Boasting hundreds of miles of zip-line cables zigzagging above the forest, Costa Rica is often referred to as the home of the original canopy tour. Visitors to Monteverde, Tamarindo, Jaco, Arenal and Manuel Antonio will have no shortage of options when it comes to hair-raising, adrenaline-pumping rides high above the treetops. In fact, most popular beach vacation destinations have at least one canopy tour, luring adventure seekers with unhindered views as they hurtle through the sky.Â To make the most of your adventure, follow these quick zip-lining tips.
Be Prepared Before Your Canopy Tour
- Long shorts or pants are always recommended to prevent chafing and friction from the harnesses.
- Avoid flip flops and wear shoes that fasten securely. Lightweight hiking shoes or Tevas are ideal.
- Leave all valuable jewelry back at your hotel or vacation rental â€“ especially rings that may slip off.
- A small point-and-shoot camera is best but keep in mind that your guides can take photos as well.
- Most canopy tour companies have age restrictions for small children (usually under 5) so be sure to inquire before booking your tour.
Enjoy the Ride of Your Life!
- Some zip-lines are designed so that the guides can brake for you, taking all pressure off you. Others put you in charge of this very important step. Listen carefully during your safety talk and demo to discover which is applicable, and pay attention to your guideâ€™s hand signals that will caution you to slow down when necessary.
Most canopy tours go as scheduled â€“ rain or shine. In fact, a tropical shower makes zip-lining through the rainforest that much more exciting. Guides may decide to postpone the tour in the presence of heavy lightening.
- You will be outfitted with a hard hat, thick leather gloves and a special harness. Be prepared to look and feel extraordinarily cool in this getup.
- To gain optimum speed, tuck your legs up so youâ€™re shaped like an egg â€“ this will help streamline your body and get you to the next platform in seconds flat.
- Guides may offer to ride tandem with small kids or lightweight adults who need a helping hand. Donâ€™t be afraid to ask if youâ€™re feeling slightly chicken!
Canopy Tour Hotspots in Costa Rica
The undisputed winners when it comes to sheer variety of canopy tours are the cloud forest town of Monteverde and the La Fortuna/Arenal region. Not only will you find some of the countryâ€™s fastest, highest zip-lines, youâ€™ll also get the chance to experience sky trams (slow moving gondolas); hanging bridges that offer breathtaking views; and a slew of exciting add-ons like Tarzan swings and bungee drops. In Arenal, for example, youâ€™ll be zooming some 500 feet above the ground! And on sunny days, the smoking peak of Arenal Volcano is often visible.Â If youâ€™re looking for an exhilarating experience, youâ€™ve come to the right place, as Costa Rica canopy tours deliver plenty of high-flying fun for travelers of all ages.