Ziplining in Costa Rica is one of the most popular activities our travelers enjoy. It’s the kind of activity that fulfills the adrenaline-junkie needs of our adventure tourists, while still being safe and secure enough for families to enjoy.
The activity of flying through, or above, the trees on a zipline is called canopy locally in Costa Rica. This is due to the nature of the activity, that you experience the canopy of the forest by being in it or above it, rather than below it. If you hear locals or guides here in Costa Rica talking about canopy tours, you know they are talking about ziplines.
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Here are some frequently asked questions about ziplining in Costa Rica to help you decide if this is a tour you want to book for your next vacation.
What is Ziplining Like?
The best way to answer this question is to walk you through the standard process for getting ready to zipline and going on your first zipline.
First, the operators will help you into the zipline harness. These harnesses usually go around your body, over your shoulders, and between your legs for maximum security. After you’re fitted for the harness, your guides will give you the zipline training. This includes how you’ll get hooked up to each zipline, how to sit in the harness when you’re hooked up, and how to approach each platform (whether you need to brake or if it’s automatic braking). After everyone is comfortable with the process, they’ll take you to the zipline course and the fun starts!
The first zipline is almost always the “easy” one so that first-timers can get used to it. At first, the harness might seem a little heavy and uncomfortable, but once you’re flying through the air, you soon forget all about that. Ziplining feels like a combination of complete freedom, while still being aware of the cable and harness mechanism you’re attached to. The zipline path is always cleared, so you don’t have to worry about hitting any branches of trees.
It might not be the right activity for someone who is afraid of heights, since most ziplines do start fairly high up. However, if you’re merely uncomfortable with heights, we recommend looking straight out, instead of down, to keep the sense of vertigo at bay.
Is Ziplining in Costa Rica Safe?
Yes! More accurately, if you book a tour with a reputed tour operator, then yes, ziplining is safe in Costa Rica. We can’t for each and every zipline operator throughout the country, but we can assure you that all operators that we promote or recommend pass all required safety evaluations and frequently update and upgrade their equipment to ensure the safest experience possible.
Where Should I Go Ziplining in Costa Rica?
You can find amazing zipline courses in almost any region of Costa Rica. It’s one of the most interesting ways to experience our incredible rainforests, cloud forests, and tropical dry forests. If you already know you’d like to go ziplining in Costa Rica, but aren’t sure where, here’s a little description of what this activity is often like in a few different areas of Costa Rica.
Ziplining near Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna
There are several zipline operators in the Arenal La Fortuna area, but our favorite is located right at the base of the volcano itself. As you soar from platform to platform, you can often see the Arenal Volcano looming up next to you on one side and the Arenal Lake spreading out below you on the other side. To say it’s breathtaking is a bit of an understatement.
Ziplining in Monteverde
Monteverde is unique for its mysterious cloud forest. Ziplines here often seem to take you through the clouds themselves! Seriously, when the misty clouds are thickest, you might not even see the end of the cable until you get closer. When the day is clear, you can appreciate the verdant cloud forest from above, even catching glimpses of the Gulf of Nicoya in the distance.
Ziplining near Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste
Instead of the rainforest that most of Costa Rica has, Guanacaste has a tropical dry forest. This makes ziplining a bit of a different experience than in other parts of the country. For one, the trees here usually aren’t quite so dense, giving you a great view all the way down to the land below. Near Rincon de la Vieja, there are several brilliant turquoise colored rivers that you can often spot between the trees as you glide through the air.
What Should I Wear to Go Ziplining?
Most people prefer to wear shorts when in Costa Rica due to the often hot and humid weather. However, when ziplining, you may want to consider something with a little more coverage. Since the harnesses usually go between your legs and gravity pulls you down into those straps, long shorts or even leggings might feel a bit more comfortable. Bring someone with zipped pockets, if you’re planning on bringing your phone or a camera. Shoes that strap or tie on are usually required as well. If something drops while you’re on the zipline, you may not get it back!
Is Ziplining a Good Tour for COVID-19?
Ziplining is generally a safe activity for COVID-19 times because it is an open air activity, where you are alone much of the time. During times when you have to be in close proximity, like putting on the harness, most operators will ask you to put on a mask. But once you start flying on the zipline, you can often take off your mask since you are definitely at least 6 feet away from anyone.
Remember to always consult and follow CDC and local laws and guidelines regarding social distancing, mask-use, and sanitation. What we say here is a general statement and is subject to change, as these laws and guidelines often evolve as well.
Ziplining in Costa Rica: A Fun and Unique Experience
Whether you’re planning on visiting Costa Rica this year or just dreaming for the future, we encourage you to consider a ziplining tour while you’re here. It’s an adventure activity that almost anyone can enjoy. Plus, it’s a unique way to experience the abundant natural resources that Costa Rica has to offer.
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