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“Fun Hike Over Bridges, but Go With a Guide!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Hanging Bridges

Arenal Hanging Bridges
Arenal Volcano National Park 4784-1000, Costa Rica
506 2290-0469
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Type: Bridges, Trails
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Experience the rainforest through an amazing hike and the incredible hanging bridges close to the arenal volcano, offering bird watching and natural history tours.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Aptos, California
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
“Fun Hike Over Bridges, but Go With a Guide!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

We had a great time on the Natural History Tour with our guide Indira. She saw things in the trees that we never would have spotted with our untrained eyes. We saw howler monkeys, a white hawk, a boa constrictor, a baby viper, a vine snake, some colorful birds, and more. We even saw two tayras crossing the trail in front of us (Indira said this was only the second time in 7 years that she had seen tayras here, so this was our lucky day!). We also learned a lot about the plant life that we saw. The hike was fun, and our family enjoyed crossing over the bridges (beware the Waterfall Bridge for those who might be afraid of heights!). We also had a grand view of the Arenal Volcano from the top bridge, as well as the restaurant deck. We highly recommend the hanging bridges, but go with a guide if you really want to get the most out of your experience here. We did see other people walking on their own, zipping right past creatures that were camouflaged among the plants--they really missed out!

Visited January 2013
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Cambridge Springs
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Lots of great scenery & wildlife!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

This was a very fun, non-strenuous walk/hike. Saw Howler monkey, keel-billed Toucan, eye-lash vipers, and much more... Highly recommend to take this trip when in the area.. Guides were great, informative, and went on a good pace for the group... Don't miss this...

Visited April 2013
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Pocatello, Idaho
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Don't miss this attraction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

My husband and I visited this park in April and had an amazing time. Our guide was Oscar and he was very knowledgeable and loved his job. He showed us animals, insects, and plants and provided information on each one. He carried a spotting scope to further enhance our experience. I strongly suggest that you pay the little extra for a guide we would have missed a lot of things without Oscar. The walk is fairly easy, my husband had a heart attack 2 years ago and he was able to complete the walk including the very steep shortcut. The bridges were fun and after getting the hang of walking one foot in front of the other to minimize the swaying they were a lot of fun. The jungle was very quiet and peaceful and we did not have an excessive amount of interaction with other tour groups. Oscar would just hang back to allow some distance so that the animals and birds would not be scared away. This was a highlight of our Arenal area vacation.

Visited April 2013
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London, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

An incredible 2 mile walking trip uphill in the canopy forest. The bridges afforded a fantastic and exciting view. Allow 2 hours at least to enjoy the walk and scenery. We were lucky enough to spot 2 spider moneys and parrots in the trees when we completed our walk. Would do it again!

Visited April 2013
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Melbourne, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Get a guide for maximum enrichment!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

My husband and I explored the Arenal Hanging Bridges with Rudy of Canoa Aventura. While we had considered doing it on our own, choosing a guide was definitely the way to go! Rudy pointed out several animals, including a black-mandibled toucan and eyelash pit viper that we would have completely missed otherwise. (Come to think of it, that should probably concern me.....) We also enjoyed some very active spider monkeys and Stefania, the blue-and-gold macaw who thinks she owns the place. All animals, including Stefania, are in their natural habitat and free to move about as they please. This makes the conservation effort and park that much better.

Also thanks to Rudy's knowledge, we learned a lot about the plant life of the rainforest, including the amazing dragon wood tree, and the difference between parasitic plants and epiphytic ones. If it had been just the two of us, we would have walked around just relying on clusters of people to indicate good wildlife, and certainly wouldn't have stopped to observe any non-flowering plant. We would have missed out onto much!

In addition to the great wildlife viewings, the bridges themselves are marvels, and one affords a particularly stunning view of the Arenal Volcano, as does the viewing area at the park entrance. All of the bridges ate in good repair, and while there is a certain thrill in crossing the longest or the highest bridge, there is never any real sense of danger. The whole park is a 3.1 K loop, with some uneven spots and stairs, but fairly navigable with sandals. Although hiking shoes are suggested, they are not mandatory for a person used to walking around in sandals for extended periods. Depending on your walking pace and how much you like to linger, this park takes a good 2-3 hours to fully appreciate, though I am sure avid bird watchers could spend more time.

Visited April 2013
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