Could it be easier to spot a tapir in Bijagua than in Corcovado National Park…?
In addition to a visit to the national park with Rio Celeste, you can choose from a range of activities in the area, including mountain biking, horseback riding, tubing, birdwatching tours, frog tours, cocoa tours, and more. There are various types of accommodations available in the region. The local travel experts at Edventure Travel would be delighted to share more details with you.
Curious? Request your customized travel quote and discover how Bijagua can fit into your tailor-made journey. Meanwhile, take a look at some beautiful snapshots of this stunning destination below!