La Fortuna, home of the majestic Arenal Volcano, offers great adventure activities like zip lining, rafting, rappel, waterfall jumping among others.
My family and I decided to travel to Costa Rica this past October for an 8 day vacation. We spent time in Arenal and Tamarindo.
As a member of Costa Rica Deals Now, I have visited the country a few times for work. This was going to be my first time traveling for pleasure and with my family including my 4 year old daughter.
During our 3 nights stay in La Fortuna, I was invited to visit Mistico Arenal Park in order to experience their hanging bridges tour with my family. This was a tour that I never had a chance to do during my last 3 visits to Arenal. I was excited to do this activity and lived it as a traveler who books services with Costa Rica Deals Now.
A GREAT START
The journey started since the moment our driver and guide picked us up. Our guide, Jonni, welcomed us and explained to us how the tour was going to be and what to expect.
He asked my family if there is something we needed during and after the tour in order for him to take into consideration while conducting the tour.
A few minutes after the introduction, Jonni made the driver stop the car and pulled out on the side of the road. He got out of the car pulled out his telescope and showed us a three-toed sloth hanging from a tree. It was incredible to see a sloth living carefree with people walking around. On our way to the tour, our guide was very detailed about everything we were seeing on the route.
Afterward, we arrived at Mistico Arenal Park. The view of the valley and Arenal Volcano was stunning. Before getting to the bridges, we walked through the trails of the park that took us deep into the rainforest. Our guide showed us different types of trees, birds, butterflies, monkeys, as well as bats before getting to the first bridges. There are no stairs and the trails have protective railings, and the surface material is anti-slip concrete. The place looks spotless and the richness of the forest impressed us every step of the way.
The highest suspension bridge was at 45 meters high. We stopped in the middle of the bridge to admire the forest from the top. The view was spectacular!
Our daughter had no problem crossing the bridges. It was a real adventure for all of us.
The park also has a waterfall called Morpho Waterfall. We saw the Blue Morpho butterflies flying around the waterfall.
At the end of the trail, we stopped at the mini store for waters, empanadas and some ice cream. The total tour was around 2 hours.
My family was happy and I was pleasantly surprised to know that daughter enjoy the hanging bridges as much as the rest of my family. Our guide Jonni was very knowledgeable and was right on point spotting as many animals as possible.
FOR ALL AGES
To all families traveling with children to La Fortuna, I strongly recommend doing the Mistico Hanging Bridges tour. A tour for all ages, rich in nature and surrounded by a beautiful deep green forest.
We strongly suggest booking the guided tour option for a personalized unique experience.
The hanging bridges tour at Arenal Mistico Park were a truly amazing adventure that my family will always remember.
Size: 250 hectares of Tropical Rainforest reserve
Precipitation: 2000 – 4000 mm annually
Relative humidity: 80% ~ 92%
Altitude: 500 – 600 meters above sea level
Length of the Main Trail: 2 miles
Bridges: 16 bridges, tunnel and a Waterfall
Duration: 2.5 hours with a guide
Accessible Trail: The park also offers an accessible trail for the visitors with mobility issues. Power mobility scooters are also offered at the park.
Length: 1 mile. Non-slip concrete path.
Tour duration: 45 min with a guide.
Bridges: 6 fixed bridges, optional 2 hanging bridges.
Avifauna: +350 species
Plant life: +700 species
High altitude trees: Yema Huevo, Cirri and Pilon trees
Low altitude trees: Caobilla, Fruta Dorada and Maquenque trees
Others: vines, epiphytes, and herbs
High altitude birds: The bellbird, the Emerald Toucanet
Low altitude birds: Toucans and turkey hens
Migratory birds: Birds of prey (visible between November and February each year)
Mammals: +120 species. Pumas, Jaguars, and Tapirs
Herpetofauna: +250 species. Frogs, snakes, lizards, and mammals such as kinkajous, raccoons, margays, and ocelots.
At Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, different ecosystems come together forming a transition vegetation belt with a high level of biodiversity that can be found along the border between two types of forests: upland and lowland, bringing together species from both areas.
Throughout years of evolution, the plant life of the lowland rainforests, typical in Sarapiquí and Tortuguero, has undergone an altitude migration of up to 500-600 meters, allowing it to encounter and interact with upland plant life.
For this reason, the tree canopies at Mistico Park offer a richly diverse environment with a strong presence of various species of epiphyte plants, birds, mammals, butterflies, and much more. These can be observed up close on the hanging bridges.