The 16 hanging bridges that line the paths of Costa Rica’s Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park stretch a total of 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) across the steep landscape. See the birds, monkeys, sloths, snakes, and frogs that call the forest canopy home by ascending these spans, suspended above gorges and stretched across jungle floors.
A hike through the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park in sunny weather is a perfect way to spend several hours viewing and photographing the area’s flora and fauna. The life of the rain forest largely takes place overhead, in the thick canopy of jungle and sunlight.
Wander through the thick vegetation on well-marked trails on your own, or join a guided tour focused on plants, birds, and animals—or more adventurous pursuits. An early morning birding tour is the best way to expand your bird list, with more than 60 species spotted regularly in this protected wilderness. Also look for families of monkeys swinging through the air and lazy sloths lounging among tree limbs. For a unique view of the forest, sign up for a night walk. Some guided tours combine a visit to the park with stops at Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Lake Arenal, and the nearby Tabacon Hot Springs.
Know Before You Go
- Closed-toe shoes are required in Mistico Park; wearing sandals is not permitted and you will be refused entry.
- The Sal & Pimienta Restaurant, on the park grounds, is open daily from 7:30am to 4pm.
- The rain forest is home to a hearty bug population; insect repellent is a good idea.
- Children under 10 years old receive free admission.
How to Get There
The hanging bridges are located five miles (eight kilometers) east of Tabacon and 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from La Fortuna. Look for them just after the exit to El Castillo, on the lakefront road to Tilaran. Round-trip transportation from nearby hotels is available for an additional fee.
When to Get There
General entry and guided tours take place Monday through Sunday from 7:30am to 4:30pm. Costa Rica’s rainy season is typically May through November; prime Arenal Volcano viewing time is September and October.
Adventure Tours in Mistico Park
The adventure seeker in you will find plenty to keep busy at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. One option is a zorbing tour, which envelops you in a huge rubber ball in order to roll safely (if quickly) down a steep hill. Book a Paco’s Horses tour to ride through a remote pasture for epic views, or set out for Spider Monkey Canyon to rappel and zipline among the canyon’s striking natural features.