Arenal Hanging Bridges and Canyoneering in Costa Rica
After staying in Monteverde for a couple of nights I headed out to Arenal. This required a 1.5 hour drive on a winding gravel road to Rio Chiquito from where I boarded a boat to cross Lake Arenal. Even this mundane lake crossing was turned into a bird watching activity as the boat captain hugged the shore. We spotted Snow Egrets, kingfishers, and herons.
Arenal Hanging Bridges
My first “real” activity in Arenal was to the Hanging Bridges with my guide Oscar. For me the primary purpose of this walk was to see the rain forest from above via the suspension bridges — a view that provides a little more insight into what's going on in the rainforest canopy. While I don't have much to report in the way of animal sightings, I really enjoyed this activity and I recommend it to all Arenal visitors. The bridges themselves were pretty impressive — the shortest is about 150 feet long with the longest around 300 feet. The entire walk is about 5 miles, but the pace was casual.
When planning my trip to Costa Rica I learned that it's possible to go canyoneering (called canyoning in Costa Rica) i.e. rappelling down waterfalls. Having never done this before I decided that now was my chance. PureTrek is well-regarded for being safe which is a good thing when you're hanging over a 100 foot drop!
There were 3 waterfalls and 1 dry wall to descend. The heights varied from just 45 feet to a very impressive 130 feet, but all of the rappels were fun. There was one rappel that required me to drop at least half way down to avoid swinging into a crevasse where getting a foothold would be tricky. One of the rappels ended with me waist deep in a water so I'm glad I dressed for the occasion.
Despite the relatively large number of people on the trip, this was fun and I'd do it again. Also, one of the guides played the role of official photographer so despite being in precarious positions I've got photos to prove I was there! Of course, the photos weren't free and in fact we priced rather steeply at $25. Such is the life of a captive tourist.