When planning your trip to Costa Rica, hanging bridges are one of the most popular adventures to explore, other than the Arenal Volcano and the beaches.
When you see the hanging bridges and how they are set up, if you don’t think about it, you will love every aspect of it—feeling that you are part of nature in the rain forest or seeing the Arenal Volcano in a different view. You may even see our favorite animal in Costa Rica, the sloth, and some incredible birds that are a part of the Costa Rican culture.
The hanging bridges are found in different parts of the country, including Arenal Volcano National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and other hidden gems.
Let’s explore together!
Arenal Volcano Area
We suggest a couple of parks and people that we work with when it comes to visiting the hanging bridges of Arenal. So let us break them down for you.
Mistico Hanging Bridges Park
This park has two hikes for exploring and is next to the Lake Arenal Dam. This park is very focused on helping all guests explore Costa Rica. They have step-free, protective rails for uncomfortable people, and the material they use is non-slip concrete.
Mistico Main Trail:
- Length: 2 Miles
- Tour Time: 1.5 hours without a guide but 2.5 hours with a guide.
- What will you see? You will see 16 bridges, a tunnel, and a gorgeous waterfall and birds, butterflies, and beautiful flora, as this is in a rainforest.
- Effort: Medium effort
Mistico Access Trail:
- Length: 1 Mile with a non-slip concrete path
- Tour Time: Depends on how long you want to stop to take photos, but under an hour or so.
- What will you see? 6 fixed bridges, two optional hanging bridges, birds, butterflies, and beautiful flora, as this is in a rainforest.
- Effort: Low effort
- Need Extra Help? You can rent an electric scooter!
If you are interested in checking out the hanging bridges with Mistico, there is a fee to get into the park, whether going with a guide or without one. Click here for the link.
Sky Adventures Hanging Bridges
Being new to Costa Rica and the Arenal Area, I checked out the Sky Adventure Hanging Bridge tours and was not disappointed. I did the zip lining first, as I wanted to do it earlier in the day, grabbed some lunch, and then went on the trail myself.
- Length: 2.5 miles
- Tour Time: 1.5 hours without a guide but 2.5 hours with a guide
- What will you see? You will see beautiful waterfalls, many hanging bridges, new and older ones, stunning views of the many florae, and some incredible birds of Costa Rica.
- Effort: Medium effort. From what I remember, there were some steep areas to walk, and climbing the bridges was challenging.
- Extra Info: Ensure you have plenty of water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes. I went after lunch, and it got warm.
Interested in learning more? Click here for the Sky Adventures!
Other options around the Arenal Volcano exist for Hanging Bridges, but some bridges will connect to ziplining adventures. So, it depends on what you are in the mood for.
From Arenal, you will be satisfied if you want to travel south to the cloud forest of Monteverde. You have nothing to worry about regarding the hanging bridges, as they are just as spectacular here. Let’s talk about the ones that come to mind in Monteverde.
Selvatura Park Hanging Bridges
The Selvatura Park Hanging Bridges allow you to walk through the cloud forest and enjoy Costa Rica’s beauty.
- Length: 1.9 miles
- Tour Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
- What will you see? You will see eight bridges connecting the forest trails and feel like you are walking through the clouds, hence the “cloud forest.” You will also see beautiful nature as you experience “walking on the clouds.”
- Effort: Low Effort. The Selvatura staff welcomes all ages.
- Extra Info: You should grab rain gear, good hiking shoes, and possibly longer pants. It can get chiller than other places in Costa Rica.
Sky Adventures Hanging Bridges
Yes, the same company from Arenal Volcano is also located in Monteverde, and the experience is just as beautiful.
- Length: 1.5 miles
- Tour Time: 1 – 1.5 hours; if you want to go with a tour guide, which is recommended, plan for 2.5 hours.
- What will you see? Crossing the hanging bridges, you will see the forest canopy, incredible flora, and fauna.
- Effort: Medium Effort. The trail will include uneven surfaces and can be challenging as several ascents and descents exist.
- Extra Info: You should grab rain gear, good hiking shoes, sunscreen, bug repellent, and possibly longer pants.
Many folks will travel to Manuel Antonio from San Jose since the drive is about 3 hours, so you can connect to the beaches of Manuel Antonio, the wildlife, the flora, and some hanging bridges.
Rainmaker Conservation Park
Rainmaker Park, 20 minutes from Manuel Antonio, offers visitors a couple of options if they are interested in a guided tour (recommend), a self-guided tour, and, if you are so inclined, a night tour for amphibians and reptiles!
- Length: 1500 acre
- Tour Time: 2 – 3 hours. There are no time limits. Self Guided and Guided Available.
- What will you see? Beautiful waterfalls, swimming holes, and suspension bridges with breathtaking views exist. In addition, there is the possibility of seeing lizards, Morpho butterflies, and poisonous dart frogs.
- Effort: Medium Effort
- Extra Info: Bring your swimsuit, as you may want to jump in the natural swimming pools, water, and camera.
About an hour north of La Fortuna is a town called Bijagua. I am sure you have seen our chat about Rio Celeste Waterfall. The park itself is a must and explore. It is a straightforward hike to do in half a day.
If you want to explore more, we suggest the hanging bridges at Heliconias Rainforest Lodge, which is right in Bijagua.
- Length: 1500 acre
- Tour Time: 2+ hours. It is a guided tour.
- What will you see? If you are a morning person, you can see many very active birds in the morning. During the tour, you will see the biodiversity of the rainforest, which you will never forget.
- Effort: Easy Effort
- Extra Info: Wear comfortable shoes, as flip-flops are not recommended.
Come Visit & See Hanging Bridges!
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to experience hanging bridges throughout Costa Rica. Some of the best photos we have seen are of hanging bridges with family and friends.
If you can visit Costa Rica, exploring the hanging bridges should be on your list of activities. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, you will be satisfied.
Contact us today to learn more about the hanging bridges and traveling to Costa Rica with us.
Jen Rulon is an avid traveler and writer for Costa Rica Escapes. She is also a triathlon coach and author. You can find her knowledge as an author and speaker ranging from Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Men’s Journal Online New York Times.
As she has retired from the triathlon space, Jen’s love of Costa Rica began. She realized that she loves the beaches, and the coffee of Costa Rica and now wants to share through the eyes of what she sees with Costa Rica Escapes. Read Jen’s stories and advice for travelers who wish to see the authentic side of Costa Rica on their vacation.