Many years ago a group of brave explorers uncovered the secrets of Costa Rica's jungle and hid them away in cartographic maps so that they would be protected from harm. Only those who would truly cherish them would ever uncover these keys and unlock the secrets of the jungle.
The key to this expedition was found in the worn pages of an old map...
This expedition followed the startling blue Penjamo river directly into the heart of Ricon de la Vieja national Park.
Strangely, only two days after returning from this expedition, the evidence of this color was erased. The old Rincon de la Vieja volcano erupted and stole away the blue. It's almost as if the blue was all only a dream.
Thankfully this excursion documented the last of this magic.
There was no trace of this waterfall in the Satellite maps of our database. Our only knowledge of its existence came from a myth that a friend Julian had told me. According to this myth, it is possilbe to access a mystical lagoon by following the blue waterfalls. Julián spent three hours at the Waterfall Trail headquarters explaining to us how to make this secretive route possible. He told us that many years ago he had found it but no longer remembered what we would encounter on this expedition.
This expedition was pure adventure. We were completely alone in the jungle and were forced to pitch camp early on the way and wait for a storm to pass. We spent hours listening to the angry mountain storm and almost suspended the expedition. The night was extreme. The animals crept closer and the rain refused to calm.
In the morning the jungle awoke in a cheerful mood. The river, surrounded by white stones, gray sands, and fringed by the intense forest green, had morphed back to blue.
Sands of a volcanic desert that we all know so well act as natural desert dyes of the river. Like magic, volcanic dust turns the water blue.
We were teleported to a new planet as we crossed through caves where sulfur hung from the walls, dripping down and staining the walls in chalky white.
According to the locals, depending on how the mountain is feeling, the river changes temperature, becoming either hotter or colder. During this trip we found hot streams on the side walls of the canyon and hot springs every 300 meters; the mountain must have been feeling quite warm and welcoming that day.
We continued on our search for the path to Jilguero, passing through deep blue waterfalls and pools of blue that looked fake, obscuring our parameters of reality.
There was a problem. We were taking too long because the scenery was so beautiful that we got caught within it, stopping every 50 meters to contemplate the blue. A color that calms and captivates, sending you into a trance.
After several hours we arrived at the first waterfall. We named it Jilguero (a goldfinch) because it seems that one can walk on the water. There are rocks around the edge of the fall that from a certain angle make it look like mirror, as if you could walk along the blue.
We tried to climb the waterfall but the steep, jagged rocks were too slick to conquer. We decided to make a new route that seemed simpler and instead we found ourselves deep within a malicious forest of venomous thorns.
The thorns caught to our skin like razors, leaving our hands and arms raw. The terrain was impossible, trying its hardest to snare us and trap us within the jungle. The hope of reaching our mystical lagoon by following the blue waterfalls was fading.
We managed to cross through a section of the forest of thorns to enter the canyon, beginning our search for another waterfall. The river was different, the stones were much redder, and the water was becoming colder. We feared that the mood of the mountain was changing as the night approached. We had to pause for the evening to set up camp. Our time to reach the lagoon has sadly vanished with the fading light.
We spent the night star gazing through the tree branches and listening to thunderstorms in the distance. The night was thankfully pleasant. We watched giant fireflies who danced through the air, hypnotizing us into a deep peaceful sleep.
The myth of Jilguero lagoon is still hiding within the jungle. One day we will defeat the forest of thorns.
Everything in this life can be overcome with enough love.