Add some adventure to your life on Costa Rica zip line tours at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin by the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
Article by Shannon Farley
Few things beat Costa Rica zip line tours. Soaring through the air over breathtaking landscapes – your adrenaline pumping – is possibly one of the most exhilarating things you can do.
Costa Rica is renowned for the beauty of its forests, its impressive volcanoes and dazzling beaches. But have you tried seeing the scenery from a bird’s eye view? Combine it all on a zip line adventure tour.
In brief, a zip line consists of a pulley fixed to a cable – usually either stainless steel or the newer, more ecological carbon fiber cables. The user is connected to the pulley with a safety harness and safety line, and is propelled by gravity from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable. Zip-lines come in many forms – short and low to the ground, long and hundreds of feet high, spanning deep chasms or rivers, or strung through the middle of the forest tree canopy using platforms hung in the trees.
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 came into being 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 at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin by the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano 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.