Costa Rica zip line tours are the all-time favorite adventure vacation in Costa Rica. Try it out at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin by the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
Article by Shannon Farley
Standing on the wooden platform on the edge of the wide canyon, I can’t even see where the thick, steel cable ends. It simply disappears into a grove of trees seemingly a long, long way away.
I’ve been on Costa Rica zip line tours many times – probably dozens. But it’s always the same at the start. My mouth is dry, my pulse is racing, and bumblebees buzz in my stomach.
The Canyon Canopy Tour at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin by the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is no different. I really, really don’t want to step off the first platform. And then suddenly I’m flying fast through the air. I don’t know whether to scream, remember to breathe, or take in the stunning scenery passing below me. I manage to do all three before arriving at the next platform in the middle of the grove of trees that seemed so far, but which took less than a minute to reach.
That was exhilarating! My adrenaline is pumping. I am laughing, and I’m ready for the next zip line. Few things beat Costa Rica zip line tours for fun!
Costa Rica is renowned for the beauty of its forests, its impressive volcanoes and dazzling beaches. And when it comes to adventure vacations, zip line adventure tours are at the top of the list.
Tree to tree zip lines were originally invented in Costa Rica. In 1974, U.S. biologist Donald Perry pioneered the new method for climbing into and moving around the Costa Rica rainforest canopy without having to return to the ground to study each new tree. It is in the rainforest treetops where more than 40 percent of all life on Earth exists.
The first commercial zip line adventure tour ever opened in Costa Rica in 1997, and has taken off to become a billion-dollar global industry. Now, you can take zip line vacations all over the country and across the world.
The Canyon Canopy Tour is probably one of my all-time favorite Costa Rica zip line tours. Designed and built by Costa Rican architect Jose Manuel Pizarro, owner of the Costa Rica zip line company Linea Vertical, the distinctive tour is much more than zip lines.
Incredibly fun and full of adrenaline-charged moments, you fly high above the dry tropical forest and back and forth between narrow stone canyon walls over the White River (Rio Blanco) on seven zip lines. In the middle of the tour, there is an optional controlled 20-meter (65-foot) rappel down into the river canyon; and then two routes on a natural rock climbing wall to come back up. You get to cross three hanging bridges and have fun on two Tarzan swings. And finally, there are three “via ferrata” traverses and climbs. Overall, you travel to 21 platforms on the whole guided zip line adventure tour, which takes about 90 minutes to two hours to complete.
The spectacular scenery alone is worth going on the tour. You are deep in the dry tropical forest – a unique ecosystem in Central America – by the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. If you’re lucky, you may spot a sloth, monkey or toucan up close. The tour starts off with the longest zip line, crossing a wide canyon high above the trees. A few more zip lines later and suddenly you are in a narrow, densely forested, rock canyon above the rushing White River. Simply beautiful!
Hacienda Guachipelin operates some of the best adventure travel vacations in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Their Adventure Center is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for both hotel guests and day visitors. Besides zip lining, you can go horseback riding, river tubing, waterfall rappelling, mountain biking, hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, and relaxing in natural volcanic hot springs. The One Day Adventure Pass gives you four tours and lunch.