Adventures in Costa Rica: the canopy tour in Monteverde

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Whether you are an adventurous traveler or not, one thing is certain: if you are in trip to Costa Rica you certainly cannot miss the opportunity to experience the thrill of Monteverde canopy tour.

The canopy tour (or zip line as we know it) is a path formed by steel cables stretched high among the trees and is said to have originated right here in Monteverde, in that misty rainforest shrouded in mystery that still hosts the very rare shining quetzal: every year thousands of travelers experience the thrill of darting between the treetops, feeling the wind on their faces and listening to the whistle of the air, filling their eyes with the thousand shades of green of the pristine forest they literally fly through .



The canopy tour (or zip line) in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is a small group of houses and hotels in the middle of nowhere in the forest but despite its small size, every year it hosts millions of people who come here to experience the thrill of the zip line: this is why the offer of different routes is wide. and suitable for every taste and every difficulty, from the simple canopy tour to routes for the bravest that also include bungee jumping from heights that would make anyone's legs tremble.

Selvatura Canopy Tour

Without half words it is the canopy tour that we have chosen, simply because it is the only one that is located in a part of pristine primary forest that is impossible to visit in any other way.
It is a path of 15 steel cables suspended between 18 platforms built on trees tens of meters above the ground.
The day begins with a safety briefing and we are shown how to wear the harness with which, through carabiners, we will be "hung" from the steel cables.
As far as safety is concerned, it is at the highest levels: for the entire duration of the route we have been accompanied by expert and well-prepared guides, ready to help us and give us courage on every occasion. You are always tied by safety cables even when you climb the platforms on the trees between a cable and the other.



The steel cable of the canopy tour above the primary forest

The first cable is really difficult, the legs tremble, but as soon as you are darting like birds in the forest all fear disappears replaced by an immense sense of freedom.
The Tarzan Swing is also included in the tour: you climb a very high platform with a rope tied to your waist and with your hands holding it tightly you let yourself fall (or rather pushed by one of the guides) into the void: for the first meters you then fall the rope you tend to find yourself swinging like on a swing: needless to say that I will never forget the moment I found myself pushed into the void, my scream of terror and then the laugh of liberation when I started swinging on the rope in the humid forest air.

The canopy tour ends with the flight of the angel (for an additional fee of 10 USD) along a cable of more than one thousand meters in length.
You fly at great speed over the trees, almost in the middle of the fog that is descending over the forest with your gaze full of the thousands of shades of green of the ancient trees. It can also be done as a couple, but I preferred to experience this emotion only with myself: there are moments and sensations that I love are mine alone.

The final flight of the Selvatura Canopy tour

Extreme Monteverde

The bravest who want to enjoy the fantastic views of the forest combined with extreme adventures with the full of adrenaline can choose as a canopy tour Extreme Monteverde.
With Monteverde Extremo you reach the greatest heights from which you can admire the rich natural beauty of the forest, while facing extreme adventures such as the giant Tarzan Swing, the Bunjee jumping and a zip line consisting of 14 cables: all for the beauty of three hours of pure adrenaline.
Here, too, the safety standards are truly at the highest levels and the guides are prepared to give you the best possible service.



The Original Canopy Tour

Those who invented the zip line. Also included in the price is a short walking tour to get to know the forest.

How much does the Canopy tour cost?

The price clearly varies from which of the canopies you choose. The Selvatura costs 45 USD excluding final flight for which extra 10 USD is charged. The price includes transport to and from your hostel, all necessary equipment and guides. Apart from that, it is possible to rent a GoPro that you can put on your helmet to record the adventure and relive it later even when you return home. At the end of the tour some photos of you are displayed which can be purchased.

All 3 of these canopy tours are valid, both from the point of view of safety and fun, the choice depends exclusively on personal tastes and the price that varies a lot from one to another.
The offices to book the Canopy are all in Monteverde, but you can also book them through hostels for the same price.
Our canopy lasted all morning, but we also took in the package the walking path of the suspension bridges in the forest (35 USD) in my opinion too expensive for what it offers and I went back I don't think I would do it again even if from the bridges you have beautiful views and there is the possibility of sighting animals, such as sloths and the very rare Quetzal Splendente. Many photographers come to Monteverde to spot this mythological bird, but sightings are more likely in other areas of Costa Rica.


The end of the "flight"

How to dress for the canopy tour and what to bring

All the necessary equipment for the Canopy is provided by the agency before leaving.
Despite this, the rainforest is always humid and it often rains so you can bring a small backpack in which to put a kway to carry around even if it is better to have as little weight as possible so that you can move freely. It is also better to wear long trousers that protect the legs from accidental scratches, as well as it is advisable (but not mandatory) to have long sleeves. Shoes are certainly very important, because the iron platforms can be slippery and it is therefore better to opt for hiking boots or sneakers.
The hands are busy, one is used to brake, so carrying the reflex is really difficult (I brought mine and I practically couldn't use it), while a small compact is definitely better to keep in your pocket and take out at the right time.
The cell phone is better to keep it safe in the backpack: throughout the canopy it is always a few tens of meters from the ground and under the forest it is literally impenetrable so if it should fall it would be impossible to recover it.


Suspension bridges path in the Monteverde forest

Monteverde is not a destination I would recommend going to were it not for the canopy tour: really fun, one of the most beautiful experiences to live in Costa Rica.

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