Arenal Hanging Bridges

Bridges Vulcan de Arenal WEB

Vulcan de Arenal

About 30-minutes drive from La Fortuna, Costa Rica are the Arenal Hanging Bridges.  600 acres of protected rainforest is connected with a series of hanging (suspension) and walking bridges, and manicured walking trails.  Total walking distance within the park is 1.9 miles, and it takes about 2-1/2 hours to complete the loop.

* Click on images to enlarge for better viewing

Bridges Canopy Bridge II WEB

Canopy Suspension Bridge

Everything and every place around La Fortuna seems to have the word Arenal included. That’s because Vulcan de Arenal, the local volcano, really dominates the landscape.  You can see it from almost any vantage point around town, or driving in the surrounding countryside.  Often covered in mist, we’ve been pretty lucky these past two days in getting some good views.

Bridges Canopy Bridge WEB

Canopy Suspension Bridge

The trip out to Arenal Hanging Bridges lasts about 4-hours.  It’s a half hour drive each way, and you spend about 3-hours in the park itself.  In addition to experiencing these marvelous hanging (suspension) bridges high up in the canopy, there is also abundant wildlife to be seen within the park:  Howler and Spider Monkeys, Toucans, Motmot Birds, Hummingbirds, Tarantulas, Lizards and Snakes (like the poisonous Eyelash Viper we saw on our hike today).

Motmot Bird WEB

Motmot Bird

If you’re contemplating a visit to Costa Rica, I think you would be well served in visiting La Fortuna and the surrounding Arenal area.  Costa Rica is not inexpensive however; although it’s still a good value when compared to Stateside prices, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua are all much cheaper.  Quite a bit cheaper as a matter of fact—we’re finding prices in Costa Rica to be just about double.  We have to keep reminding ourselves that a large portion of the money we spend here goes towards supporting sustainable eco-tourism.

Honduras DD Brewery WEB

Stephen F. Dennstedt

Reporting from La Fortuna, Costa Rica . . .

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2 responses to “Arenal Hanging Bridges

  1. In 2007 I visited the Arenal area and it was wonderful! I only had one night there but wished it could have been many more. I always wanted to see an Eyelash Viper – lucky you!

  2. The last time I was here was in 2010. It is now high season, and the HUGE tour groups are clogging everything up (accommodations, restaurants and transportation). Over the past 3-years I’ve become a bit of a “Travel Snob” and find myself getting irritated with the big groups. We are spending double in Costa Rica from what we’ve spent in MX, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (only Belize came close to prices in Costa Rica). Unfortunately, we may have to move on to Panama sooner rather than later. On friday we are headed to the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific side, and hoped we could spend a month on the beach. But we’ll have to see how that works out . . . maybe things will settle down after Easter.

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