How to Visit Mistico Hanging Bridges in Arenal, Costa Rica

In this article, we’re sharing everything to know about visiting the beautiful Mistico Hanging Bridges in Arenal

A woman in a white dress and a hat walks down a hanging suspension bridge in the rainforest - one of the best things to do in La Fortuna.
What to do in La Fortuna/Arenal if you want incredible, high up views!

Mistico Hanging Bridges really encapsulates a quintessential Costa Rican experience – lush jungle, animal sightings, incredible views, and a bit of adventure. Really, the only thing you’re missing is the beach. 😉

At Mistico, you’ll have the opportunity to walk through paths in the jungle that will lead you across multiple suspension bridges (aka hanging bridges), plus other, stationary bridges while you explore the trails and Costa Rican rainforest.

This attraction is one of the best things to do in the La Fortuna area, and definitely deserves a spot in your Costa Rica itinerary. Let’s get into everything to know about visiting, as well as exactly what the hike is like.

Where is Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park?

Mistico is located about 30 minutes outside of La Fortuna, Costa Rica. It’s an easy activity to do when visiting the Arenal area!

Entrance Tickets + Hours of Operation

The park is open from 6am-4:30pm. The last entrance is at 3:50pm. There are two options for how to visit the park:

Guided Tour:

Many people opt for a guided tour of Mistico Hanging Bridges. These tours include round trip transportation from your hotel in the La Fortuna/Arenal area, your entrance fee to the park, and a guide to help you locate and see different tropical plants, animals, and insects that you wouldn’t see or recognize on your own, plus other interesting insights to the area and the bridges.

This tour has an average rating of 4.5 of 5 stars (read reviews)

👉Check prices and availability here


Tickets cost $28 for adults, and must be reserved in advance. You can book your tickets for a self-guided tour in advance here. Booking ahead of time is essential because they do enforce timed entry (and tickets can sell out).

How to Get There

There are a few options for how to get to Mistico Hanging Bridges.

Rental Car: If you’re doing the self-guided tour, the easiest way to get to Mistico is by rental car. Driving in Costa Rica is straightforward and convenient, and gives you a lot of flexibility. If you think you want to rent a car and drive yourself around Costa Rica, you’ll want to reserve your rental car ASAP.

I highly recommend booking a car with – we consistently find that they offer the best prices and availability.

Shuttle: While no public buses service to Mistico Park, you can take a shared shuttle from La Fortuna to Mistico. Shuttles depart every 2 hours, cost $8/pp one way, and make stops at a variety of places in the Arenal area. You can get more info here.

Taxi: If you have a group, a taxi may be more economical than the shuttle, and certainly is more convenient. Plan for a taxi to cost $25-35 one way.

Guided Tour: The final way to get to Mistico is by going on a guided tour, as mentioned above. These tours include round trip transportation, which is a perfect option if you aren’t renting a car.

What to Wear + Bring

You don’t need very much when you’re visiting Mistico Hanging Bridges. Of course, bring some water and make sure that you have a full phone battery – you’ll be taking tons of pictures! I always carry this portable power bank so I never run out of battery.

Good walking shoes are recommended for Mistico, and they do highly prefer you wear closed toe shoes. I actually wore sandals, and they let me in, but they did make me sign a waiver!

Except for the stairs down to the waterfall (which were made of cinder blocks), the entire path is paved or on wooden boards, so it’s a very easy path.

How Long is the Hike

The entire route is 3.2 km, or just under 2 miles. For most people, the hike takes about 2-3 hours. We spent almost 3 hours here because we stopped and watched animals a lot! 

What It’s Like Hiking through Mistico Hanging Bridges Park

Okay, so you’ve arrived at the park, and you’re ready to start the hike. Here’s what to expect:

As I mentioned above, the trail around the park is paved, making for easy walking. You’ll immediately enter into a lush, rainforesty area, with all kinds of tropical plants and trees around you.

Just a little bit after you start, there’s the option to take a little detour into the Rufus Hummingbird Gardens. This small garden area is very pretty, with a bright array of tropical flowers that attract hummingbirds. You won’t see many flowers through the rest of the rainforest here, so it’s worth the quick stop!

A bush of purple and white flowers.
Fire orange flowers.

The Rainforest

After the garden, you’ll keep continue walking through the rainforest. The trail is lovely – it’s flat and easy to walk on, and often one side hugs the side of the hills while the other drops off into a ravine.

The stylized wooden railing that hugs the cliffside as the path twists and curves along the side of the hills seamlessly blending into the surrounding forest. The organic feel adds to the mystical atmosphere.

A woman in a white dress stands on a pathway, looking out over the jungle in Mistico Park in La Fortuna.
Willow like tree with hanging branches and green beads on them

The Hanging Bridges

There are 6 hanging bridges scattered along the 3.2 km long trail. I loved every one of them – each one took you high above the forest floor, giving incredible views.

A woman with a white dress and tan hat walks along a hanging bridge over the rain forest. This is the main attraction of Mistico hanging bridges.

The views out over the rainforest canopy from the middle of the bridges:

A view of the rainforest and mountains in the distance with lots of clouds in the sky.

The very first hanging bridge (aptly named the Arenal Viewpoint Bridge)that you will cross actually gives you an INCREDIBLE view of the Arenal Volcano. We happened to have some clouds at the top of the volcano as we came to this bridge view, but still. Amazing.

A amazing view of the Arenal Volcano with clouds covering the top/

The Other Bridges

In between the suspension bridges in Mistico are 12 other stationery bridges. These bridges were mainly for traversing small streams, and were not high above the ground like the suspension bridges. Still, they added some interest and variety to the pathway.

A man stands in the middle of a stationary bridge in the rainforest.

The Waterfall Trail

2 women and 2 men stand in front of a waterfall in Mistico hanging bridges park.

A little bit more than halfway through the main trail, you’ll come to the intersection of the Waterfall Trail, a short offshoot that takes you down to the base of the waterfall in Mistico Park. This trail is mostly stairs leading down into the gorge. The waterfall itself is very pretty and drops through a crevice in the rocks.

Animals in Mistico Park

A coati walks thorugh the rainforest in Mistico.

There are a lot of opportunities for animal sightings when walking through Mistico. We saw monkeys several times, and also saw a family of coati once (a coati looks like a cross between a raccoon and an anteater and are very common in Costa Rica). We also saw a sloth sleeping up in a tree, and several lines of leaf-cutter ants!

The Arenal Volcano Viewpoint By the Exit

The best viewpoint of the Arenal Volcano that I found in all of La Fortuna was actually just at the exit/parking lot of Mistico Park.

Now, when you arrive at the parking lot, you’ll see the official viewpoint with a sign that says Mistico Park on it – it’s very obvious and you can’t miss it. While it did have the volcano in the background, I wasn’t a huge fan of the sign.

However, right as you finish the last hanging bridge, you’ll come out to the exit area, where there are bathrooms, picnic tables, and an incredible view of the Arenal Volcano.

A woman in a white dress looks off at Arenal Volcano which is one of the gems of the area

But wait, there’s more! If you head to the left side of the fence, there are a few stairs that lead down to a grassy spot with no fence and the most gorgeous, uninhibited view of the volcano. This spot is right at the exit from the trail and you will come out here right after the final hanging bridge. 

A stone staircase that leads to the final hanging bridge with mountains and a volcano in the backgruond.
But go down the stairs to the left for a shot without the fence – even better!
Views from Mistico Park to the Arenal Volcano - a wide valley with the volcano rising dramatically up in the distance. This is one of the best things to see in La Fortuna.
Money shot!

Visiting Mistico Hanging Bridges – The Wrap Up

I adored the Mistico Hanging Bridges! Like the Rio Celeste, this involved a walk on a rainforest trail, but that’s all they have in common. The feel of this hike is so different because of the bridges, and they made it one of my favorite things to do in Arenal!

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