Costa Rica is undoubtedly at the top of the list when it comes to fully experiencing both biodiversity and adventure. There are so many great outdoor activities that you can do here like horseback riding, visiting the hot springs and more. In this article we will focus on one that you certainly must do at least once in your life, and that is ziplining; especially, ziplining in Costa Rica.
Experiencing what it feels like to fly while watching the staggering surroundings from big heights, provides a sense of freedom like no other.
All that and much more is what you will be exposed to in any ziplining tour you book in Costa Rica.
What Is the History of Ziplining?
Ziplining is a super fun and adventurous activity. It consists of a pulley suspended by steel cables mounted on a slope between two points. The adrenaline is indescribable, the feeling of literally flying as high as birds do is beyond exciting, and the sceneries in which ziplining takes place are usually breathtaking.
Although currently ziplining is a relatively new recreational activity, it traces all the way back to ages ago, when it was used as a means of transportation in the Alps, the Himalayas, or to cross rivers in China.
As for the origins of ziplining in Costa Rica, it all started in 1974 with Donald Perry, a grad student from California State University. He climbed his first tree (a 120-foot espavel in Osa Peninsula) with the help of a rope he shot into the branches with his crossbow, and used mountaineering ascenders to climb to the top.
He came up with new ways of climbing as well as methods to move from tree to tree, particularly in one of the most complex environments, the rainforest canopy. Donald Perry went one step ahead of other scientists back then, by sorting out how to climb, building platforms on trees and moving between them at such challenging heights.
What Is the Difference Between Ziplining and Canopy Tours?
For those of you wondering about the difference between ziplining and canopy tours, it is mainly the location where the activities take place.
The word canopy refers to the habitat found in the upper level of a forest, especially in jungles. So, canopy trees are the tallest trees in a forest. The canopy is home to unique flora and fauna that cannot be found in any other layer of the forest. Therefore, when the slide cables meet at this level of the forest, it is known as a “Canopy”.
If the landslide cable is outside the canopy of the forest, in open, natural, or urban areas, it is known as “Ziplining”. The term “tour” refers to the fact that between the sliding cables (canopy or zipline) there are a series of platforms where they begin and end.
How Much Does Ziplining Cost in Costa Rica?
The cost of ziplining in Costa Rica varies a lot as it depends on several factors such as location, length of the tour (or number of platforms and cables), if the tour includes meals, if ziplining is paired with other popular adventures like water rafting, horseback riding, hot springs, rappel, any wildlife sanctuary, or even if accommodation and transportation are included, and more.
As previously stated, the cost of a ziplining tour in Costa Rica depends on your preference and your choice amongst many options. In general, the cost per person can range anywhere from $40 up to $145.
The rate for children is commonly lower than that of adults, although that also depends on the place. Just as an example, if an adult pays $50, for a kid the cost would be around $41.
The minimum age allowed for children in this type of tours also varies depending on the tour company, the location, the level of difficulty, and other criteria, but in Costa Rica it usually ranges from 4 to 7 years old.
What Should I Wear Ziplining in Costa Rica?
When deciding what to wear for ziplining, there needs to be a balance between two things: one is safety and the other one is comfort. You don’t want to wear anything that will get stuck on a pulley, or that could potentially harm you. For example: avoid wearing very long sleeves, long necklaces, rings or not tying your hair in case it is very long.
Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and that you wouldn’t care if for some reason it gets really dirty or stained. Most people wear loose-fitting shorts or pants (not ones that could pile up) with a t-shirt. When it comes to footwear, running shoes, hiking shoes or strap-on sandals are highly recommended.
Thongs, flip flops or any other unsecured footwear is not allowed.
You cannot wear hats, as a helmet must be worn during the whole tour so, make sure you protect your skin with sunblock. It is also recommended not wearing any valuable jewelry or accessories to avoid losing them during the activity.
Can you imagine trying to find a costly earring that falls from up above in a forest?
If you happen to do ziplining under slight rain or after it has rained, keep in mind that the pulley, the cables, and the rest of the equipment used might be wet/damp. This will probably leave metal/rust stains on your clothes, so just in case, wear clothing that you are not too attached to and that you can throw away afterwards without remorse, if you need to.
To be sure you don’t miss the best zip line tours Costa Rica has to offer, keep reading to find out relevant details to make a choice that will satisfy you.
Where Are the Best Places to Go Ziplining in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has many cool spots where you can go have a blast ziplining. Some of the most visited locations per province are:
- Arenal Volcano National Park located in Alajuela province.
- Samara and Matapalo Beach, in Guanacaste province.
- Monteverde Cloud Forest, Jaco and Manuel Antonio National Park located in Puntarenas province.
- Puerto Viejo, Sarapiqui in Heredia province.
- Puerto Viejo, Talamanca in Limon province.
Top Canopy Tours in Guanacaste
There are many canopy tours that you can take in Guanacaste, and they all offer a different experience. Some are more family-oriented and others are more thrilling for adrenaline junkies – there’s something for everyone!
Diamante Superman Canopy Zip Line at Diamante Eco Adventure Park
Located in Guanacaste, Diamante Eco Adventure Park has at your disposal a unique zipline experience through what they call Superman Zip Line Pass. It consists of almost a mile-long cable with an outstanding ocean view.
A favorite feature about this place is that there are dual cables, meaning that two people can ride next to each other at the same time, and share this magical experience together. The Superman Zip Line pass not only offers the longest ride time, but it also includes a 30-foot freefall jump (bungee jump).
The tour is set up to last for 2 hours, and as far as restrictions go: the minimum age allowed is 5 years old, the minimum weight allowed for the short lines and the bungee jump is 60 lbs, and the maximum weight permitted for the whole circuit is 280 lbs.
Bilingual certified tour guides will be there to show you and teach you everything you need to know to enjoy this tour to the fullest.
The cost per adult (ages 11 and up) is $78 and the rate per kid (ages 5-10) is $63.
Zipline Tours at Adventure Park Costa Rica
Adventure Park Costa Rica is known for offering great tours and when it comes to ziplining, they have three different zipline options to choose from:
#1 – Eleven Waterfall Canopy Tour:
It includes 25 zip lines over 11 breathtaking waterfalls and canyons, access to 2 rappels and a hanging bridge, and being able to swim in a reviving mountain cascade pool at the end of the tour. The “Fly like Superman” zipline that is 2,200 feet long is optional, as well as tasting a typical Costa Rican lunch, while enjoying the great view over the Gulf of Nicoya. The duration of the tour is 3 hours.
The cost of this package per adult is $99 and $89 per kid. The use of the hotel facilities, Wi-fi and pool are included in the price.
#2 – Finca Daniel Superman Zip Line Tour:
In this tour you have 13 different ziplines to enjoy, they are located over green valleys from where you can be mesmerized by the Gulf of Nicoya. The tour also includes the already mentioned “Fly like Superman” zipline of 2,200 feet long, a free fruit plate that will be waiting for you after the tour, and being able to enjoy the hotel facilities, Wi-fi and pool. The typical Costa Rican lunch is optional.
The cost of this package per adult is $60 and $50 per kid.
#3 – Mega Adventure Mix Tour:
Here you have access to 5 different activities immersed in nature:
- Seventeen elements from the high rope course (including but not limited to loose ropes, hanging bridges, spider webs, hammocks and many more).
- “Fly like Superman” zipline cable.
- Eight zipline cables
- Tarzan Swing (a crazy assisted jump simulating how Tarzan used to go from vine to vine).
- Rappel-free fall at 45 feet high
The cost per adult is $70 and the rate per kid is $60. For this tour there has to be a minimum of at least 4 people. The price includes being able to enjoy the hotel facilities, Wi-fi and pool. The typical Costa Rican lunch is optional.
The minimum age for either of the three different tours is 7 years old.
ATV, Canopy and Zip-Line Tour at Flamingo Adventures
This great adventure starts in Flamingo Beach with an ATV ride up to the canopy area, where an amazing zipline tour will be waiting for you. It is composed of 11 cables that will take an approximate of 1.5 hours to be fully enjoyed. Once you are done with the zipline tour you will get back on your ATVs to go on a pretty fun ride through some tough landscape, be mesmerized by views at an elevation of 4068 feet, and tour 5 outstanding beaches (Dantita Beach, Danta Beach, Prieta Beach, Penca and Potrero Beach). The return ride takes around 2,5 hours.
The cost per person is $129.
PS: There’s also the Tarzan Swing Extreme or a Monkey Sanctuary visit available if you wish to add it to your tour.
Canopy Tour Tamarindo Beach/ Flamingo Beach at Pininos Adventures
If you have always wanted to take off from one tree to another over slopes, fields, and streams brimming with Costa Rican natural life, then you need to give this tour a try! It starts from either Tamarindo or Flamingo, depending on your preference.
This tour also initiates with an ATV ride through an off road trail going through, jungle, dry forest, and across small rivers. The canopy consists of 9 cables and 12 different platforms that give your eyes a treat with gorgeous views. The adventure finishes riding back on the ATVs to the starting point.
The total duration of the tour is around 3.5 hours, and to be booked it requires at least 2 people. The minimum ATV driving age is 17 years old. Kids under 5 years old can ride with a passenger. The minimum age for the canopy is 5 years old. The cost per person is $110 per adult and $45 per kid, or $155 per ATV double meaning driver plus passenger.
Full Day Tour at Ponderosa
Also known as Africa Safari Park, Ponderosa is a lovely park of 70 hectares, 297 animals and several activities to choose from, located in Liberia, Guanacaste. The most recommended option there is the full day tour which includes: Kayak, safari, waterfall, zipline, horseback riding and lunch.
The minimum age per activity is 10 years old for horseback riding and 6 years old for kayak and canopy/zipline.
The cost per person, both adult and children is $93.96.
Best Places to Go Ziplining Outside Guanacaste
If you’re traveling outside of Guanacaste during your Costa Rica trip be sure to check out these other great canopy tours:
Sky Trek Canopy Tour at Sky Adventures Monteverde
Sky Trek is an exhilarating 2 hours long zip line circuit situated in the one of a kind Monteverde cloud forest. It consists of seven zipline cables at different heights within the forest. The minimum age allowed is 5 years old, and the maximum weight permitted is 300 lbs.
The cost is $90.72 per adult, and $62.64 per kid.
Sky Trek Canopy Tour at Sky Adventures Arenal
Sky Trek is also located in the beautiful forests surrounding the Arenal Volcano, offering another amazing 2 hours long zip line tour that also includes seven zipline cables. The minimum age allowed is 5 years old, and the maximum weight permitted is 300 lbs.
The cost is $90.72 per adult, and $62.64 per kid.
Manuel Antonio Canopy Safari Zip Line Tour
Canopy Safari has gained valuable experience over the last 25 years giving one of the best adventure tours to its visitors. Expect to be blown away by the four-hour tour that includes 11 exciting zip lines along 20 platforms, 2 suspension bridges, 2 distinct rappel lines, 1 Superman zipline, as well as 1 Tarzan swing.
Besides all these fun outdoor activities, the tour includes lunch at a wonderful restaurant right by a crystal clear river in the middle of the rainforest, and transportation from and to your hotel. There is a professional photographer at your disposal in case you would like to pay for photos of your adventure.
The cost per person is $95, both adults and children, and the minimum age allowed is 4 years old.
Canopy Tour at Selvatura Park
Selvatura Park offers an unforgettable canopy tour with 13 cables, one of which is 0,62 miles long, 15 platforms and 1 Tarzan Swing. All within the spectacular rain forest of Monteverde. Just picture yourself taking off through the cloud backwoods for a total of 2.2 miles of an unstoppable adrenaline rush. If you choose to, you can upgrade to a superman style ride, on the last cable.
This tour has an approximate duration of 2.5 hours, and the cost per adult is $55 and $38.50 per child.
Canopy Tour at Monteverde Extremo Park
Monteverde Extremo Park is known for providing 100% adventure and adrenaline that will make you feel alive. Here you have four different tours that you can choose from:
#1 – Canopy Tour:
This tour is the longest canopy in Costa Rica, being 2.48 miles long. Here you have at your disposal eleven cables, one rappel, one Tarzan swing, one subterranean Superman in a tunnel that is 623 feet long and one aerial Superman of 3,380 feet long. The cost of this tour is $54 per person, and the cost per kid is $32.40.
#2 – Superman Tour:
It includes the aerial Superman of 3,380 feet long as well as the subterranean Superman, which is 623 feet long. For this option, the cost is $32.40 per adult.
#3 – Extreme Tarzan:
It consists of an outrageous Tarzan swing of 295 feet from a 470 feet height. The cost per person is $47.52.
#4 – Zipline & Jungle Night Walk:
This tour includes two zipline cables to enjoy along with a night walk through beautiful hiking trails, a certified instructor, night vision equipment and local transportation. The cost for this tour is $30.24 per person.
The minimum required age for the tours is 5 years old.
Ziplining in Costa Rica is one of the most sought after outdoor activities that visitors crave to enjoy in this paradise. Whether you choose the ocean or the rainforest as your background, one this is certain, ziplining will be one of those exciting and most cherished memories you will always want to tell everybody about.
FAQs About Canopy Tours and Ziplining
Ziplining in Costa Rica is exceptionally safe. All tour operators have certified guides that take safety measures quite seriously, otherwise, they wouldn’t have the license to offer their services.
The longest zipline in Costa Rica is found in Monteverde Extremo Park, in the Canopy Tour which is 2.48 miles long.
Absolutely! You can rest assured that ziplining in Costa Rica will add to your best experiences ever. The feeling of being alive, flying like a bird amongst nature and having the opportunity to enjoy the views from up above is priceless.