High Flying Adventures in the Home of the Canopy Tour
This is where it all began. Years ago, a scientist studying life in the rainforest canopy strung ropes through the treetops and hung by a harness while sliding from trunk to trunk. Cables then replaced ropes, pulleys were added to harnesses and the worldwide phenomenon of zip lining was born. Today, Costa Rica remains one of the best places in the world to soar through—or above— the trees while hanging from a wire. At locations around the country, networks of elevated lines run through forests, cross rivers, and even span entire valleys. Some routes are relaxing; others are not for the faint of heart.
- Best for: All travellers from budget to luxury with a love of nature and adventure
- Best season to visit: Year Round, drier November - May
- Weather: There is minimal seasonal variation in air temperatures, with highs reaching near 90 and lows touching 70 at night. The wet season runs from May through November, drier months from December to April bring lower humidity
Costa Rica Information
Ziplining in Costa Rica Overview
Zip line operations in Costa Rica have evolved far beyond single cable runs through the forest canopy. Most courses offer multiple lines and often include a dozen or more. A growing number also take the action out of the trees with high-flying runs between steel towers that can send riders hundreds of feet above the ground, at speeds of up to 40 miles an hour. At the same time, more traditional tree-to-tree courses remain popular with those seeking a bit less in the thrill department and more time to take in the forest environment.
Ziplining in Costa Rica Tips
To up the excitement quota, ask operators if it is possible to rig for a Superman flight. Instead of sitting in a chair-like harness, this rig will put you in a face-forward horizontal position. Many operators add camera mounts to the helmets they supply to riders. You may be able to attach a personal camera or rent one from the operator.
Best Places to Ziplining in Costa Rica
In Guanacaste province, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is a favorite area for canopy tours and other aerial adventures, due to both proximity to coastal resort areas and the diversity of ecosystems that visitors can discover. In addition to ziplines that run through the forest and across river canyons, adventure parks in the area offer rappelling, rock climbing, Tarzan swings, hanging bridges. Afterward, there are volcanic mud pools and thermal pools for relaxation.
What to Pack for Ziplining in Costa Rica
Wear shoes that won't fall off when you are in the air (no flip flops) and sports clothing that provides a full range of motion. Avoid short shorts that might ride up under a harness. Put sunglasses on a tether to prevent accidental drops.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for entry that must be valid for length of stay. No visa is required for stays less than 90 days. The passport must have at least one blank page for the Costa Rica entry stamp. There is a departure tax of approximately $29 U.S. which should be included in your international ticket. Check the entry/exit requirements here.
There are no immunizations required for entry into Costa Rica, although you should check with your doctor and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for other recommendations.
Culture and Customs
Costa Rica is known as the safest and most prosperous country in Central America. It is home to a large community of North American ex-pats, but also retains its distinctly Latin culture, which includes a relaxed attitude to schedules that is known as “Tico time.” Laid back is not the same as uncaring, however, and Costa Ricans are known for taking pride in their appearances and their work. A well-developed road system connects major destinations, but much of the country's central highlands remain wild and protected within national parks. Within a day's drive of beach resorts at Guanacaste lie the slopes of Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Palo Verde National Park. Costa Rica is the eco-adventure capital of the Caribbean. Surfers come from around the world to ride famous breaks from Witch's Rock to Pavones. Coastal lodges are filled with fishermen seeking light tackle challenges with roosterfish or tug of war with a marlin. Forests draw birders, hikers and naturalists, and there are more than a dozen rivers offering whitewater rafting thrills. More relaxing experiences await at hot springs, where spa treatments and soaks in mineral-rich volcanic water provide a soothing end to an active day.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
The standard in Costa Rica is the same as in the United States: 110 volts AC (60 cycles). Some electric outlets only have 2 prong sockets, so an adapter may be needed for 3 prong plugs.
Costa Rica has an excellent phone system, and the country code for dialing is 506. Check with your cell phone provider for international data and voice plans and costs.
Many resorts and restaurants offer WiFi.
Although the water in Costa Rica is generally safe to drink, water quality varies in some cities. It would be best to use bottled water and avoid ice.
Language & Currency
Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, but English is widely spoken. The Costa Rican currency is called the “colon”. Check the current exchange rate here. Many businesses will accept U.S. Dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time, 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-6 GMT). Costa Rica does not use daylight saving time, so the time difference is an additional hour April through October.
Location, Size and Population
Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua (to the north) and Panama (to the south). Costa Rica encompasses a total of 19,700 square miles (51,100 square kilometers).
The population of Costa Rica is 4.9 Million (2015) with approximately 350,000 living in the province of Guanacaste.