Canopy Tours

Canopy Tours

Parent: 11467 » Template: article-simple

Ideal for: Families, Couples, Adventure Seekers, Nature Lovers
Best Time of Year: Year-round (afternoon canopy tours best during the dry season)
Most Popular Destinations: Countrywide
Related Activities: Aerial Trams and Hanging Bridges

Think of canopy tours as a semi-tame adventure – a safe but thrilling romp through the treetops. Zip-lining is very popular tour among all visitors to Costa Rica, and THE most popular family activity here. This is a great way to catch a glimpse of the jungle canopy, tropical scenery, and the forest’s exotic residents – monkeys, sloths, toucans, orchids, and other flora and fauna that Costa Rica is famous for.

The mechanics of a canopy tour are simple: before you begin, you’ll suit up in a harness and carabiners, doubled up for safety, so you’ll always be connected to secure cables. Be sure to wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes, as many tours involve some hiking between platforms. The classic canopy tour involves 8-15 cables and platforms, ranging from just about 100 feet to nearly a half-mile long. For extra excitement, the country’s most adventurous tours add on heart-stopping Superman cables (fly horizontally, like the Man of Steel himself!), Tarzan swings (free-fall from a treetop platform), tree rappelling, aerial trams, hanging bridges, and other fun.

From your birds-eye view, you’ll also enjoy distant vistas to ocean panoramas, rolling mountains and active volcanoes. Feel free to bring your camera – it’ll be safe with a bit of caution; alternately, many popular ziplines send a photographer along on every tour, making photo CDs available for purchase after you complete your adventure.

Bottom line: if you’ve ever felt a need for speed, you can’t miss this quintessential Costa Rica adventure tour.

Go on a Canopy Tour in…

Guanacaste & North Pacific

The North Pacific’s canopy tours are spread far and wide, but most offer transportation from towns and cities in the area. Two of the most accessible are located in Tamarindo and Ocotal (near Playa del Coco). The former offers spectacular scenery on a two-hour tour over 10 cables – almost a mile of flying! Near Ocotal, adrenaline junkies will love the 24-platform canopy tour over nearly two miles, teetering more than eight stories above the ground.

Best Time to Visit: e.g. Migration & mating season from late July-November and December-March.

Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula offers several canopy tours, and you’ll have good luck in Nosara and Mal Pais. In the city of Nosara, you’ll tree-hop over 21 platforms and cables that span almost 2,000 feet. Even better, the tour is located on a private, 2,500-acre wildlife reserve with beautiful river and forest views. Farther south in Mal Pais, you’ll travel to a small farm to soar nearly 250 feet above the ground. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys!

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (November-May) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

Central Pacific

You can book a canopy tour almost anywhere in the Central Pacific, but some of our favorites are located in Manuel Antonio and Jaco. These ziplines incorporporate not only treetop canopies, but also rock walls, Superman cables and tree rappelling. One of Manuel Antonio’s most popular ziplines adds on a suspension bridge, 18 platforms, an awesome Tarzan swing, and 10 cables for rides up to a third of a mile long.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (November-May) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

Osa Peninsula & South Pacific

The Osa Peninsula’s canopy tours focus more on nature than exhilaration. A great zipline near Puerto Jimenez is located near Miramar, and blends the thrill of sky-high cables (up to 105 feet above the forest floor) and scenic views. In Drake Bay, you’ll tackle nine platforms and six cables, in addition to a very cool 80-foot rappel. This thrilling canopy is reached via horseback, ATV or scenic walking trails.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (November-May) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

Arenal & Northern Lowlands

You won’t lack for canopy tour options in Arenal. Known as the adventure capital of Costa Rica, this volcano town tempts with a handful of zipline options, from tame to extreme. Each tour offers something special, so take your pick: would you prefer to fly by Arenal Volcano over the baby-blue La Fortuna Waterfall? One of Arenal’s tours incorporates aerial trams and heart-stopping speeds up to 50 miles per hour. You can even ride tandem with a friend!

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (November-May) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

San Jose & Central Valley

The Central Valley’s canopy tours are incredibly scenic, dazzling with beautiful views of expansive coffee farms, towering mountains and sunny valleys. In the cool hills above Heredia, you’ll tour a 1,400-acre farm on a canopy tour and hike (2-8 hours, depending on your choice of hike). At the base of Poás Volcano, another fantastic tour offers 24 platforms surrounded by spectacular scenery, including a trout pond where you can catch your lunch.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (November-May) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

Monteverde

Hands down, Monteverde is one of Costa Rica’s top choices for spectacular, unforgettable canopy tours. You’ll love these high-flying excursions, which promise vistas of the region’s misty cloud forests and long views to the Nicoya Peninsula. Take your choice of thrilling excitement or low-key canopies that are big on wildlife watching. Most tours have about 15 platforms and cables up to ½ mile long, and offer truly terrifying (in the best way!) extras like Tarzan swing free-falls and speeds of 40 mph.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (November-May) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

North Caribbean

Tortuguero’s canopy tours are a lot of fun, although they are not as thrilling as some of the nation’s other choices. If you’re looking for an extra challenge, you’ll love the rock wall, Tarzan swing and scenic treetop platforms. A great benefit of Tortuguero’s ziplines is that they can accommodate children as young as four years old.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (February-March and September-October) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

South Caribbean

The Southern Caribbean offers a variety of canopies, in dense forests and oceanside farms stretching from Limon down to Panama. Nature takes center stage on these adventures, and you’ll share the trees with monkeys, iguanas and other exotic wildlife. One zipline tour near the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, just outside of Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, will wow you with memorable scenery of the forest, mountains and Caribbean Sea.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, although dry season months (February-April and September-October) afford better weather for afternoon tours.

comments powered by Disqus