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Sky Adventures Arenal: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, And Tram Rides In La Fortuna

Sky Adventures Arenal: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, And Tram Rides In La Fortuna

Last updated on July 19th, 2021 at 05:11 pm EST

Want to know our pick for the BEST ZIPLINE TOUR, the BEST ZIPLINE CABLE, the BEST HANGING BRIDGE, and the BEST AERIAL TRAM in Costa Rica? They are featured on DIY Costa Rica!
Want to save money in Costa Rica?
Our sister site, Pura Vida! eh? Inc., has Sky Adventures tour discounts. Con mucho gusto (you’re welcome) and pura vida!
🙂

click on a photo in the gallery above for discount and tour information

We know Sky Adventures well; We’ve done the Sky Tram, Sky Trek, and Sky Walk Tours in both La Fortuna (Arenal) and Monteverde

Everywhere we turn nowadays, it seems there’s someone new who has been to Costa Rica and is claiming to be an expert on the country. Far too many travel agents “sell” the country without ever having stood on Costa Rican soil, and many more travelers who have visited the land of pura vida (especially social media influences) are quick to make snap judgments based on one-time experiences.

We don’t make snap judgments based on one-time experiences. You deserve more valuable and trustworthy information than that. Instead, we provide information that’s based on our firsthand knowledge, repeat experiences, and comparative analyses. Take the below article, for example. 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 (including the Sky Tram aerial tram ride, the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, and the Sky Walk hanging bridges) for more than a decade. If you’re wondering why we bother visiting Sky Adventures‘s Monteverde and Arenal adventure parks so often the reason is this: So we can continue to provide you (and other Costa Rica Travel Blog readers) with accurate information that can positively impact your trip.

A few of our visits to Sky Adventures‘s parks over the years:

About the Sky Adventures Arenal Park (La Fortuna) and the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park (Santa Elena)

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Sky Adventures owns and operates two adventure parks in Costa Rica, the Sky Adventures Arenal Park, which exists in the Arenal region of the country (west of the town of La Fortuna), and the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park, which exists in the Monteverde region of the country (north of the town of Santa Elena).

Though the two parks don’t appear to be located far from each other on a map of Costa Rica, they’re separated by an approximate 3-hour drive. Protected land areas (a national park and a private reserve) and Lake Arenal take up the geographical space between the two attractions. Unless you opt to participate in only one tour/activity at one park in the morning, make the multi-hour drive between Monteverde and Arenal (or vice versa) during the day, and participate in a second, single tour/activity at the other park in the afternoon, it is not possible (nor is it recommended) to visit both parks on the same day.

Both parks are run by the same company (Sky Adventures). Several tours/activities, including the Sky Tram aerial tram ride, the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, and the Sky Walk hanging bridges, can be experienced at either/both the Monteverde park and the Arenal park. Reservations for all of Sky Adventures‘s tours/activities must explicitly state which adventure park (i.e., Monteverde or Arenal) you plan to visit.

Both parks provide tour rates for adults, students (13-25 years), and children (0-12 years). Children ages 0-5 are permitted to participate in the Sky Tram aerial tram ride and the Sky Walk hanging bridges tour for free with a paying adult.

Interested in learning about the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park instead? Don’t miss our related blog post:

Sky Adventures Monteverde: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, And Tram Rides In The Cloud Forest

For a comparison of the Sky Adventures Arenal Park and the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park, please see our related blog post Sky Adventures Arenal Or Sky Adventures Monteverde: Which Is Better? (post coming soon)

Sky Adventures Arenal Park tours and activities

The Sky Adventures Arenal Park is best known for its original three on-site tours and activities which are referred to as “the classics”:

  • The Sky Tram aerial tram ride (a tour guide is required and is automatically provided by Sky Adventures)
  • The Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour (a tour guide is required and is automatically provided by Sky Adventures)
  • The Sky Walk hanging bridges (a tour guide is not required but can be provided by Sky Adventures if desired)

See the Sky Tram aerial tram ride, Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, and Sky Walk hanging bridges sections below for more information about each experience.

An additional on-site tour that’s specific to the Sky Adventures Arenal Park, which is not available at the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park, is the Sky Limit obstacle course. The Sky Adventures Arenal Park also runs the Sky River Drift tubing tour, the Sky Wild kayaking tour, and the Sky Wild biking tour, adventure tours that take place off-site but near the park.

Sky Adventures Arenal: Sky Tram Aerial Tram Ride

Sky Tram experience

Unlike the scenery you’ll be treated to at the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park, which includes endless views of cloud forest ecosystems, the view you’ll get while riding the Arenal Sky Tram is one that spans the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Sky Tram rides are a great way to view Costa Rica’s treetop canopy from above, which often surprises viewers with sightings of playful monkeys and tropical birds.

At the Sky Adventures Arenal Park, you can ride the Sky Tram on its own or as part of the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour. On its own, you’ll ride the tram up to the top of the rainforest and down again, ending where you departed at Sky Adventures‘s operations center. As part of the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, after riding the tram in one direction (up to the top of the rainforest), you’ll zipline down to Sky Adventures‘s operations center.

Sky Tram logistics

A one-way Sky Tram ride at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park lasts approximately 20 minutes when counting from the moment the tram compartment departs from Sky Adventures‘s operations center until the moment the tram compartment arrives at a platform at the top of the rainforest.

If you’re experiencing the Sky Tram ride as part of the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, you’ll only ride the tram one way (to the top of the rainforest). Once you disembark at the platform at the top of the rainforest, you’ll begin the ziplining portion of the tour and you won’t return to (or ride) the tram again.

If you reserve the Sky Tram ride only (i.e., if you do not plan to participate in the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour), you’ll ride the tram both ways (to the top of the rainforest and back down again). You’ll be given approximately 20 minutes to explore the platform at the top of the rainforest. During that time, you can take in beautiful views of the rainforest, snap photos, and scan the forest canopy for birds and wildlife. Just off the platform is a short nature trail that you’re welcome to explore on foot. The trail will introduce you to flora native to the area, including large elephant-ear plants, cecropia plants (a sloth’s favorite!), and striking heliconias. Once you re-board the tram compartment, you’ll spend approximately 20 minutes riding it back to the operations center. The ride will complete your 1-hour Sky Tram aerial tram experience.

Age and weight limits for the Sky Tram tour

There is currently no minimum age limit or maximum weight limit imposed on individuals who are interested in riding the Sky Tram.

Young travelers and travelers with disabilities

Sky Tram rides are family-friendly. What’s more, children (ages 0-5 years) are welcome to ride the Sky Tram in Arenal for free with a paying adult.

The Sky Tram aerial tram compartments at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park are spacious and accessible to people with a variety of disabilities, including individuals who use walkers and/or wheelchairs. The platform at the top of the cloud forest, which boasts an incredible view of the Arenal Volcano and surrounding rainforest, is also wheelchair accessible.

Don’t miss our Sky Tram aerial tram ride discounts:

Sky Tram Aerial Tram Ride (Arenal)
Sky Tram Aerial Tram Ride and Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour Combo (Arenal)

Sky Trek Canopy Ziplining Tour (includes one-way tram ride) and Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour Combo (Arenal)

Sky Adventures Arenal: Sky Trek Canopy Ziplining Tour

Sky Trek experience

Unlike some other canopy ziplining tours in Costa Rica, which cut through the middle of rainforest and/or cloud forest ecosystems, Sky Adventures‘s Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour takes place above the forest canopy. More specifically, the tour zigzags back and forth over the forest and offers a bird’s eye view of treetops, clouds, and an endless sky.

Though several canopy ziplining tours are offered in the La Fortuna/Arenal region, the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour is the only canopy ziplining tour that utilizes a handlebar breaking system. Most other canopy tour operators in the country use the traditional hand-breaking system during their ziplining tours. Though both breaking methods are regarded as safe, the handlebar breaking system merely requires you to jostle a set of metal handlebars back and forth to slow your speed. In contrast, the hand-breaking system requires you to place gentle pressure on the zipline using a thick leather glove to slow your speed.

In addition, the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour is the only canopy ziplining tour that automatically includes a complimentary aerial tram ride. While the Sky Trek tours run at Sky Adventures‘s Monteverde park and Sky Adventures‘s Arenal park both offer the free tram ride, no other canopy ziplining tours in Costa Rica provide this complimentary experience.

Note that although the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park offers a thrilling free fall experience (called the Vertigo Drop) with their Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour, the Sky Adventures Arenal Park does not. If you wish to experience the Vertigo Drop, you must choose to participate in the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour at Sky Adventures‘s park in Monteverde, not Arenal.

Sky Trek logistics

The Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour experience begins with the collection of safety equipment at Sky Adventures‘s operations center. To confirm, the use of all necessary ziplining equipment is included in the cost of Sky Adventures‘s tour, so no equipment rental fees apply.

Following an instructional briefing led by your tour guide, you’ll begin the tour by riding the Sky Tram aerial tram for roughly 20 minutes to a platform at the top of the rainforest. Just beyond the platform awaits the canopy ziplining tour’s first zipline cable, which is a practice cable. The practice cable allows you to sample ziplining to make sure you feel comfortable participating in the activity. If you don’t feel comfortable participating in the activity, you can opt out of doing the tour. Do so here, if that’s your choice, because there’s no turning back once you proceed beyond this point.

The Sky Trek tour in Arenal has 7 cables in total, including the practice cable. Here’s how the various cables compare with one another according to the length of the cable, the height of the cable, the average speed you’ll travel when you cross the cable, and the average number of seconds it takes to cross the cable:

Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour cable details for the Sky Adventures Arenal Park:

Cable #1 (practice cable): 32 meters long
Cable #2: 465 meters long / 200 meters high / 70 kms per hour / 30 seconds
Cable #3: 450 meters long / 162 meters high / 69 kms per hour / 29 seconds
Cable #4: 410 meters long / 78 meters high / 65 kms per hour / 29 seconds
Cable #5: 610 meters long / 80 meters high / 80 kms per hour / 42 seconds
Cable #6: 750 meters long / 84 meters high / 70 kms per hour / 45 seconds
Cable #7: 25 meters long / 38 meters high / 32 kms per hour / 10 seconds
Total ziplining distance: 2,742 meters

It is important to note that it is not possible to participate in the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour without riding the Sky Tram. The Sky Tram ride is a required component of the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour because it delivers you to the tour’s first cable.

Though the duration of the Sky Trek tour varies from day to day due to group size, weather conditions, and other factors, on average, the actual ziplining portion of the tour takes roughly 1 hour to complete. The entire tour experience, including the collection of equipment, the instructional briefing, the one-way Sky Tram ride, and the ziplining portion of the tour takes roughly 2 hours to complete. This estimate excludes extra time needed to travel between the Sky Adventures Arenal Park and downtown La Fortuna (an approximate half-hour drive) and/or area hotels before the tour begins and after the tour wraps up. It also excludes the 15 minutes that Sky Adventures asks you to arrive at their operations center in advance before participating in any of their tours.

Age and weight limits for the Sky Trek tour

For years, Sky Adventures maintained that their minimum age limit for participation in the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour was 12 years old. Then they swapped their minimum age limit to a minimum height limit (1.2 meters tall). In 2017, Sky Adventures announced that children as young as 5 years old would be allowed to participate because they obtained equipment that was suitable for children weighing 10-40 kilograms. 5 years old remains the current minimum age limit for Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour participants.

Maximum weight limit for the Sky Trek tour

The current maximum weight limit for participation in the Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour is 300 lbs. Individuals who exceed the maximum weight limit will be evaluated by Sky Adventures‘s technical staff according to their height and physical condition to determine eligibility for tour participation.

Don’t miss our Sky Trek canopy ziplining tour discounts:

Sky Trek Canopy Ziplining Tour (includes one-way tram ride)(Arenal)
Sky Trek Canopy Ziplining Tour (includes one-way tram ride) and Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour Combo (Arenal)

Sky Adventures Arenal: Sky Walk Hanging Bridges Tour

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.

Sky Walk trail

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.

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.

Age and weight limits for the Sky Walk tour (guided or unguided)

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.

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)

Sky Adventures Arenal: Additional tours, features, and information

Sky Adventures Arenal: Sky Limit Obstacle Course, Sky River Drift Tubing Tour, Sky Wild Kayaking Tour, and Sky Wild Biking Tour

Less popular than the park’s tram, canopy ziplining tour, and hanging bridges are Sky Adventures Arenal‘s other adventures tours, including the Sky Limit obstacle course, the Sky River Drift tubing tour, the Sky Wild kayaking tour, and the Sky Wild biking tour. With the exception of the Sky Limit experience, these tours take place off-site but near the park. Though they’re typically experienced as standalone tours, they can be combined with one (or more) of the park’s other classic activities.

Sky Limit Tour

The Sky Limit obstacle course is a physically challenging obstacle course that combines riding the aerial tram, ziplining, canyoning/rappelling, crossing Tibetan bridges, and completing a high-ropes course. A tour guide is required and is automatically provided by Sky Adventures. Participants must be at least 15 years old, be at least 4′ 4″ tall, weigh no more than 242 lbs, and be in good physical condition.

Sky River Drift Tour

The Sky River Drift tubing tour is a fun 3.5-kilometer river tour that invites you to raft over mild rapids in a personal inner-tube. Though you’ll zip across a few ziplines to reach the river, this tour isn’t a full canopy ziplining tour. A tour guide is required and is automatically provided by Sky Adventures. Participants must be at least 5 years old, be at least 4′ 7″ tall, weigh no more than 216 lbs, and be in good physical condition.

Sky Wild Kayak Tour

The Sky Wild kayaking tour is calm, kayaking tour run on the flat Lake Arenal. A tour guide is required and is automatically provided by Sky Adventures. Though there is no minimum age limit to participate, participants must be at least 3′ 11″ tall, weigh no more than 375 lbs, have a waist size no greater than 63″, and know how to swim.

Sky Wild Bike Tour

The Sky Wild biking tour is a scenic, 13-kilometer mountain biking tour run around the shores of Lake Arenal. A tour guide is required and is automatically provided by Sky Adventures. Though there is no minimum age limit to participate, participants must be at least 3′ 11″ tall and in good physical condition.

Operations center facilities

Free lockers, free parking, and a souvenir shop

The operations center at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park is a modern facility complete with a comfortable lobby, a well-stocked souvenir store, and lockers that are free to use by tour participants. There’s also a large parking lot out front that provides a free place for tour participants to park rental cars.

On-site restaurant

The only place to eat at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park is the ChillOut restaurant. Typical Costa Rican food is served. Most of Sky Adventures‘s tours offer the option to add lunch for an extra charge. If/when you elect to add lunch to your tour reservation, it will be served at the ChillOut restaurant. Advance reservations for lunch are required (simply request the lunch add-on at the time you book your tour).

Photo/video souvenirs and GoPro rentals

Some of Sky Adventures‘s tours provide a complimentary photographer who takes photos and videos of your tour experience which you’re welcome to purchase upon tour completion. If you would prefer to capture your own tour footage, you’re only permitted to do so using GoPro-type of action camera. GoPro cameras and accessories are available to rent at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park for a fee. Rentals are subject to availability.

Tour transportation (shuttles) and road conditions to/from the park

If you won’t have access to a rental car and therefore won’t be able to drive yourself to/from the Sky Adventures Arenal Park, you can elect to add transportation to/from the park and La Fortuna-area hotels to your tour reservation for a fee. Advance reservations for transportation services are required (simply request the transportation add-on at the time you book your tour).

The drive from the center of La Fortuna (the Arenal region’s downtown core) to the Sky Adventures Arenal Park takes approximately 30 minutes. The drive is conducted on paved roads (road #142 and the unnamed road to El Castillo). Though having a 4×4 vehicle is recommended, it is not required.

Map of the Sky Adventures Arenal Park

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to the Sky Adventures Arenal Park before? Which on-site tours or activities did you opt to participate in?

Pura vida!

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Sky Adventures Arenal: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, And Tram Rides In La Fortuna
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Sky Adventures Arenal: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, And Tram Rides In La Fortuna
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We did the Sky Trek, Sky Tram, and Sky Walk tours at the Sky Adventures Arenal Park. Here's what you need to know, plus free discounts!
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The Official Costa Rica Travel Blog
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