When you have had a shower outside in the rain and an open air bath on your balcony (safely concealed by the jungle!), it seems fairly pointless to wear an uncomfortable rain coat to go on a hike. Skin is waterproof after all? So today, I carried nothing except my camera and didn’t let the rain bother me at all. I was feeling rather in harmony with Mother Nature (en Armenia con la Madre Naturaleza).
We took a pre-booked half day tour with Aventuras Arenal this morning through the hanging bridges of Arenal National Park. The trail is 1.9 miles (3.1 Km) in length, crossing a total of 15 bridges: 9 fixed, and 6 hanging. The very well laid out trail through the national park takes you through pristine rainforest across the huge hanging bridges suspended high above the tree line giving you absolutely spectacular views of the forest below and the Arenal volcano. With the aid of a guide (and his spotting scope), we were able to see: spider monkeys, a crested owl, mariola bees (stingless), bats, tarantula spider holes (with a bit of leg tantalisingly poking out – no touching …), a rufous motmot and an eye-lash tree viper.
The plants were as interesting as the wildlife here though. We saw a walking palm which, amazingly enough, moves through the forest until it finds the perfect spot for itself, with enough sunlight to thrive. It takes it 30 – 40 years to achieve this. A stunning broccoli tree also took my eye.
You need to wear covered shoes to walk this trail.