Costa Rica Canopy

Canopy tours are often an integral part of any Costa Rican trip.

Simply put, nothing compares to the feeling of flying along a forest zip line or peering into the upper canopy from a 100-foot hanging bridge.


Where Are the Canopy Tours in Costa Rica?

While there are numerous canopy tours throughout Costa Rica, the most famous happen to be in the Monteverde area. Sky Trek and Selvatura are two of the most established canopy companies in the entire country, and each offers its visitors a unique and memorable experience.

Are All Canopy Tours the Same?

No. As stated, there are countless canopy tours in Costa Rica. The two that are compared here are simply the best. This is for a number of reasons, including location – Monteverde has the finest cloud forest canopies in the country.

Another consideration is the size of the operation. As the old saying goes, time flies when you are having fun, so it’s important to consider how long the canopy tour in question is. In terms of how many zip lines or hanging bridges there are, these two are the longest in Monteverde.

If your only interest is to hike through the canopy pathways or hanging bridges, rest assured that both Selvatura and Sky Trek have spectacular views—both are located in a primary cloud forest where the canopy is dense and teeming with life. This being the case, there isn’t much of a distinction between the Sky Walk Suspension Bridges and the Selvatura Canopy and Bridges tours. We recommend reading more about each site and choosing the one that best appeals to you.

However, if you would like to go zip lining, there are notable differences between the two companies.

At Selvatura, the zip lines are generally more within the canopy than above it. The platforms are fastened to the trees, allowing you to zip from one to the next. At Sky Trek, the platforms are more elevated and self-supporting. This makes for a ride that is frequently above the canopy itself.

At Sky trek, the landing platforms are very long and the guides will slow you down as you approach. This allows riders to keep their hands at the same position throughout the whole ride, and eliminates the need for braking. In contrast, the platforms at Selvatura are slightly smaller, and it is up to each participant to slow himself or herself down at the end of the ride. Doing so is not difficult; your guides will teach you the proper method during the instructional period at the beginning of the tour.

Since the platforms are larger at Sky Trek, it’s easy to switch positions while in line for the next cable. This allows you to take photos and videos, or just take a breather. At Selvatura, there are fewer opportunities to switch positions – as soon as you land on the platform, your guide will immediately connect you to the next line and send you off. Every 3-4 lines, all tour participants are piled onto one platform while the Selvatura guides pass and set up the next cables. There is, thus, an opportunity to switch positions here. However, the platforms are often a bit crowded, making it difficult to do so.

One feature that Selvatura has that Sky Trek does not is the “Tarzan Swing.” Here – about halfway through the tour – participants are given the option of swinging over a huge canyon on a securely fastened cable. Needless to say, it’s quite an adrenalin rush. Still, many people are content to simply watch others ride the “Tarzan Swing.”

Both Selvatura and Sky Trek run professional and well-maintained tours, and will provide visitors with a safe and satisfying canopy experience.

To learn more or book these tours, visit our pages for the Selvatura Zip Lines and Sky Trek Zip Lines. You can also check out all the Costa Rica zip line and canopy tours for other canopy tours throughout the country.

If you’ll be traveling to Arenal, we recommend the Hanging Bridges Tour, Arenal Sky Tram, and Arenal Sky Tram and Sky Trek (a combination tour).