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5 Amazing Rainforest Canopy Adventures


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Walkways and Cranes
A couple takes a stroll on a rainforest canopy walkway in the Arenal Volcano area, Costa Rica.
A couple takes a stroll on a rainforest canopy walkway in the Arenal Volcano area, Costa Rica.
Kevin Schafer/Digital Vision/Getty Images

You know those huge, mechanical cranes you sometimes see at construction sites that look like long-necked dinosaurs that somehow escaped from Jurassic Park? Well, those can be used to explore the rainforest canopy too, lifting explorers into the heights where they can construct observation platforms. Before cranes became popular for exploration, though, scientists would actually build elevated walkways through the treetops, like sidewalks in the sky, so that they could stroll through the canopy and study the plants and insects that live in it. Nowadays these walkways are mostly for tourists who want to have their own rainforest canopy adventure without the risk of climbing ropes or hanging from balloons. Several tropical vacation spots offer treetop journeys on sturdily constructed wooden platforms with walkways that offer easy, permanent access to the canopy. You might not want to spend a weekend sweating in a canopy raft, but canopy walkways let you have your own rainforest canopy adventure in a fairly safe, controlled environment.

These rainforest walkway sites are usually a form of ecotourism, in which a portion of the funds charged for using the walkways goes toward fighting deforestation in the tropics and funding further research into rainforest ecology. Isn't it great when you can have an adventure that's also good for the planet?


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