Last updated on April 4th, 2020 at 01:38 pm EST
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We know the Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges well because we’ve been exploring them for years
As we mentioned in our related blog post Sky Adventures Monteverde: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, And Tram Rides In The Cloud Forest, we’ve been visiting Sky Adventures‘s Monteverde (Santa Elena) and Arenal (La Fortuna) 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 Monteverde operation, including their Monteverde Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, their Monteverde Sky Tram aerial tram ride, their Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges, their Monteverde Sky Climb Arboreal tree-climbing tour, their Monteverde Vertigo Drop (free-fall activity), their off-site amphibian and reptile exhibit Herpetarium Adventures, 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 Monteverde Park, please see the article linked to above. If you’re specifically interested in learning about Sky Adventures‘s Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges, please continue reading below.
Monteverde Sky Walk experience
In stark contrast to the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park‘s Sky Tram and Sky Trek activities, both of which invite participants to spy on the cloud forest from above, the Sky Walk hanging bridges tour provides a unique opportunity to explore Costa Rica’s cloud forest from within.
More specifically, if you visit the Sky Walk hanging bridges, you’ll be able to stroll through roughly 2.5-kilometers of dense, secondary forest amid much of the biodiversity that Costa Rica (and the Monteverde region in particular) is known for. Spotting and/or hearing fauna throughout the trek is common; During our visits, we regularly see monkeys playing in the trees and climbing on the cables that support the bridges. Though you’ll cover plenty of solid ground as you make your way along the park’s trails, 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 Monteverde’s deep and verdant cloud forest as you make your way across each bridge, completely immersing yourself in nature.
At the Sky Adventures Monteverde 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.
Monteverde Sky Walk duration and tour times
|Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges average hike duration – unguided (self-guided) tour||At least 1.5 hours (or longer, depending on the speed you hike and how many stops you make along the way)|
|Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges average hike duration – guided tour||Approximately 2 hours|
|Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges tour times||8:00am, 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm|
Monteverde Sky Walk tour costs
|Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges tour cost per adult||original cost $41.00
discount available here
|Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges tour cost per student (13-25 years)||original cost $33.00
discount available here
|Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges tour cost per child (6-12 years)||original cost $28.00
discount available here
|Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges tour cost per child (0-5 years)||$0.00
Monteverde Sky Walk trails
The Sky Walk hanging bridges tour experience begins with a decision: Will you take the “Long Walk” or the “Short Walk”? Here’s what you should know about both routes offered at the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park before choosing either one.
The Long Walk vs. the Short Walk
The 2.5-kilometer long walk is the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park‘s complete hanging bridges circuit. 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. In contrast, the short walk is only a portion (roughly half) of the long walk. It, too, is a circular trail that departs from Sky Adventures‘s operations center. It forms a smaller loop within the larger loop that marks the long walk. The two trails (i.e., the long walk and the short walk) overlap in places. If you complete the long walk’s full course, you’ll complete the short walk as part of the journey.
The long walk covers the entirety of the park. It not only provides a longer walk, it also provides access to a part of the park that’s the least visited and that’s the most likely to provide wildlife-spotting opportunities. The long walk also provides a more difficult hike, not only because you’ll cover a greater distance than the distance traveled during the short walk, but because it provides more inclines and declines. In contrast, the short walk minimizes hike duration and difficulty. The short walk is your best option if your time is limited and/or you’d prefer to explore the park’s easiest course.
If you take the long walk, you’ll find that the Sky Walk in Monteverde has 6 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 Monteverde Park
Bridge #1: 66 meters long / 15 meters high
Bridge #2: 122 meters long / 49 meters high
Bridge #3: 114 meters long / 17 meters high
Bridge #4: 125 meters long / 36 meters high
Bridge #5: 236 meters long / 50 meters high
Bridge #6: 48 meters long / 15 meters high
Total hanging bridges distance: 711 meters
If you take the short walk, you’ll encounter 4 hanging bridges in total. Specifically, you’ll cross Bridge #3, Bridge #4, Bridge #5, and Bridge #6 detailed above.
It’s easy to miss the long walk’s 6th bridge. Here’s why and how you can avoid doing so.
Though the trail that’s trekked during the long walk forms a loop, a section of the trail splits into two paths at one point, leading hikers in different, albeit parallel, directions for several meters. Further up the trail, the two split paths reconnect, so regardless of which path you choose to follow, it will return you to the long walk’s loop. It’s important to know that each of the two paths have a hanging bridge of their own, which represent two of the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park‘s six hanging bridges (Bridge #5 and Bridge #6). Many travelers who complete the long walk’s full loop cross only 5 hanging bridges in total because they explore only one of the two paths encountered when the trail splits (i.e., they cross either Bridge #5 or Bridge #6, not both).
In order to cross all 6 hanging bridges in the park, first, you’ll need to choose the long walk, not the short walk. When you encounter the fork in the trail after you cross Bridge #4, choose one of the two paths that you’re presented with and proceed to cross that path’s hanging bridge (the path to the left leads to Bridge #5 and the path to the right leads to Bridge #6; Both eventually lead back to the trailhead). Then, backtrack along the same path, retracing your steps over the hanging bridge you crossed moments before, and return to the fork in the road. From there, take the other path, cross over its hanging bridge, and continue on your way.
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.
Monteverde Sky Walk tour guide requirement
The Sky Walk hanging bridges tour run at the Sky Adventures Monteverde 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.
Monteverde 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 Monteverde for free with a paying adult.
Unfortunately, the Sky Walk hanging bridges at the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park are not wheelchair accessible.
Monteverde Sky Walk discounts
Don’t miss our Sky Walk hanging bridges tour discounts:
Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour (Monteverde)
Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour and Sky Tram Aerial Tram Ride Combo (Monteverde)
Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour and Sky Trek Canopy Ziplining Tour (includes one-way tram ride) Combo (Monteverde)
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you explored the Monteverde Sky Walk hanging bridges before? If so, what did you enjoy about the experience?