Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica allow you a bird’s eye view of the jungle from hundreds of feet in the air. Originally built in the 1980s and 90s for research purposes, hanging bridges in Costa Rica have turned into a popular way for tourists and nature-lovers to experience rainforests in Costa Rica.
If you’re hoping to find the best hanging bridges in Costa Rica, you’ve come to the right place. Experiencing the jungle in Costa Rica allows you to see tropical birds, bugs, frogs and scorpions, as well as some gorgeous views. We have the 8 best rainforests with hanging bridges in Costa Rica and how you can find them.
Most of the hanging bridges parks located near Monteverde, or La Fortuna, but you can get to some of them from San José as well. If you’re renting a car in Costa Rica, you can drive to rainforests that have hanging bridges. You can also take private and group tours that pick you up at accommodations and bring you there.
So let’s jump in – here are the best hanging bridges in Costa Rica, and where to find them.
8 Best Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica
Hanging bridges in Costa Rica give you a chance to walk over the treetops and experience the jungle and cloud forest from a different perspective. The views are breathtaking and scenic. Here are the places where you can find hanging bridges.
Hanging Bridges near La Fortuna
1. Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
The Mistico Hanging Bridges Park is apart of the wider Arenal Volcano National Park, close to La Fortuna. There are six suspension bridges in Mistico Hanging Bridges Park anywhere from 157 to 320 feet metres off the ground (46 to 48 metres.) From these bridges, you get a pristine view of the nature, and lands of the jungle below.
The Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges park is great for all ages and ability levels. The trail is stroller friendly, and kid-friendly. I hiked here on a self-guided tour with my family which included a baby, and an older child.
Average hike duration at Mistico: 1-3 hours
Go to Mistico if: You’re looking for an easygoing, or family-friendly walk with options to either lengthen or shorten the hike, and you hope to see waterfalls
Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Tours
- Discover Mistico Hanging Bridges By Night For adults and kids 10+, discover nocturnal wildlife in the rainforest as you walk across several hanging bridges
- Hanging Bridges in Arenal For all ages, be picked up at your La Fortuna hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle, and explore the wildlife and flora and fauna of Mistico Arenal National Park with a professional guide
Pro Tip: On a sunny day, you will see beautiful views of the Arenal volcano from the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
2. Sky Walk La Fortuna
Sky Adventures offers hanging bridges tours in the Arenal region, just a 30-minute drive outside of La Fortuna. There are a total of six hanging bridges that give the park its name. The longest one is 774 ft (236 metres) long, and the highest is 197 feet (60 metres) from the ground.
Average hike time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Head to Skywalk La Fortuna if: You want to enjoy nature on a hike that isn’t too strenuous
This 4-hour tour for adults and kids (ages 6+) of Sky Walk which includes pick up and transportation from your hotel in La Fortuna
Hanging Bridges in Monteverde
Monteverde has more rainforests with hanging bridges than any other area in Costa Rica, with five different rainforests with hanging bridges found there
3. Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
The Monteverde Cloud Forest reserve is the most famous cloud forest in the world. Cloud forests are a rare ecosystem that only make up 1% of all the forests left on the Earth’s surface. (Sadly, these rare ecosystems are still threatened due to global warming.) Visiting the Monteverde Cloud Forest gives you a chance to appreciate the environment of these rare forests.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest has several hanging bridges that are up to 330 feet (100 m) long, and up to 220 feet (60 metres) off the ground.
Average hike duration: 1-2 hours
Go to Monteverde Cloud Forest if: You want to see the most famous cloud forest (a rare ecosystem) in the world
Tours to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
- Hanging Bridges Guided Walk For adults and children 5+, this 3-hour tour which will pick you up from your hotel and allow you to view the cloud forest from the hanging bridges, as well as wildlife through a professional telescope
- Monteverde Guided Walking Tour For adults and children 3+, take a 2-3-hour guided tour through the Monteverde Cloud Forest to spot wildlife
4. Sky Walk Monteverde
Sky Adventures also offers a tour of their hanging bridges in a forest near Monteverde. The company “Sky Adventures” is the same, but the forest in Monteverde is different from the forest in La Fortuna.
The Sky Walk Adventure in Monteverde is great thing to do in Costa Rica for families with children, or those looking for a more easy-going hike. There are six hanging bridges in total, on a hiking trail roughly 2.5 km (1.5 miles) long.
Average hike duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Head to Skywalk Monteverde if: you want a hike that isn’t too strenuous, or you have a family with young kids
For kids and adults 5+, have Sky Adventures pick you up from your accommodation near Monteverde and take you on a 2-hour tour through their private forest.
5. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
Located in Monteverde, closer to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Because this is the lesser famous of the two, many visitors prefer this cloud forest because its less busy with fewer tourists. It also has a different ecosystem than the Monteverde Cloud Forest, so if you’re planning to stay in Monteverde, there’s no harm in visiting both.
The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve has eight suspension bridges, between 164 to 558 feet (50 to 170 m) in length, and as high as 196 feet (60 m) off the ground.
Average hike duration: 2-3 hours
Go to Santa Elena if: You want to experience a cloud forest that is less popular and busy than the Monteverde Cloud Forest
Enjoy a private guided tour for adults and children 3+ around the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.
6. Selvatura Park
Selvatura Park is located near the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, although it is not the same park. Its a private reserve that covers 850 acres (344 hectares). There are eight hanging bridges between 150 to 510 feet in length, and 36 to 180 feet (11 to 55 metres) off the ground.
You can also are also zip-lines and a hummingbird garden at Selvatura Park. At the entrance to Selvatura park, there’s also a sloth sanctuary and a butterfly conservatory. There are benches along the trail of the hike, which is perfect for hiking with kids or with a low fitness level.
Average hike duration: 1-3 hours
Head to Selvatura Park if: You and your family are in decent physical shape (as there are some steeper parts to the trail) and don’t mind a small challenge in a hike
Check out this 2-hour family-friendly tour of the hanging bridges at Selvatura Hanging Bridges Park
7. Aventura Monteverde
Aventura Monteverde offers a hanging bridges experiences in a reforested area. One of my favourite things about Costa Rica is their belief in reforestation, and that that does for the planet. Supporting these reforested areas is a good thing that enables Costa Rica to conserve biodiversity. The scenery at Aventura might look a little different than a forest that’s been there for hundreds of years, but you can still get some very picturesque views, especially if you’re on a hanging bridge.
There are eight hanging bridges in total at Aventura Monteverde, on its 3 km (1.86 miles) trail. Even though this forest is newer than most, there is a lot of wildlife that have made homes in the area, and therefore some chances at spotting some.
Average hike duration: 2-3 hours
Head to Aventura if: You’re looking for a less-touristy forest to explore in Costa Rica
Hanging Bridges Near San José
There are two different hanging bridges that you can visit from the San Jose area
8. Braulio Carillo National Park
Braulio Carillo National Park is located in the central part of Costa Rica, north of San Jose. Its one of the lesser visited national parks, but it has a beautiful scenic sights and diverse wildlife. Parts of this national park are cloud forests, which are a rare ecosystem.
The Braulio National Park has several hanging bridges, ranging in length and height. One of the most convenient ways to get to Braulio National Park is to take a tour from San Jose.
Tours to Braulio Carillo National Park from San Jose
- Canopy Zip-line Eco-Adventure Tour This full day tour from San Jose will allow you to zip-line, and experience gorgeous views of the national park from the hanging brides. Hotel pick up and lunch included
- Rainforest Tram at Braulio Carillo National Park If adrenaline isn’t your thing, or if you’re travelling with kids, the rainforest tram tour is the perfect option for those who want to keep their trip low-key. This kid-friendly tour allows you discover the rainforest from different heights, enjoying spectacular scenic views, and check out a butterfly garden
9. Adventure Park San Luis (Parque Aventura San Luis)
Adventure Park San Luis is located in the central area of Costa Rica, halfway between Monteverde and San José. It’s a less visited, family friendly park, because its smaller and the trails are well maintained. They’re also well-labeled, and visitors often enjoy this park ‘away from the crowds.’
Adventure Park San Luis has a range of activities at their site which include birdwatching, horseback riding, hiking, a Tarzan swing, and many others.
Pro Tip: If you’re interested in visiting Aventura Park, you can book with them directly to be picked up at 8 am at your hotel in San Jose.
Hanging Bridges in the Guanacaste Region
The 10th hanging bridge in Costa Rica is the only one we know of in the Guanacaste region. Guanacaste is popular for tourists wanting to see the beach, but the forest with hanging bridges is located a bit more in-land.
10. Heliconia Rainforest Reserve
Heliconia Rain Forest Reserve is a lesser-known hanging bridges park in Costa Rica. Its located in-land (not near the beach) in the Guanacaste region, which is where most tourists visit for a beach vacation. If you’re staying anywhere near Tamarindo, this is the closest rainforest to see hanging bridges in Costa Rica. There is a family-friendly rainforest lodge you can stay at near he forest, or it would be about a 2-hour drive from Tamarindo.
This family-friendly tour of the hanging bridges at Heliconias Rainforest will pick you up from multiple locations in the beach areas of Guanacaste. Select the drop-down menu to see if any of the hotels are nearby to where you’re staying.
What to Bring to the Hanging Bridges Costa Rica
Hanging Bridges are located in cloud forests, jungles and rainforests, so there are a few things to keep in mind about what to bring. Here are our recommendations.
A good sunscreen
Choose a mineral-based sunscreen (not a chemical based one) to avoid the chemicals used that are hurting the coral reefs. This sunscreen is perfect – affordable, effective and 50 SPF – perfect for protecting skin against the strong equator sun.
Good quality hiking shoes
Visiting the hanging bridges means you’ll be doing some hiking in the jungle. You’ll want a decent quality shoes – especially because of how damp the jungle can be at any time of the year. You’ll want a waterproof pair, like this pair for women or this one for men. If you’re heading to Costa Rica with kids, then this is the perfect hiking shoe for kiddos.
Don’t be caught in Costa Rican rainforest without a good quality mosquito repellent. Not having one will be a huge regret. These stickers are a good option if you don’t like to use a spray.
Even in March, it can still rain in Costa Rica. We were glad that we brought umbrellas, and rain jackets because we needed them more often than we would have thought. You want your rain gear in Costa Rica to be EXTRA LIGHT because of the heat and humidity, especially in the rainforest where the hanging bridges are. Something like this set here would be ideal.
Final Thoughts: Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country unlike many others in its effort to protect biodiversity, and provide us with amazing experiences in being able to witness it. From my visits to Costa Rica, I find it to be a great place to connect with nature, and experience the rainforests or cloud forests from a view that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Costa Rica is a country known for its commitment to biodiversity, and visiting hanging bridges are a special way to observe the beauty of the nature in these forests.
Visiting hanging bridges in Costa Rica and going on forest hikes supports their commitment to be a sustainable country that protects biodiversity and wildlife that would suffer and die out if things were run differently. Not only can you see the valleys of the jungle, but you hear the jungle sounds and sometimes even see wildlife. Whether during peak season (December through March) or low season, the hanging bridges in Costa Rica are a year-round attraction.
I hope this guide has been helpful for you to plan your excursions to see the hanging bridges in Costa Rica.