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Activities in Arenal - Questions on hanging bridge & canopy tour

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Activities in Arenal - Questions on hanging bridge & canopy tour

Old Oct 5th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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Activities in Arenal - Questions on hanging bridge & canopy tour

I'm now looking into booking tours for our trip to Arenal & MA in Dec. While in Arenal, I'm interested in Cano Negro, hanging Bridge, ziplining/canopy tour, hiking volcano and going to hot springs. Here are my questions - I'm a bit confused with the hanging bridge in Arenal area. From my research, it seems to be more than 1? Which hanging bridge would you recommend me to do? Also, for ziplines/canopy tour, should I go with skytram/skytrek? Do they have the highest and longest cables? Must I do both skytram & skytrek?

We'll have 2.5 days in Arenal area. I'm thinking to combine Cano Negro and hot springs in 1 day, and then do both hiking & skytram/skytrek on day 2. On the last day before we leave for MA, do we have time to do hanging bridge? Should I change my itinerary around?

Thanks.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 01:30 PM
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The Hanging Bridges in Arenal is right by the Lost Iguana. We were able to walk there from the property - if you stay there, they sell discounted tickets at the front desk. It's a nice hike - long trails, very pretty; we didn't see any wildlife while we were there, but still enjoyed it. Skytrek is the most popular zipline - gets really good reviews; we got rained out, so didn't get to go but everyone seems to love it. Hipvirgochick used a different company and liked it, so maybe she'll chime in for you. We did Cano Negro and the hot springs on the same day - that worked out great for us. Loved Cano Negro! I'd recommend using Sunset Tours if you haven't booked anything already.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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I think your plan sounds great. I would go with the guided tour at the Hanging Bridges though. It's a little extra money, but we found it to be so worthwhile. We learned so much about the area and we did get to see quite a bit of wildlife on the tour, that I know we would not have seen otherwise. Including a pit viper snake down in below one of the bridges! It was great! I think you could certainly conbine the Hanging Bridges day with the zip line. If you wanted to do the Hanging Bridges on the last day, you could. If I remember the walk with the tour takes about 3 hours.

And you could easily do the Cano Negro day trip and then the Hot Springs in the evening. Cano Negro is a full day, but you are back before dinner.

We missed out on the zip lines, but hope to do that when we return!
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Old Oct 6th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Hi ktny,

We also did Cano Negro and Hot Springs on the same day, which worked out well. On our other full day we did the Hanging Bridges and Sky Tram/Sky Trek.

I'm only aware of one Hanging Bridges park; the one that VG mentions near the Lost Iguana.

http://www.hangingbridges.com/

I believe that you can do Sky Tram on its own, but Sky Trek is a combo deal with Sky Tram (you basically take the tram up to the first zipline platform). I loved the tram ride up the hill. You can look straight down on the tree canopy below and the tram driver will stop if any interesting animals or birds are sighted so the passengers can get a better view. Sky Trek was a blast! Highly recommend it!

http://skytrek.com/english/arenal.html

Which hotel are you staying at? That might also help you determine which activities fit best together on the same day. We stayed at the Arenal Lodge which is out in the same vicinity as the Lost Iguana. Both Hanging bridges and Sky Trek are nearby, so it made sense to combine them on the same day for us, but if you were staying closer to La Fortuna, you'd want to either schedule them sort of back to back or on different days, since they are both farther out from town.

Are you planning to do the volcano hike on your own, or with a guide? If you got an early start, you could maybe save that for your last morning (depending on how much time you plan to spend). You could also get an early start at Hanging Bridges for that morning. I second ShellD's recommend of a guided tour there, because you'll learn about the ecosystem and have a better chance at spotting wildlife.

I think you can fit everything in. Just keep in mind that you need to allot 5-6 hours to make the trip to MA, and you will want to be down in that area by dusk, although roads really were in pretty decent condition along that route last December.

I head down to CR in December as well. Can you believe it's almost here!?
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Old Oct 6th, 2007, 10:15 PM
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Thank you for clarification. I read about a hanging bridge in hotel arenal paraiso and I got confused. Yea, I'm planning to go w/ Sunset tours for Cano Negro.

I'm thinking to stay at Arenal Springs hotel. I sent them email a couple of times but didn't hear back from them yet. I might try calling them.

I know December is coming up fast! I still have yet to book hotel in Arenal and car rental, and then I'm all set to go!
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 04:41 AM
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The SkyTram and SkyTrek are pretty much part & parcel....you take the tram up so you can start the SkyTrek up high. I guess you could take it back down too but it's not terribly exciting. I'd say a guide at the Hanging Bridges is a good thing, ours pointed out 2 pit vipers I never would've noticed.
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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I really wish we had hired a guide at the Hanging Bridges - we didn't see anything, and everyone else always says they saw the pit vipers. We were able to hear the howlers, but we never spotted them. tully, did you get the guide there or arrange it ahead of time somehow? I know we'll go back someday!
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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Hi VG,

We did the Hanging Bridges in the rain, so many of the animals had sought shelter. We did see one monkey, a few interesting birds, and some leaf cutter ants. Our guide was hoping to find a pit viper for us, but no such luck on that day. The other good thing about having a guide was the insight he provided into the ecosystem. He told us about the plants and trees we encountered and the adaptations they had developed to survive and thrive in that type of system. It was quite fascinating!

I believe you can hire a guide at the park entrance, but we just booked ours through Sunset Tours as they had done such a great job on the Cano Negro tour.

Ktny,

You'll have to report back on the Arenal Springs hotel and let us know how you liked it. Email does seem a little off and on with lots of places in CR. I emailed the Peace Lodge last year to confirm we were all set with the reservations that a travel agent had made for us. PL never did answer me back! We were fine with the voucher our TA had provided. Shillmac had advised me back then that sometimes phone communications are the easiest way to go.

It looks like Arenal Springs is basically half way between Tabacon and La Fortuna which is a nice central location. The Hanging Bridges are farther out past Tabacon by Lake Arenal. Sky Trek is on the other side of the volcano in the vicinity of the Arenal Observatory Lodge via a bumpy, unpaved road. The turn off you take to get to AOL and Sky Trek is right before you get to the lake and is well signed.

I'm getting excited for you just typing this! We really loved the Arenal area last year!
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Hi, c! Thanks for the info. We loved Sunset Tours too, so when we make it back to Arenal someday, I'll definitely look into booking the guided tour. We had extremely rainy weather that day too - by the time we finished the end of the hike, there was a major deluge. I think most of the animals were taking cover.
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 06:12 PM
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Regarding the Hanging bridges and the guide - we just arranged for the guide right there at the desk where we paid for the admission. We didn't go with a tour, since we had our own car - we just drove right up and asked for the guided tour. I wish I could remember our guide's name - he worked directly for the Hanging Bridges and he was great. I want to say it was Carlos, but I could be wrong... I don't think it's necessary to arrange a tour through a group, especially if you have your own transportation. It was just our guide and my husband and myself. It was a really great walk! And while we were there, we got to here the volcano rumble, which to be honest, I don't think I would have realized what the sound was without him telling us what it was! Funny - it almost sounded like a train, until I remembered, there weren't any trains there in the jungle!
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 07:08 PM
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I didn't have a car so I arranged thru Sunset Tours, which I agree with others is very good - I also did a volcano hike with them.

Shell one morning I'd just got out of the shower and heard the biggest boom, it shook the sliding glass door! It was just Arenal, doing what she does...of course I'm thinking 'oh no, oh God, I'm in a towel, what if we're told to run' lol
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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