Zip Lines and Canopy Tours

jungle-tours.jpgUntil recently, I had never been on a zip line or canopy tour. Not because I found them to be scary or unsafe, but because Im cheap. Just about any tourist activity over $40 is usually out of my budget. For those of you with a less stingy budget, zip lines and canopy tours are and awesome experience and 100% of pure adrenaline fun.

What to Expect
The quality and type of trip can varry dramtically from operator to operator. If you aren’t booking your tour in advance, wait until you get to your destination. Once in your destination, try talking to other tourists and travelers and get thier reccomendations. You can try talking to hotel staff and information desks, but they tend to be a little biased towards the operators with the highest commission prices.

A good zip line or canopy tour should include round trip transportation to and from your hotel. The staff should be very bilingual, friendly, and very positive. Operators should always start the trip by gearing you up and then following it with an explanation of the safety procedures and how the equipment works.

Whats the Difference Between Canopy Tours and Zip Lines?
Because both terms are used very loosely all around the world, sometime it can be hard to distinguish the two. Generally speaking though, the can be defined in the following way:

  • Zip Lines – These tours usually involves a number of cables that very in length an height. You are usually connected to the cable via a harness and pulley system.
  • Canopy Tours – These are usually much less adrenaline oriented. They tend to be a series of rope bridges or walkways high in the tree tops. Sometimes these types of tours also include a tram system.

Are They Safe?
In more developed countries these types of tours are extremely safe because they have to pass a number safety inspections and regulations. In many less developed countries, there may not be any sort of regulations. This is another reason its a good idea to talk to other travelers about their experience with a particular operator. All and all, many of these tours have a good track record, as the opposite would b bad for business.

Check out some of these canopy tours in Costa Rica.