Two weekends ago I had the opportunity to visit the Monteverde cloud forest in the north central part my homeland, Costa Rica. Without a doubt one of my favorite activities there is walking on the hanging bridges through the canopy of the tree tops. Sometimes called a "sky trek", the bridges give you the luxury of taking a walk high above the canopy floor to see close-up the incredible diversity of life in the treetops that just isn't visible from the ground. The hanging bridges allow travelers to explore at their own pace the vibrancy of the cloud forest canopy, and be able to take in the amazing panoramic vistas, the wildlife that call those trees home and the hundreds of species of trees that harmonize and unify to create an incredible collage of colors, aromas and views. There are several in Costa Rica that I can highly recommend, but to be honest I don’t have a favorite as they are all beautiful. Based on safety, length, elevation and vistas, there are four that I most recommend: two of them are in Arenal (Arenal Hanging Bridges and Arenal Skywalk) and two are in Monteverde (Selvatura Hanging Bridges and Monteverde Skywalk).
Hanging bridges are a great activity for the whole family, from small children to senior adults because the solid, well-constructed bridges are easy to walk on and the trails are easy-to-navigate. Though it’s possible to do these walks on your own, I highly recommend going with a guide who can point out (and spot!) wildlife and teach you about the natural history of the area. Guides also will take you to the little waterfalls and secret vistas that people sometimes miss when they do it on their own. Kids especially love the feeling of being a cloud forest detective from the convenience of the bridge!
Most of our Costa Rica trips that visit areas with hanging bridges include a visit to the hanging bridges. A couple of them are the Lapa Rios Tropical Adventure and the Costa Rica Active Family Adventure.
To get the most out of your sky trek, we suggest bringing good walking or hiking shoes. If traveling between May and November you can expect rain at anytime so be prepared with a light rain jacket, a small umbrella, a backpack with binoculars, sunscreen, water bottle and camera.
The tour normally takes approximately 2 to 3 hours depending on your pace and what you see… exotic birds, playful monkeys or a slow moving sloth might delay your trip a bit. The length of each bridge varies from 200 and 1000 feet, and most canopy walks are 1 to 2 miles total.
If you travel to Costa Rica do not miss the opportunity to see up close, the variety of vegetation that lives in harmony on the trees’ canopy and which serves as hosts for numerous orchids, bromeliads, ferns, moss, vines and exotic wildlife and if you wish to plan a trip that incorporates this activity please get in touch with me, I’m just an email or phone call away!
Have a great walk in the clouds!
Your friendly tica,
Grettel (Usha) Calderon