Introduction to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano is a totally outdoor experience, they are naturally thrilling and located 10-15 minutes from downtown Vancouver. There is a year-round, free shuttle that runs from downtown Vancouver every 10-15 minutes which is extremely convenient for visitors and delivers them to the park with ease. It is and has always been a privately owned company and has three main attractions for guests to explore.
The first is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which was originally built in 1889. It stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River.
The Treetops Adventure is the most popular experience at the park. It is a canopy walk of seven suspended bridges located within the tree tops. Helen said they often refer to it as a “squirrel’s eye view of the rainforest.”
The Cliffwalk is a cantilevered suspended walkway that hugs the granite cliff base. It takes guests on a series of platforms along the canyon allowing you to see the park from a different perspective as you are suspended in the canyon.
Should guests take a guided tour?
“We can definitely be a self-guided attraction and guided tours are not mandatory, all guests are given a park map upon arrival. However, the guided tour are offered hourly throughout the day and they definitely enhance the visit and I would highly recommend them.”
From mid-November to the end of January, the park helps visitors to capture the excitement of the holiday season by transforming the three main attractions into a festival of lights that provides a magical experience. This is the only time of the year when visitors are able to visit the park at night, when the whole park is illuminated with light.
What more is offered besides the main bridge attractions?
The story center is a place where people can learn about the history of the suspension bridge and be exposed to artifacts and antiques surrounding the development of Vancouver.
The Trading Post is a beautiful gift store with many locally sourced products. Their most popular product is their home-made fudge with over a dozen flavors to choose from.
The park has numerous food options, which have all locally sourced products and deliver a unique Vancouver food experience. The main restaurant is the Cliff House which offers a casual dining experience in a beautiful setting. In addition to the main restaurant there is a coffee shop, an ice cream shop, cafe and grill.
The Capilano band is part of the parks entertainment team and plays folk music during the summer months as well as during Canyon Lights. During the holiday season the band is more Christmas themed which falls in line with the theme of the park being a winter wonderland. Guests can sip on hot chocolates while they watch the band perform.
What are the busiest months of the year for the park?
Who can visit the park?
Capilano Park attracts visitors of all ages. Whether it be multigenerational families, younger families, couples, or older generations. Helen explained that visitors usually spend around 2-3 hours in the park and there is a moderate amount of walking involved in exploring.
Capilano also has a children’s program called the rainforest explorers program that runs throughout the year. This is a self-guided interactive scavenger hunt program that allows children to explore the rainforest looking for signs while learning. At the end of the activity, the child is given a rainforest explorers badge!
Environmentally-friendly and interactive
On all of their nature tours the guides touch on the environment as it pertains to the natural rainforests that they have and how important is it to preserve water and the canyon. Helen even added that when it rains at the park they offer guests biodegradable ponchos to stay dry!
Visitors to the park can go beyond looking and learning about nature and actually interact with it at the Raptors Ridge. Raptors Ridge is an educational facility that educates guests on raptors and conservation of wildlife at the park during the summer months. The animals are brought to Raptors Ridge facility because they were injured and unable to go back into the wild or bred in captivity. Raptors Ridge is very popular with guests, although it is not a show and the birds cannot be touched their handlers are able to answer any questions that guests may have.
What message did Helen have for travel agents?
“I think the first thing is when you’re telling guests what they’re going to expect when they come to the park make sure you tell them that it is going to be naturally thrilling and that is something that we are very passionate about. I think guests should be aware that we are open rain or shine. If it is raining it doesn’t matter, it creates a more authentic rainforest experience. There is something for all ages and the park creates a natural experience that I think everyone will love”
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