Beware of sales booth just prior to Arenal Lodge entrance. Three of us, all in shape, completed a1 hour hike one day and planned to return to complete the Cerro Chato hike on another day. Paid $10 each. Sales person, Roman, sold it as "no problem and feel free to return." When we did return, we had our tickets and his name as proof. The new representative was not agreeable. Eventually we worked it out and continued but it took pressure and threats of a poor review.
More importantly, this trail is well-marked and difficult. The first 30 minutes are easy. The path we took, not the Arenal Lodge path, gradually became more difficult. Although the rain had ended, portions of the path were more like creeks with no footing. There were two really huge trees with incredible overgrowth towards the top which blocked our way due to the path being water-logged and equal to quicksand. Normally, would have gone around the trees and back to the path, but deemed it an unnecessary danger. Stay on the path. You can be three feet from a rainforest path and not even know it is there.
I will probably go back and complete this hike from the Arenal Lodge side. It would probably be an easier hike. One of our members on our hike was extremely high maintenance. It's important to remember that rain forests have RAIN and a hike is not supposed to be a walk in the park.
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