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Swimming at Rio Celeste?

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Swimming at Rio Celeste?

I read somewhere a long time ago that it is not advised to swim in rio celeste where the color changes because of unkown ekements in the water that turn it blue. Does anyone know what element turns it blue? Do people commonly swim by the waterfall? Thank you.

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Swimming at Rio Celeste?

Yes many people swim in the river. "There is a chemical reaction between the water and calcium carbonate and sulfur that come from Tenorio Volcano. The result is the spectacular shade of blue that you see in the river." (Found this on CR Traveler.com as I knew it was a "chemical" thing)

:-) Enjoy!

Wendy at the Villa Hermosa, La Fortuna, CR

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Swimming at Rio Celeste?

Like many things in life you can do it...but not good for you...


Munich, Germany
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3. Re: Swimming at Rio Celeste?

The "unknown" element is Copper Sufate (CoSO4). That is what turnes the river blue and is produced in a chemical reaction at "The Dyers" where two streams with different chemical compounds meet.

Copper Sulfate is an irritant and in high concentrations may cause itching or eczema. Rio Celeste has high concentrations of CoSO4 in some places, for example the "Blue Lagoon". In low concentrations it is used in swimming pools as an algaecide. As far as I know it is officially not allowed to swim by the waterfall. At least there are signs saying that it is prohibited. But I think the main reason are dangerous currents close to the waterfall, not the Copper Sulfate. I have seen people swim there though.

Edited: 26 January 2011, 08:40
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for Costa Rica
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4. Re: Swimming at Rio Celeste?

I have not found Rio Celeste to be very swimming friendly, maybe you can soak in the pool under the waterfall but depends on the previous night rain quantity, and is better to keep close to shore. There is a small secure pool with hot thermal water where people usually "swim".

Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: Swimming at Rio Celeste?

I would agree that Rio Celeste is not the easiest place to swim at. The currents can be very strong. The reason I stayed out of the water was due to the fact that I did not want to smell like sulfur. :)

6. Re: Swimming at Rio Celeste?

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