Arenal Hanging Bridges, Paraiso & Cano Negro

Old Jun 27th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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Arenal Hanging Bridges, Paraiso & Cano Negro

Are the Arenal Hanging Bridges worth the time? It seems to get mixed reviews here. Some say all they saw were ants (!!), others report plenty of wildlife spotted as long as they had a guide. Thoughts?

Will be in area for four nights, two at Arenal Paraiso, two at Tilajari in Muelle. Are the zip lines good at Paraiso? Gardens/grounds at both places sound great.

Going to do Cano Negro tour from Tilajari Hotel, but am confused. Is it really a trip on the Rio Frio or do you actually enter into the marshlands reserve? It sounds like some operators go as far as the reserve sign and turn around.

Thanks for your comments
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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We only saw ants, and we were there for several hours. We still enjoyed it, but viewed it more as a nice hike than as a good opportunity to spot wildlife. If you feel pressed for time, it's okay to skip it. If I went again, I would hire a guide. For Cano Negro, you see the same animals on the river as you do in the marshlands reserve; we just went with the cheaper option. We saw sloths, howlers, bats, capuchins, caimans, and loads of birds. Loved it.
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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We really enjoyed the Hanging Bridges, but again - we had a guide. It wasn't even so much that we saw an incredible amount of wildlife, but the guide really explained so much about the area in general it was just fascinating! We did see a fair amount of wildlife as well though, that I know had we gone alone we would have missed. It was also just a very peaceful and unique type of hike as well.

I can't tell you exactly where the Cano Negro tour goes for sure, I actually think different tours go to different areas, but it was a highlight of our visit. We saw an abundance of wildlife, and just being out on the river was a great day! I'm not even sure who took us on our tour- we booked it throug Tabacon and my husband and I were the only two on our tour, so it was really cool!

I really wouldn't miss either the Hanging Bridges or Cano Negro if you have the time.
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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If you go to hanging bridges, I would encourage you to get a guide. We did not and wish we had. Though we did not see a lot of animals on our hike, we really enjoyed the walk / hike. The bridge trail is approx 2 miles long and very very scenic. If you go, there's a nice restaurant at the entrance. We ate there based on a recommendation from this site (thanks Cmerril).

FYI- due to time, we did not go to Cano Negro but it gets rave reviews
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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The bridges are more scenic the wild
life sightings tons better at Cano
Negro.Mostly Rio Frio bank sightings
some more into the everglades of costa rica based on the season.
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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We really liked the food at the Hanging Bridges too; we were expecting "snack bar" and got good casados and batidos instead.
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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vg,
What's "batidos"? Thanks
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 01:04 AM
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Batidos are kind of like a fruit smoothie or milkshake - made with lots of fresh fruit and served up in a tall glass with a straw - really refreshing after you've been out in the eat. My husband got a little addicted!
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 03:57 AM
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I really enjoyed having a guide at the Hanging Bridges, the 2 pit-vipers he spotted were worth it alone! Booked thru Sunset Tours, had done the Volcano hike with them in earlier in the day so it was nice to have the same guide again. There also seemed to be guides there on site, so if you just drove up I'm sure you'd probably be able to arrange as well.
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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Yum, those batidos sound delicious. I hope they are not too fattening – made with milk, not ice cream (do they have skim milk in CR?). I know I will have them no matter what (vg, I understand your husband’s addiction) and hope we’ll walk/hike enough to burn whatever calories they have.
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 05:10 AM
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Thanks, all - will definitely hire a guide for the Hanging Bridges and will have a batido, too!

Just bought a new pocket camera with a 10x zoom, so am ready for Rio Frio/Cano Negro wildlife - wherever the tour actually takes us. I used my 3x zoom on the last trip and realized I needed more power for better closeups.
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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EDH, your pictures are amazing. Are you a professional wildlife photographer? How did you get such awesome photos of all the birds and lizards.
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Yikes! I always gain weight down there. And exercise plenty. Rice and beans and batidos!

Batido actually means "shake", so you get the picture! Personally, I like the chocolate ones made with ice cream! (No wonder I gain. . )
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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shillmac,
What are you trying to do to me??? Chocolate and ice cream? These are my biggest 2 weaknesses …

I always gain weight in vacation, but because I’m not a big fan of rice and beans, I was hoping that Costa Rica will be different – I don’t think so anymore. It’s gonna be worse – or maybe better Chocolate batido..chocolate batido…
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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LOL! Eating that stuff is dirty work, but someone's gotta do it!
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 05:06 PM
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Hey, I didn't know we could get chocolate ones; they tricked us into eating fruit! Actually it was kind of fun because my husband became the batido connoisseur. They would suggest different fruits we'd never heard of, and he would try it. All of them were good.
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