As appreciation for the vital role the Earth’s forests play in keeping the planet – and us – alive, climb into the canopies and see the world from their point of view.
Canopy walkways give travelers a new perspective on the destinations they visit, bringing people eye-level with birds and other wildlife in an ecofriendly way. If you’re ready for the exhilarating experience of traversing suspended bridges between raised platforms high in the treetops, look no further than these 11 amazing canopy walks around the world.
Editor's note: during COVID-19 there are restrictions on travel. Check the latest guidance before departure, and always follow local health advice.
1. Nyungwe National Park Canopy Walkway, Rwanda
Almost 230ft (70m) above a lush ravine in Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park are 525ft (160m) of sturdy suspension bridges and metal platforms, the perfect vantage point from which to witness the 13 primate species – including chimpanzees – and endless number of birds, butterflies, and more calling this park home. The canopy walk appears after a hike of about an hour down the Igishigishigi trail, and is accessible on a US$60 guided tour. Walking sticks are offered before the tour begins, and with frequent rain muddying the trail (which includes steep sections), it’s highly recommended to grab one.
2. Redwoods Nightlights, New Zealand
As night falls in Rotorua, New Zealand, the redwood forests of this North Island town come alive with light and magic. A gentle walk up a winding ramp brings you to the first of 27 platforms connected by secure, swinging bridges. The experience of standing up to 65ft (20m) above the fern-covered forest floor, while surrounded by the earthy aroma of redwood trees, is enhanced by mood-lighting from hanging lanterns. The walk is made all the more surreal by holograms of whales, which were designed to celebrate the breadth of New Zealand's diverse ecosystems. If you're lucky, you may even see a nocturnal kiwi bird darting through the undergrowth. Redwoods Nightlights costs about NZ$30 (US$20), and is open from dusk.
3. Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, Nebraska, USA
This canopy walk in the USA may not be as high up as some of the others, but it more than celebrates the beauty and necessity of trees, with bouncy bridges connecting 11 different treehouses. The pièce de résistance of this walk is a giant, suspended trampoline that is the first of its kind in North America. While this feature isn’t accessible to everyone, a portion of the Tree Adventure was built especially for wheelchair users. It costs US$13 for this canopy walk, which goes to support the farm’s worldwide tree-planting mission.
4. Daintree Discovery Centre Aerial Walkway, Queensland, Australia
Given the sensitivity – and sometimes deadliness – of the oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world, there’s no better way to explore the Daintree in Queensland than from above. Some 26ft (11m) above the ground, guests with any level of mobility can look for cassowaries and tree-kangaroos knowing they’ve made the sustainable decision to not disturb the root system below. A 75ft (23m) tower also takes visitors above the canopy, a truly unique sight to see in Australia. An AU$37 (US$28) ticket grants access to the entire Daintree Discovery Centre for seven days, which includes the canopy walkway and tower.
5. Treetop Walk Bavarian Forest, Germany
A marvel of German design, this visually stunning canopy walk consists of over 4265ft (1300m) of walkway winding up from 26ft (8m) to over 82ft (25m). Guests meander through multiple tree species before reaching the massive, 144ft-tall (42m) observation tower called Baum-Ei, the centerpiece of the experience. Guests, including those using wheelchairs or pushing strollers, pay €11 (US$13) for entry during hours that range throughout the seasons, though always opening at 9.30am.
6. Monteverde Sky Walk, Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s cloud forests were the proving ground for the canopy walk concept, with the Monteverde Sky Walk leading the way in exploring the treetops in an entirely new way. Hanging bridges allow guests to experience the breadth of biodiversity at every level of the Costa Rican rainforest, reaching heights of up to 230ft (72m). Naturalist guides can help you keep an eye out for monkeys, toucans, and all the other incredible flora and fauna lucky enough to call this lush jungle home. It costs US$41 to take one of the many guided departures that leave daily. There is another Sky Walk at Arenal.
7. Tahune Airwalk, Tasmania, Australia
After bush fires ravaged Tasmania in early 2019, the Tahune Airwalk was fortunately spared enough to be able to reopen at the end of the year. Guests observe this Unesco World Heritage area from almost 100ft (30m) above the forest floor and 165ft (50m) above the Huon River while traversing 2030ft (619m) of walkway (which can be accessed by wheelchair users and even those with dogs on leashes). It costs about AU$29 (US$22) and takes less than an hour to complete. The Airwalk is open 10am to 4pm daily.
8. Canopy Walkway in the Amazon jungle, Peru
As the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon jungle should be viewed from every angle possible. The Peruvian Amazon is the perfect place to reach that vantage point, with the Explorama Lodge’s Canopy Walkway taking travellers 115ft (35m) up and 1640ft (500m) along 14 of the area’s biggest trees. Guests can witness some of the Amazon's 4000 species of birds while exploring the walkway. The Canopy Walkway is included for guests staying at Explorama’s ExplorNapo Lodge and the ACTS Field Station.
9. Sequoia Aerial Adventure, California, USA
The treetop exploration of California’s coastal redwoods at Mount Hermon is as much a challenging ropes course as it is an appreciation of the state’s native trees. Multiple aerial trails of varying difficulty include over 40 elements, from swinging logs to cargo nets, providing an extra challenge to the typical canopy walk experience. For US$79 guests can explore California's incomparable Santa Cruz Mountains from above.
10. OCBC Skyway, Singapore
Part art display, Singapore’s Supertrees and OCBC Skyway within the Gardens by the Bay are less a celebration of nature and more an excursion into the country’s unique approach to industrial design. This fabricated canopy stands between 82ft (25m) and 164ft (50m) high, with the walkway itself just below at 72ft (22m). Between the Marina Bay Sands and panoramic views of the gardens, there is plenty of Singapore’s beauty to behold from this vantage point. It costs S$8 (US$6) to access the Skyway, which is open daily from 9am to 9pm, but it's most crowded from 5pm to 8.30pm when the light and sound displays come alive.
11. Tree Top Canopy Walk, Borneo, Malaysia
One of the clear benefits of booking a room at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge is access to their Tree Top Canopy Walk, a 72ft-tall (22m) walkway spanning 600ft (183m) through the 130-million-year-old virgin rainforest that calls Borneo home. Airy bridges are suspended between five trees, each with its own octagonal observation platform. Birds, monkeys, and other local wildlife immerse guests in the remote jungle atmosphere around the hotel, a feeling unlike anywhere else in the world. The hotel arranges guided tours for their guests and maintains a commitment to green policies that support orangutan conservation.
You might also like:
How to find an ethical wildlife conservation project
The best places to swim with whale sharks
Gujarat's wildlife sanctuaries offer a range of biodiversity
Article first published in November 2019, and last updated in January 2021.