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La Fortuna - Hanging Bridges Hike
Arenal Hanging Bridges Trail

The Arenal Hanging Bridges Trail has many swinging bridges high up in the tree tops. Since sections of the the trail are very hilly, it can be strenuous, but fun.

Costa Rica (c) Linda Garrison
The next morning, the volcano gods were smiling on our group--Costa Rica's Volcan Arenal was out! It was cloud covered when we got up (bag out by 6:30), but the clouds burned off during breakfast, leaving perfectly blue skies and great photo opportunities. We left La Fortuna and Lomas del Volcan about 7:30 to drive to the Arenal Hanging Bridges trail. We were going hiking for about 1.5 hours, and most of us were really looking forward to it. About 30 of us did the whole circle hike, which passed over 6 swinging bridges and numerous other bridges as we climbed up and over the lush jungle. They put 15 in each of the 2 main groups, while the rest of the non-hikers did either one of the two shorter hikes or just rested in the cafeteria.

The hike was a lot of fun. The trail was "paved" with concrete blocks and was difficult to walk on, but we slowly made our way up and over and around the mountains. Our group got very lucky with spotting the wildlife. We saw parrots, an agouti (a mammal like an otter/ferret), an eyelash palm pit viper (poisonous, but coiled up on a tree branch a little ways from our group), and a group of coati mundis (kin to the raccoon).

Returning to the bus, we were upset to see that one of our colleagues who had been in the group ahead of us had tripped and fallen on her face about 100 yards from the end of the trail. Her face was bleeding badly in two places and we heard she might require stitches. They had called an ambulance, but it took about an hour to arrive. We all just gawked at the volcano or had a snack while waiting. I think the woman was more embarrassed/mortified than hurt.

The ambulance arrived and a paramedic got the wounds closed and the bleeding finally stopped. A nurse with our group had kept ice and compresses on it before the medic got there. Charge for the medic/ambulance was only $40 cash, which we all thought was a good deal. We were all happy that she did not have to go to the hospital and could continue with us on to Guanacaste.

Costa Rica Tour

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