Visitors new to the Costa Rica rain forest may initially wonder, what are canopy tours and why should I take one? Costa Rica, while small for a nation, is home to a whopping 5% of the biodiversity of the entire planet, and much of it can be seen only by gliding from treetop to treetop, a magical journey best taken on any one of the many Costa Rica canopy tours available in forest preserves and national parks across the country.
The area surrounding Costa Rica’s Arenal Vocano is a prime location to book a Costa Rica canopy tour. At the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort & Spa, The Original Canopy Tour Company will strap you to a harness and guide you from tree to tree through the rainforest fro two hours for less than the cost of a nice dinner for two.
Or if swinging from tree to tree sounds a little scary, choose a hike through the trails and bridges that surround Arenal Hanging Bridges near the Arenal dam. Visitors gain access to a beautiful network of rainforest pathways and suspension bridges and can experience many of the same benefits as a Costa Rica canopy tour without the discomfort of being strapped into a harness.
If you would rather ride, the Sky Tram (at Skyadventures) takes you on a leisurely cruise through Arenal canopy in an open ski-style gondola for not a lot of money. Sky Tram provides an excellent view of the volcano and the lake, and if you want to hike a bit when you disembark you can do so, or if so choose you can ride right back down again and see the same sights from the reverse perspective.
Manuel Antonio National Park is another great place to experience a Costa Rica canopy tour. Rainmaker Nature Refuge features a series of suspension bridges and trails through the Manuel Antonio canopy. The tour includes round trip transportation from Quepos, a light breakfast and lunch, and a tour guide.
For less than $100, you can also book a traditional harness Costa Rica canopy tour at easy, moderate, or advanced levels from any one of several tour companies near Manuel Antonio, including Pacific Ecotours, a service that will let you rappel down several waterfalls as part of your tour.
Harness-type Costa Rica canopy tours can also be booked near Tamarindo, Playa de Jaco, Malpais, and the Monteverde area. Asking lots of questions up front will help you to book a tour suited to your personal comfort level, and most major hotels (and even most small private ones) are happy to help you with this process and make recommendations that will insure a positive experience.
If you do nothing else ‘touristy’ in Costa Rica, do at least book a Costa Rica canopy tour. Only a very small portion of the rainforest and its unique flora and fauna can be viewed from the ground. Don’t deprive yourself of the chance to see as much of it as you possibly can while you are visiting Costa Rica.
A Costa Rica canopy tour is an experience you will never forget. Don’t be surprised if you want to do it again the minute you return to the ground!