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Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Costa Rica, Latin America

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Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

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  • Aerial view of the parking lot and restaurant.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Aerial view of the parking lot and restaurant.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Beginning of the walk through the yards.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Three-toed sloth.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Beautiful tree with hundreds of other plants growing on it.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • One of the six hanging bridges.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • One of the six hanging bridges.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • A different view of the forest.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Beautiful flora along the hike.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Eyelash viper on a tree.  Without a guide to point it out, it is easy to miss.  These venomous snakes stay still for hours -even days.  The flash highlights yellows and reds, though it looks green in the forest shade.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Motmot with mud on its beak, left from digging their burrow, where they nest.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Motmot.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Rufus tail jacamar.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • View of a hiker through the dense forest.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • As the hike is very mild, it can be a great outing for families with young kids.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • As the hike is very mild, it can be a great outing for families with young kids.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • One of the many visitors to the forest canopy.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • One of the many bird species that can be seen on the site.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Aerial view of hanging bridge.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Aerial view of hanging bridge.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • Arenal volcano at sunset, as seen from the Arenal Lake dam.- Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
  • - Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views of forest and wildlife.
Cons: 
Can be busy in the high season.
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Region:
Costa Rica, LT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.50 mi (4.02 km)
Total elevation gain: 
300.00 ft (91.44 m)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,000.00 ft (609.60 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Sponsored Contributor

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park is a beautiful location just a 20-minute drive from La Fortuna. The trail is about 2.5 miles long with only 300 feet of elevation gain (850 feet total, especially if you walk down to and back up from the Morpho Azul waterfall). It is a very comfortable and safe setting, yet it offers the opportunity to see the local flora and fauna up close and from above the forest canopy. There is an admission fee for the self-guided walk, and hiring a local guide adds a bit of cost, but it is worth it to learn more about the area and the multiple species that can be spotted along the way. There are shuttles to the local hotels and to La Fortuna, so it is not difficult to get to reach.

There is a restaurant, restrooms and parking lot at the park entrance. The walk starts through the gardens and quickly winds down the forest. The trail is very well maintained, and it is mostly paved or stabilized with rocks and blocks. It goes over 16 bridges, six of which are hanging bridges. Some of the bridges are very high, offering a unique opportunity to observe the forest from a whole different perspective.

Wildlife is abundant, though it is not always easy to spot. Black howler monkeys are common, and it is hard not to notice them if they are howling. Reptiles include lizards and several snake species -a lot of them are venomous, so do not approach them. Vipers often lay still on the same spot for days, blending in with their surroundings almost perfectly, which is why it is useful to hike with a local guide. And of course, there are hundreds of birds that can be observed in the park, with the jacamar and motmot being some of the local favorites.

As the drive back to La Fortuna goes by the Arenal Lake, you may want to stop to see the sunset and the volcano if the weather is right.

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Nearby Adventures

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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