A great way to explore Costa Rica’s many diverse ecosystems is by walking along hanging bridges through the treetop canopy. The amazing view paired with the adventure of crossing a swaying suspension bridge is on many bucket lists. There are a couple of key places where you can find hanging bridges in Costa Rica. There also are a scattering of more hidden spots. In this post, we’ll share some fun hanging bridge hikes around the country.
Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica – Overview of Major Destinations
In Costa Rica, there are two main spots where you can experience elaborate hanging bridges.
These are the tourist towns of La Fortuna and Monteverde. Both are located in the middle/northern part of the country. They are about equidistant (2.5 hours) from the international airports in Liberia and San Jose.
La Fortuna is a well-known destination that is famous for the cone-shaped volcano named Arenal. Although the volcano doesn’t erupt anymore, it’s an impressive site to see.
In La Fortuna, you’ll find two larger hanging bridge facilities. One is Mistico Hanging Bridges Park. The other is Sky Adventures (Arenal Park).
Mistico Hanging Bridges Park
Mistico is the easier of the two major options in La Fortuna.
The hike at Mistico is a two-mile (3.2 km) loop along concrete paths. They also have a one-mile (1.5 km) trail that is handicap accessible.
The main trail winds through the hillside jungle over six long suspension bridges. On one of the hanging bridges, you have a great view (weather permitting) of Arenal Volcano.
The downside of Mistico is that it can feel a little like a theme park during peak tourist months (generally mid-December to early-April). During these times, buses and tour vans full of people arriving from La Fortuna and other parts of the country can sometimes crowd the trails.
Overall, though, Mistico is a great choice for a hanging bridge experience.
For much more information, read our post, Mistico Hanging Bridges: A Treetop Rainforest Experience.
Sky Adventures Hanging Bridges (Arenal Park)
Overview of Sky Adventures
Another larger facility with hanging bridges in La Fortuna is Sky Adventures.
This company is located near the town of El Castillo (30 minutes from downtown La Fortuna). They also have a location in Monteverde, which we will cover in the section below.
The Sky Adventures facility has other tours as well. These include zip lining, rappelling, and a gondola/tram ride. This makes it a good option for people who want to pack more activities into their day.
Sky Adventures Hanging Bridge Hike
Even if you don’t want to do other activities, it is worth a visit to Sky Adventures solely for their hanging bridge hike. This activity is called the Sky Walk.
The trail is 2.5 miles (4 km) and crosses five large suspension bridges. Each one is spaced out through the jungle.
Along the way, you can see impressive tropical plants and trees, wildlife like snakes and birds, and also a waterfall.
Be sure to get some pictures of Lake Arenal from the Mirador. There’s also an amazing volcano view from the Reception area.
This hike feels a little wilder in comparison to Mistico. A lot of the time is spent walking through a big section of primary rainforest (pristine forest that has never been cut down).
The trails are dirt or gravel. And it’s less crowded because admission time slots are spaced out.
Located high in the mountains along the Continental Divide, Monteverde is another great destination to experience hanging bridges. In Monteverde, the cool climate and constant wind and mist create a unique cloud forest habitat.
On hanging bridges, you can walk through the mossy canopy and experience some fantastic views. Sometimes the fog even covers part of the bridges, giving you the feeling of walking through the clouds.
Like La Fortuna, Monteverde has two major facilities where you can experience hanging bridges. They are Selvatura Park and Sky Adventures (Monteverde Park).
Selvatura Park Hanging Bridges
Our pick in Monteverde for hanging bridges is Selvatura Park.
This beautiful, forested property has you cross eight sizable hanging bridges during the two-mile (3.2 km) walk. The bridges range from 170 feet (52 meters) to 560 feet (171 meters).
The trail between the bridges is flat, easy, and well maintained.
Along the way, keep an eye and ear out for some of the bird species native to the cloud forest. These might include the Three-wattled Bell Bird, Emerald Toucanet, and Golden-browed Chlorophonia.
Tip: Although you can visit the hanging bridges on your own, guides (available through most facilities) are a great way to ensure you will see some local wildlife. In the cloud forest, it can be especially difficult to spot things because of the thick forest and wet conditions.
Sky Adventures Hanging Bridges (Monteverde Park)
A short distance up the road from Selvatura is Sky Adventures. Like the one they have in La Fortuna, there are other activities available, like zip lining and a tram/gondola ride.
Sky Adventures’ Monteverde Sky Walk has a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) trail that winds along a hillside over six suspension bridges.
In comparison to Selvatura, Sky is a shorter hike but more difficult. The trails are not as flat and more rustic. Most of the trail is dirt, but well maintained.
One cool feature is that one of Sky Adventures’ suspension bridges is an impressive 774 feet (236 meters) long!
At both Sky Arenal and Sky Monteverde, you can do the hike guided or self-guided. It doesn’t cost much more to add a guide and worth it in our opinion.
Other Locations in Costa Rica with Hanging Bridges
While La Fortuna and Monteverde have the most elaborate hanging bridges, you can still find others around the country. This list of more hanging bridges in Costa Rica doesn’t include all of them but will give you some fun options.
On Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio is best known for its popular national park, abundant wildlife, and beautiful beaches.
If you are looking for hanging bridges here, you’ll have to get a bit off the tourist trail. About 30-minutes away is a private reserve called Rainmaker.
Rainmaker is a large property with some nice hiking trails through the primary rainforest. It is much quieter than the busy national park.
On the upper trail at Rainmaker, you can cross a series of rustic hanging bridges. These wobbly, narrow bridges connect wooden platforms built around giant old-growth trees.
Remember to bring your swimsuit for a dip in the cool river after hiking.
For more information about Rainmaker, read our post all about it.
Located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, Montezuma is a cool beach town with a bohemian feel.
A main attraction in town is the Montezuma Waterfalls. This series of cascades has two access points, one of which takes you on some hanging bridges.
Hikers either can take the lower trail, which weaves along the riverbank, or the upper trail through a private canopy-tour property.
On the upper trail, you’ll pay admission through Sun Trails and walk some long hanging bridges to the top of the Montezuma Waterfalls. Here, you’ll find swimming holes and smaller waterfalls, which feed into the bigger fall at the end.
To learn more, check out our post, Montezuma Waterfalls: Best Ways to Access.
The small town of Bijagua, about an hour north of La Fortuna, is best known for the bright blue Rio Celeste Waterfall. But this rainforest-covered area is also a hotspot for birds and other wildlife.
A good way to see some cool jungle creatures is, of course, on some hanging bridges.
Heliconias Rainforest Lodge, right in Bijagua, has three long suspension bridges on their 175 acre (73 hectare) property. The jungle trail connecting them will take you through some impressive swaths of rainforest.
For a daytrip from Guanacaste or a stop between destinations, the Miravalles Volcano region is a nice off-the-beaten path alternative to busier places like Rincon de la Vieja.
In the small town of La Fortuna de Bagaces, you can find some simple hot springs (one nicer resort) and a property called Las Hornillas.
Las Hornillas is a very unique spot. Here, there is volcanic activity in the form of steam and mud literally bubbling from beneath the surface. You can explore the volcanic features, take mud baths, soak in hot springs, and enjoy a short hike with a few hanging bridges.
On one of the bridges, you can see all the way to the Gulf of Nicoya on a clear day!
To learn more about this area, see our post, the Untapped Miravalles Volcano: Hot Springs, Nature, and Zero Crowds.
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Between La Fortuna and Caribbean coast destinations is the small town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. In Sarapiqui is a lodge and nature reserve called Tirimbina.
On a hike of the reserve, you’ll need to cross the wide Sarapiqui River. To do this, you cross a really impressive hanging bridge.
Make sure to stop halfway to enjoy the river view and maybe wave to some rafters passing below.
Our post, Tirimbina: An Eco-treat in Sarapiqui has much more information on what to expect.
People who visit Costa Rica often tell us that the combination of nature and adventure they experienced are what makes them want to come back again. Hanging bridges provide both and are why we think this experience is one that you won’t want to miss on your next trip.
Have a question about hanging bridges in Costa Rica? Leave a comment below.
Looking for more information to help you plan the perfect Costa Rica trip? Check out these posts:
Planning a Family Vacation to Costa Rica: Essential Tips and Info – Coming with the kids? Grandkids? Check out this post for family-friendly destinations and tips on how to keep a balance so everyone has a great time.
Driving in Costa Rica: What to Know Before You Go – What to expect driving in Costa Rica, from general road conditions to driving at night and more.
Costa Rica Destinations Guide – A list of Costa Rica’s major and smaller destinations. Each one includes a short summary and description. Links to full articles will help you narrow down your itinerary quickly.