Last updated on April 23rd, 2020 at 04:15 pm EST
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We know the Arenal Sky Walk hanging bridges well because we’ve been exploring them for years
As we mentioned in our related blog post Sky Adventures Arenal: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, And Tram Rides In La Fortuna, we’ve been visiting Sky Adventures‘s Arenal (La Fortuna) and Monteverde (Santa Elena) adventure parks and experiencing the company’s adventure and nature tours for more than a decade. In that article, we detailed Sky Adventures‘s entire Arenal operation, including their Arenal Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, their Arenal Sky Tram aerial tram ride, their Arenal Sky Walk hanging bridges, their Arenal Sky Limit obstacle course, their Arenal Sky River Drift tubing tour, their Arenal Sky Wild kayaking tour, their Arenal Sky Wild biking tour, and their on-site facilities including free lockers, free parking, dining opportunities, and more. If you’re interested in learning about the various tours, activities, and services that are available at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park, please see the article linked to above. If you’re specifically interested in learning about Sky Adventures‘s Arenal Sky Walk hanging bridges, please continue reading below.
Arenal Sky Walk experience
In stark contrast to the Sky Adventures Arenal Park‘s Sky Tram and Sky Trek activities, both of which invite participants to spy on the rainforest from above, the Sky Walk hanging bridges tour provides a unique opportunity to explore Costa Rica’s rainforest from within.
More specifically, if you visit the Sky Walk hanging bridges, you’ll be able to stroll through roughly 4 kilometers of dense, secondary forest amid much of Costa Rica’s biodiversity. Spotting wildlife, especially a wide variety of tropical birds, is common. Though you’ll cover plenty of solid ground as you make your way along the park’s trail, most impressive are the long, metal hanging bridges you’ll cross that are suspended high above the forest floor. In the very least, you’ll be amazed by the majestic beauty of Arenal’s lively rainforest as you make your way across each bridge, completely immersing yourself in nature.
At the Sky Adventures Arenal Park, you can explore the Sky Walk hanging bridges as part of a standalone tour or as part of a combo tour. Combo tour options include coupling the hanging bridges experience with either the Sky Tram aerial tram ride or the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour. Note that because the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour automatically includes a one-way tram ride (see above for details), if you reserve a combo tour that joins the Sky Walk hanging bridges tour with the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, you’ll get to ride the Sky Tram too.
Arenal Sky Walk duration and tour times
|Arenal Sky Walk hanging bridges average hike duration – unguided (self-guided) tour||At least 2.5 hours (or longer, depending on the speed you hike and how many stops you make along the way)|
|Arenal Sky Walk hanging bridges average hike duration – guided tour||Approximately 3 hours|
|Arenal Sky Walk hanging bridges tour times||7:00am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm|
Arenal Sky Walk tour costs
Arenal Sky Walk trails
The Sky Adventures Arenal Park offers one trail that’s roughly 4 kilometers long. It’s a circular trail that departs from Sky Adventures‘s operations center and loops around the back of the park before returning to the trailhead.
The Sky Walk in Arenal has 5 hanging bridges in total. Here’s how the various hanging bridges compare with one another according to bridge length and height:
Sky Walk hanging bridges tour bridge details for the Sky Adventures Arenal Park
Bridge #1: 127 meters long / TBD meters high
Bridge #2: 136 meters long / TBD meters high
Bridge #3: 25 meters long / TBD meters high
Bridge #4: 143 meters long / TBD meters high
Bridge #5: 35 meters long / TBD meters high
Total hanging bridges distance: 466 meters
The Sky Walk trail provides a moderate hike through secondary rainforest. It has uphill, downhill, and flat sections, and requires short ascents and descents up/down steps. Along the way you’ll encounter several features that are unique to Sky Adventures’s park in Arenal, including the El Millon Viewpoint and the El Encanto and Escondido Waterfalls (see below for details). Our favorite part of the hike is the second half of the trail, which courses through a remote area of the park that’s noticeably quiet and provides optimal wildlife-spotting opportunities.
El Millon Viewpoint
One of the first features you’ll encounter after embarking on the Sky Walk trail (just after crossing Bridge #2) is the El Millon Viewpoint. The viewpoint consists of a large, flat observation deck that extends out over the treetop canopy and provides a panoramic view of the rainforest. It also overlooks Lake Arenal. Make sure you have your camera handy when you approach the viewpoint. You won’t want to miss capturing some breathtaking landscape photos from the spot.
El Encanto and Escondido Waterfalls
Roughly halfway along the Sky Walk trail, at the very back of the Sky Adventures Arenal Park, you’ll come across two tall, narrow, neighboring cataratas (waterfalls): Catarata El Encanto and Catarata Escondida. Though swimming is not permitted in either of the waterfalls, you’re able to get close enough to each to snap selfies and capture calendar-worthy waterfall photos. The faint touch of waterfall mist that you’ll feel when you hike past the cascades offers refreshing relief from the dense rainforest’s humidity.
A note about hanging bridge sway and how to minimize bridge movement
A common question we receive about the Sky Walk hanging bridges is whether the bridges sway when people cross them. The quick answer to this questions is: “Yes, the Sky Walk hanging bridges move when you walk across them.” The more elaborate answer to the question is: “Yes, the Sky Walk hanging bridges move slightly when you walk across them, but they don’t sway greatly from side to side as you may envision a rope bridge doing. What you’re most likely to feel when you walk across a hanging bridge is a teetering beneath your feet as the bridge’s metal floor panels adjust to your footsteps.” To best minimize movement as you cross a hanging bridge, walk in the middle of the bridge to avoid shifting your weight to either side. Hold onto both sides of the bridge with your hands for support (again, to avoid shifting your weight to one side if you happen to lose your balance when you walk), and walk slowly. The faster you walk, the more the metal floor panels will teeter from side to side. If possible, don’t cross a hanging bridge when other people are on it. Sometimes the steps of another hiker at the opposite end of the bridge as you can cause the entire bridge to move.
Arenal Sky Walk tour guide requirement
The Sky Walk hanging bridges tour run at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park is a guided tour. This being said, it is not a requirement to explore the hanging bridges with a tour guide. Instead of paying Sky Adventures the cost of their guided hanging bridges tour, you may pay them their hanging bridges entrance fee, which permits unguided access to the hanging bridge trails. Regardless of whether you plan to experience the guided Sky Walk hanging bridges tour or explore the hanging bridges on your own, an advance reservation is required.
Arenal Sky Walk age and weight limits
There is currently no minimum age limit or maximum weight limit imposed on individuals who are interested in exploring the Sky Walk hanging bridges.
Young travelers and travelers with disabilities
The Sky Walk hanging bridges are family-friendly. If you plan to travel with kids, it’s important to know that children (ages 0-5 years) are welcome to explore the Sky Walk hanging bridges in Arenal for free with a paying adult.
Unfortunately, the Sky Walk hanging bridges at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park are not wheelchair accessible.
Arenal Sky Walk discounts
Don’t miss our Sky Walk hanging bridges tour discounts:
Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour (Arenal)
Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour and Sky Tram Aerial Tram Ride Combo (Arenal)
Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour and Sky Trek Canopy Ziplining Tour (includes one-way tram ride) Combo (Arenal)
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you explored the Arenal Sky Walk hanging bridges before? If so, what did you enjoy about the experience?