NOTE: The content on this page was last updated on July 5th, 2017.
Want to know our pick for the BEST ZIPLINE TOUR in Costa Rica?
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Want to know our pick for the BEST ZIPLINE CABLE in Costa Rica?
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One of the most common questions we are asked, as well as one of the most common misconceptions travellers have, involves ziplining and canopy tours. Many travellers assume the two are unique experiences, while others question how the former differs from the latter. The simple response is that there is no difference–ziplining and canopy tours in Costa Rica are one in the same.
The confusion stems from the fact that the two terms are used interchangeably by tour operators and travel agencies to describe the same event. While I suppose “ziplining” specifically refers to the act of gliding along a suspended cable, whereas the term “canopy tour” describes the tour that offers the opportunity to glide along a suspended cable, for the purpose of reserving the activity for your vacation, tours advertised as “ziplining” or “canopy” provide the same experience.
Where differences can be spotted however are in the design and quality of the tours themselves. Canopy/ziplining tours are available throughout Costa Rica in nearly every tourist hot spot. However, some areas of the country arguably provide more enjoyable canopy/ziplining experiences than others, given the lushness of the surrounding forest which is a more appealing sight, the length and height of the cables which adds to the adrenaline rush, and the overall number of cables and duration of the tour that offer you the most bang for your buck. The majority of canopy/ziplining tours still utilize the hand-breaking stop system, however there are some that make use of the automatic z-breaking system. In addition, while some canopy/ziplining tours are sold separately, others offer complimentary activities with the reservation of the canopy/ziplining tour, including an aerial tram ride to the top of the rainforest, a visit to a butterfly garden, a visit to a hummingbird garden, a superman (head-first) cable, or a tarzan swing, among other extras. For a more specific details regarding a number of popular canopy/ziplining tours, feel free to read our related blog post: Which Costa Rica Zipline Is Best? Comparing 6 Popular Canopy Tours In Arenal And Monteverde.
Ricky and I are more than familiar with many of the different canopy/ziplining tours throughout Costa Rica. We choose to promote and recommend some and not others simply based on our own experiences, as well as feedback gained from our travelling clientele. While reviews of these specific tour experiences call for separate posts, for now I aim to clarify and confirm that canopy and ziplining tours are in fact the same tour, in the hopes of minimizing travellers’ confusion when planning their vacation activities.
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you done a canopy/ziplining tour in Costa Rica? Whereabouts, and what did you think?