Arenal Costa Rica Hanging Bridges / Baldi Hot Springs are fun attractions to visit. Jan and I had visited the Arenal area of Costa Rica in 2011 and stayed at the Arenal Lodge on the hill, where we had a clear view of Arenal Volcano. We had enjoyed that trip a great deal and wanted to return. Sandy had never been there, so we enlisted Cesar to take us. We discussed several things to see and do, but settled on the Hanging Bridges and Baldi Hot Springs, neither of which Jan and I had visited before.
As we made our way to buy our entrance passes, we spotted a Blue and Yellow Macaw on the handrail near the ticket office. He looked just like the one we had seen at Arenal Lodge in 2011. Could it be? We were sure that, indeed, it was the same, only this time he let us get much closer and we had our camera. Someone gave him a cookie, which he held in one foot. Someone else in the crowd that gathered reached for the cookie and, except for a quick withdrawal, we’re sure he would have lost a finger!
The Hanging Bridges consists of 16 bridges, six of which are hanging or suspension type and up to 98 meters long, on a trail that winds its way through a rain forested valley. The trail is almost two miles (3.1 km) long and takes an average of one hour and fifty minutes to complete. More information at this link:
The bridges crossed the stream that runs through the valley. The views from the bridges were spectacular. From one bridge a waterfall was visible through the rain forest foliage. Often down the valley could be seen the open area surrounding Lake Arenal with mountains beyond, and from some, Arenal Volcano could be seen. Clouds covered the top of the volcano on the day we were there. Cesar told us that the volcano activity has been at a low level for several years. When Jan and I were there in 2011, all we could see on days when it wasn’t covered with clouds, was a small whiff of white smoke at the top.
Along the trail, we came upon a coati that moved along the path ahead of us for a while. Later, we saw a monkey that seemed to want a handout from us. The rain forest at Hanging Bridges was thick and very green with flowers and blooms here and there. There seemed always something interesting to see or watch. And, while the trail worked its way up and down the valley, there were plenty of places to stop and rest. In the end, we completed the walk pretty much at the average time.
Baldi Hot Springs Resort Hotel and Spa
We arrived at Baldi Hot Springs Resort Hotel and Spa just in time for lunch, so after registering, we made our way to the restaurant. To get there, we passed the bar-lounge area, which had a pool on one side, and over a bridge to the restaurant area. The restaurant had a stream from the pool running nearby that we could see from our table. The special, that day, was grilled tilapia, which was beautifully presented and delicious too. And, lunch came with dessert – also pleasantly presented.
At the dressing rooms, we checked out towels and changed for our afternoon in the hot pools. There were 25 different pools, maintained at 12 different temperatures. The first one we came to was a pleasant temperature, maybe 102 F. There was a smaller pool within this pool that was cooler, maybe 85 F. We lounged here for some time, enjoying the warm water and the surrounding tropical garden. We tried the cool pool for a while, then back in the warm water. It was very nice. This pool also had a waterfall, which we discovered was quite hot, but lovely to look at. More information here:
We moved on to sample other pools and found one that was a little too hot for our liking, and one that was too cool. So, something for everyone. Further on, we came to a pool with a large rock structure in it that formed a waterfall in several directions. Under the waterfall was an area where it was quite nice to sit and watch the scenery and other bathers. On one side of this pool, two water slides occasionally released swimmers into the pool. Most of them came into the pool with a big smile on their face. The temperature of this pool, we thought, was not too hot, not too cold, just right. As we made our way back to the dressing rooms, we came across a rest area with a bench and a wonderful view of Arenal Volcano in the distance. All in all, our time at Baldi Hot Springs was very relaxing and enjoyable.