Costa Rica has been on the global tourism radar forever as one of the places with the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet. A natural and ecological paradise, this tiny country in Central America offers visitors a great dose of “nature” in combination with relaxation and adrenaline.
Still, if one happens to be searching for fresh air, outdoor activities, and wildlife, a visit to the Arenal area is a must.
The first place in your list should be the “Hanging Bridges Mystic Park” in La Fortuna de San Carlos. This natural paradise reaches 650 hectares (approx. 1,430 acres) of which 250 hectares are a protected natural cloud forest reserve.
The park faces the Arenal Volcano and offers a two-hour, 3 km walking-tour “caminata ” through hanging bridges and hidden paths “senderos.” This tropical forest walk traverses through sixteen bridges, six of them are hanging bridges, and the rest are stationary bridges. As you walk through the rainforest you run into birds, monkeys, sloths, and the occasional snake. The park guides offer natural history tours, night walks, and bird watching tours.
The “Mistico Park,” is part of a biological corridor that allows the passing of Costa Rica’s biggest mammals like the Puma, the Jaguar, and the Danta. An ideal place to observe tropical flora, the park is also home to more than 700 species of plants between trees, lianas, epiphytes, and herbs.
Still, it gets the most praise as a bird-watchers paradise with more than 350 species of local and migratory birds that can be observed in the área. The bridges offer excellent visibility, and in November and February, one can observe birds of prey migrating through the forest.
The highs and the lows areas of the park create two unique ecosystems that coexist and interact allowing greater biodiversity and a unique área of transition for the plants to grow together in a unique way.