This guide will walk you through the most popular hanging bridges in Costa Rica, with a focus on travel with kids.
About Hanging Bridges
Hanging bridges are one of the most popular excursions in Costa Rica and for good reason. They combine the magic of walking on the ground of the rainforest with the thrill of canopy tours (zip lines) as you enjoy the treetops of the rainforest.
Essentially, hanging bridges are long, metal bridges suspended between two large trees or a tree and land, on the tops of the Costa Rican rainforests. You will often find hanging bridges over a canyon of trees. They are like treetop walkways, essentially.
The hanging bridges are made of metal, and generally have a chain-link fence on the sides and corrugated metal on the bottom. They will occasionally swing when walked on, but are otherwise super safe- you can even take a stroller across some of them if the rest of the terrain is agreeable to a stroller.
The highest concentration of hanging bridges in Costa Rica is in Monteverde and Arenal (La Fortuna). There is also one spot in Bijagua and one in Manuel Antonio. In this post, I’ll walk you through the most popular spots in Costa Rica.
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Hanging Bridges in Arenal
We think Arenal Mistico Park has some of the best hanging bridges in all of Costa Rica. Particularly because they are all wheelchair accessible, and that means accessible with a stroller. They even rent strollers and wagons here for an additional fee.
If you are worried about a toddler running away during your visit, this is one of the best places to take kids. All of the paths are paved and wide, making coming and going up and down the trails very easy. There are also fixed bridges here if you are wary of the slight swaying of the suspension bridges.
Looking for a great zip line tour in Arenal? Try Eco Glide.
Related post: 15 Top Arenal Costa Rica Activities (For Families)
The entrance fee for kids 0-10 is also free, so that can save you some good money if you choose to visit here with the whole family. There are senior discounts as well.
Additionally, on-site you can find a private tour of the gardens and bridges, allowing you to see a lot more of the local wildlife. I love that there are gardens here so you can see a lot of the local flora, and there are great signs around the trees and flowers throughout the park.
This is a great park for people of all ages, despite any physical conditions people might have. There is a longer path and a shorter path through the forest too, so if you want a shorter trip you aren’t stuck in an endless loop of bridges and trails.
There are amazing views of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal, so if you want to experience the bridges and the volcano, this is the place to be. This is our top choice for hanging bridges in Costa Rica. This park is located about 20 minutes away from downtown La Fortuna. (Where we love the food!)
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There are two Sky Adventures parks, the other is in Monteverde. Sky Adventures is well known for its zip line tours, but the hanging bridges here are phenomenal too. They boast some of the first bridges in Costa Rica. They call their excursions over the forest floor the “Sky Walk” and it really does feel like you are walking through the clouds during this tour. The bridges here are a lot longer than Arenal Mistico. You’ll find bridges over 700 feet long and almost 250 feet high.
Here, you’ll head out on a 2.5-mile hike that includes five hanging bridges. The bridges are much longer than Arenal Mistico Hanging Bridges Park but there are many fewer, so the trip seemed shorter.
The advantage here is that you can also do the ziplines or the areal tram as a tour package, so you don’t have to make more than one stop. There is a great chocolate tour here too which is located in downtown La Fortuna. It would be cool to combine the chocolate tour with a visit to the La Fortuna waterfall. We love the Arenal area, and the package with the suspension bridges and the chocolate tour is a great way to get the flavor of both the rainforest and the town. Great for all ages.
Looking for some good food in La Fortuna? Check out this post.
Hanging Bridges in Monteverde
Owned by the same company as the Arenal excursions, you’ll find similar experiences in Monteverde. If you hire a tour guide for a guided tour here, you’ll most likely see a lot of animal species. One thing we do here though is a sort of glomming onto the different nature guides working with other people to overhear what they are saying. If there is an animal sighting most likely everyone around will realize it too, so you can save some money that way. Don’t just follow around another guide though, that is obnoxious. But you can listen in for a few minutes.
I digress. Sky Adventures in the Monteverde Cloud forest has 6 hanging bridges, and similar to La Fortuna you can do packages with the tram and the zip line and make a whole day of it.
The tropical rainforest in Monteverde is absolutely stunning and in Monteverde, you’ll be sure to see lots of different perspectives of the rainforest canopy on the 1.5-mile hike. There are 6 suspension bridges at this park. It’s a beautiful environmental project that you’ll love to visit.
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Similar to our review of the Selvatura zip lines LINK high above Monteverde’s cloud forest you’ll find the Selvatura Park. These bridges have the highest ones in Costa Rica, at over 500 feet tall.
The 2-mile trek includes eight bridges. There is also a butterfly garden on-site, which kids tend to love. There are serval different affordably priced packages on this tour, and I think it might be the least strenuous way to see the area.
Note: Costa Rica weather is unpredictable in any season when you are in the rainforest, but of course, you can expect lots of rain. For this reason, it is important to bring the right rain gear, a good insect repellent and closed-toed shoes.
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Located just a short distance from the tiny town of Bijagua (about 10 minutes away) is the Heliconias Lodge, which has three little suspension bridges that give you a great taste of the rainforest suspension bridges without having to trek to Monteverde’s cloud forest or the Arenal rainforest.
Here you’ll find great naturalist guides who are willing to spend time with you on the gorgeous rainforest trails between the series of suspension bridges, and you are guaranteed to see a lot of wildlife here if you hire a tour guide. This is a great place for families with young children as it gives you a small taste of the long-hanging bridges without committing to a lot of bridges.
These are the most popular hanging bridges in Costa Rica. If you are visiting Manuel Antonio, there are a few bridges there but I have not visited them. There are also bridges in Puerto Viejo (on the Caribbean side) and near the Miravalles volcano. I highly recommend you visit the hanging bridges on your next Costa Rica tour!
If you would like to talk to me about a customized itinerary or specific Costa Rica travel advice for your family, (zero sales- just advice!) check out my “Ask Christa” page for more information on custom Costa Rica trip planning geared towards families.