There was a time when the scientists looked up from the trails and wondered what was there… at the canopy of the rainforest. Some biologists of important research institutes even sprayed up and found that there were… three million species living in one hectare of the jungle in the tropics!
Three million species! Yes… a lot of species… to be found on the ground after spraying (Our ecological nerve shakes when we even hold the thought of spraying insecticide in the rainforest… never mind if it is for research!)… However, the tree tops remained a mystery.
Everyone in the tropical research World knew there was something going on there… and nobody really knew what.
It was up until a great investigation was made here in Costa Rica by a fantastic biologist (Donald Perry) that the truth came out… Three million living organisms you said?… Sixty million! Or more…
From mosquitoes to frog tadpoles, passing by bigger mammals, and unknown insects… the canopy of the rainforest holds 80% of the life of the tropics! … 80% of that… is a lot of LIFE!
Mr. Perry (http://canopyevolution.com/about.html) created a new perception of the rainforest by moving for a time in his life to a platform up above a giant in a rainforest. He simply camped up there and made a revolution by doing that!
This revolution started with several ways to get to the rainforest canopy: The aerial tram (Found by Perry himself), the canopy zip line tours and of course the hanging bridges.
Now… Is this too much for a regular tourist? And that is the core of the question… No. It isn’t.
Walking through the rainforest is amazing… but walking on the tops of the trees, being able to stop for as long as you like to watch a bird, or monkeys from up above is way more that you can imagine.
It is a soft adventure, but it is also learning and discovering! Colors, aromas, bird nests and younglings, little mammals and raptors hunting… The awe that hanging bridges cause is hard to replace!
Nowadays you can find them in Arenal and Monteverde, and in some areas, like Corcovado or the South Caribbean you can find platforms that give you the experience. It is an absolute must if you want to live the real rainforest in Costa Rica! But it is totally compulsory if your passions are birds, wildlife or life itself!
In terms of looking at the tops of the trees, though, probably the best is to walk around the rainforest hanging bridges, observe the wildlife, the bright colored flowers, the amazing shapes and the infinite array of colors.