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Costa Rica Canopy Tours and Zip-line Adventures

In 1974, Donald Perry, a graduate student from California State University hooked up his first treetop cable to access the upper branches of a giant Espavel tree in the rainforest of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. 

His purpose and life-long endeavor was to study the complex ecosystems only found in the forest canopy. It wasn’t until later, however, that he integrated elevated platforms connected by a cable and pulley system that allowed Perry to move from treetop to treetop.

“In 1979 I used three emergent trees to build the world’s first canopy zipline at Finca La Selva,” he wrote in the book Life Above the Jungle Floor. “It was made with a thousand feet of rope.”

Perry never thought to market his invention for the public. So, it wasn’t until 1997 that Darren Hreniuk, a Canadian expat living in Costa Rica (and associate of Perry’s), applied his own zip line technology and opened the first canopy tour operation in Monteverde – The Original Canopy Tour.

Since those early days, Costa Rica’s canopy zip-line market has grown into a mult-million dollar industry. In fact, Costa Rica eco-tourism without the canopy tour just wouldn’t be the same.

In just about every destination frequented by tourists you’ll find a canopy tour. Ask your I LOVE COSTA RICA representative to recommend the best, most popular tour for your itinerary.

What’s the difference between Canopy Tours and Ziplining in Costa Rica?

To start, English Encyclopedia defines a canopy tour as “…an established route through a wooded and often mountainous landscape making primary use of zip-lines and aerial bridges between platforms built in trees. Tourists are harnessed to a steel cable without interruption throughout the entire tour for safety.” 

This implies that Canopy Tours aren’t always about flying through the canopy at breakneck speeds. They put more emphasis on experiencing the incredible aerial views, treetop scenery, and wildlife.

A Zip-Line Tour, on the other hand, is all about the adrenaline rush and thrill of “zipping” through the air over considerable heights while connected to a cable by a relatively simple pulley and harness system. 

Most Canopy Tours combine thrills: Most Costa Rica Canopy Tours and Ziplining adventures combine easy going cables and high-speed cables so participants can experience it all. Many also offer the notorious Tarzan Swing where the participant jumps from a platform and free falls before being swung back and forth from the suspended cable.

Prerequisites for participating in Costa Rica Ziplining and Canopy Tours:

Hours and entrance fees vary depending on which park you visit. However, the following guidelines apply to most. Check the SINAC website before visiting for exact hours and entrance fee information.

  • People with back problems
  • Cardiac problems
  • Pregnant women
  • Recent surgeries
  • Physical limitations that could impede safe participation

Costa Rica’s top zip-line tours

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