COSTA RICAN ZIPLINING
Wanting to experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica in an extreme way? Chiclet Zipline Company invites you and your family during your next vacation! Considered by many as one of the best tours in the area, book your zipline canopy tour in advance to ensure your adventure! Chiclets Zipline is conveniently located right off of the Pan-American highway in Playa Hermosa, the town 5 minutes away from the city of Jaco Beach and 15 minutes from Marriott Los Suenos. If you are heading South towards Manuel Antonio National Park, Dominical, or Golfito, give your legs a break and let them dangle above the rainforest while enjoying ocean views of world class waves.
A Thrilling/Cultural Experience
Costa Rica zip line, also known as Canopy Tour, is one of the best activities to do as a family while visiting Costa Rica! Fly from tree to tree at 30 miles per hour on 14 cables that run through the tropical mountains and stretch along the coast. With such an incredible landscape created from the perfect combination of lush rainforest vegetation and the ocean breeze, there is simply no better way to fly than this.
The zipline was born in Costa Rica from the work of scientists; in their eagerness to determine the biodiversity and characteristics of the flora of certain places, tied cables to the canopy of trees, which allowed them to make observations at high altitudes of leafy forests.
Chiclets Zipline was built in 1990 and was one of the first ziplines made in Costa Rica. The name derives from the forest the canopy navigates through. Among the great variety of wild species used for raw material in the construction of the zipline, is the chicozapote or xicotzapoti, also known as “gum tree” (Manikara Zapote). This is an evergreen tree that reaches the height of 40 m. Originally from the tropical rainforests of the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and Belize, the species is now found throughout Costa Rica, and is the tree that the platforms and cables are supported by in our canopy, Chiclets Zipline.
Fun Fact- The Mayans were the ones that began collecting the sap of the chicozapote. After a drying process, they obtained a gum that they used to clean their teeth, mouth, and chewed to inhibit hunger during fasting rituals. The rise of chewing gum throughout the world came much later when Thomas Adams noted that Dictator Antonio Lopez of Santa Ana would pull apart and chew small pieces of “gum bread” which was made using the bark of the chicozapote tree. Adams recognized a business opportunity and imported 2300 kilos of raw material that he then turned into little balls; the production of chewing gum as we know it today began.
Further, Chiclets Zipline is built amongst a tropical rainforest within a primary forest. Tropical rainforests host great biodiversity making it one of the most attractive ecosystems in Costa Rica. Rainforests in Costa Rica are home to pumas, jaguars, tiger, deer, sloths, monkeys, tapir, toucans, trogons, hummingbirds, snakes, frogs, and a variety of different plants such as orchids, ferns, mosses, lichens, and thousands of others. The most common animal sightings at Chiclets include monkeys, sloth, deer, toucan, and frogs, though it is always possible to see any of the other exotic beings.
A primary forest is an expression that refers to a pristine forest that is in its original condition. It has not been touched and has been relatively unaffected by human activities. A primary rainforest is usually characterized by having a completely closed canopy and some understory layers. The soil is generally free of dense vegetation, because the canopy allows the penetration of very little light, which is necessary for the growth of plants. Occasionally, when a canopy tree falls, a temporary light path is opened and this allows the growth of soil and understory species. Primary forest is the most biologically diverse type of forest.
Understanding this information before doing the zipline tour allows one to view the experience in a different way. Enjoy the thrill of flying to and from the historical chicozapote trees, take in the biodiverse beauty of the rainforest, while recognizing the once in a lifetime opportunity of being in a primary forest.
If you find yourself intrigued by the forest, we also offer hikes that allow you to explore the dense fauna, flora, and wildlife at ground level. One could spend hours away from civilization just exploring the exotic wilderness of Costa Rica. For more information on this, please contact us!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the maximum weight for the zip lining tour?
The maximum weight for the zipline tour is 230 pounds if you are less than 6 feet. If you are taller than 6 feet and weigh more than 230 pounds, there is a chance that a harness will fit you. The issue here is not the capacity of the cables, the issue is the width of the harness. We have harnesses ranging in size from S-XL. Depending on the structure of the individual, as long as the harness fits correctly, you will be able to make the tour. If you have additional questions/concerns about this, please call/email us ahead of time and we will work with you to ensure your safety.
What is the age limit to make the zip line tour?
The minimum age to make the tour is 5 years. The child must be able to decide that they are able to complete the route and are willing to travel each cable with a guide. We do not require a maximum age, but will take into account the physical and health status of each individual; this includes the consideration to restrictions of people with heart disease, high blood pressure, and pregnant women.
Is there a lot of walking involved on the tour?
After harnessing up at the office, we will take a truck to the top of the canopy and walk from the truck to the first platform. The cables will leave you about 200 m from the office, which we will be walking. Total, you will walk about 400 m.
How does the Costa Rica zip line work?
Zip lining is an adventure sport for which it is possible to glide from one point to another using safety equipment such as harnesses, helmets, gloves and pulleys. The assigned guides will give you a safety talk in which they will inform you on how you will work together, guides and tourists, to carry out the tour in a fun and safe way.
Am I going alone on the zipline?
The Chiclet’s Zipline tour includes a minimum of two trained guides who will accompany participants during the route. The guides will manage the group by overseeing the process of getting safely from cable to platform, etc. Once on the platform, the guide will place the passenger on the cable and the passenger will cross on the cable alone until he/she reaches the next platform. In the case of being nervous, there is the option of traveling the cables with a guide.
How much weight does the equipment and cables resist?
All of the equipment used are zipline quality certified and are purchased from recognized brands around the world. The breaking point of the equipment, such as harnesses, carabiners and lingas, is 22 knots (approximately 4,800 pounds). The cable has a resistance of 6,800 kg (approximately 15,300 pounds).
What to Wear/Not to Wear
- You must wear sports clothes and tennis shoes.
- We will be in a jungle full of shade, therefore sunscreen is unnecessary!
- Please do not use mosquito repellent- it affects the wildlife.
Description of the Equipment Used During the Canopy
Helmets: The use of this instrument is extremely important and mandatory. Its function is to protect the head of the canopy practitioner from any eventuality, blow, and even to prevent the hair from becoming entangled with the pulleys.
Gloves: Protects hands from bumps or cuts that may occur during the performance of the activity.
Pulleys: It is a mechanical device that serves to balance the necessary strength and the mobilization of weight will be easier and faster.
Harnesses: Essential equipment for personal use that hold your body. This serves as an anchor for the connection point (located on the back of the harness) and the pulleys.
Lifelines: A much-needed tool in the safety chain. Its function is to connect the connection point of the harness to the pulley system. In order to conduct canopy, you will use two lifelines for safety reasons, both sized differently, one fixed and one that is adjustable according to the size of the traveler and can slide without any inconvenience.
Carabiners: Metal rings with a clip opening that serve as a connector to the lifelines. Both stainless steel and aeronautical aluminum carabiners are used in canopy.
Costa Rica zip line - Thank You!
Thank you for visiting us at Chiclets Costa Rica Zipline Canopy Tour in Playa Hermosa, Jaco Beach. We are excited to count you as a customer. Our goal is to always provide our very best product to ensure a happy experience for all! We strive to improve and grow, which is why we value your feedback; honest reviews are appreciated on any of our platforms. Please take the time to share your experience with us on Facebook, TripAdvisor, and/or Google.
MORE ON THE HISTORY OF THE ZIPLINE
Costa Rica was one of the first and is amongst a small collection of countries that saw the canopy tour take off as an adventure tourism activity. Therefore, it is no coincidence that a Costa Rican achieved the Guinness Book of World Records for accomplishing the longest canopy on the planet.
It is not known for sure who invented the zip line. Before becoming the fun activity we know today, initially, zip lines were used to move food and people, and were also used as survival methods.
Used since 1700, particularly in mountain areas, the Tirolesas, or canopies, have functioned as a method to cross rivers, ravines and other natural obstacles. In the interior of Australia, the zip lines, also known as Flying Foxes, were used as a way to bring food, tools, and other essential items to workers who were working in remote areas of the country.
The inhabitants of the Himalayas were using ropes and cables since ancient times as a quick and easy way to transport them throughout extreme terrains.
Later in 1992, El Curandero the movie, popularized the sport by using zip lines to capture amazing photos.
Once popularized, Zipline spread to be used throughout sports and even is used today as a rescue technique. Firefighters, police officers, and various rescue groups use Ziplining as a way to save lives.
In Costa Rica, the story of this activity is rather recent- born in the mid 80's with the book, Live Above the Jungle Floor published by The Drowsy Book. This book virtually becomes a project manual for building a Zipline. The story navigates the reader through a description of the first Zipline in Costa Rica, which was built at La Selva Biological Station in Sarapiquí in the province of Heredia. Since then, Ziplining in Costa Rica has become the number one tourist activity out of a wide range of sports and adventure activities offered throughout the country.
Being an activity with origins in Costa Rica and with its popularity on the rise, the Zipline has become an expert product. There is nowhere on earth with as many Zipline or Canopy Tours as there are in Costa Rica. There is a Zipline every 270 km2 or every 16 km of distance. There is a concentration of Ziplines located in touristy places like Monteverde, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, and Arenal. Meaning, if you are coming to Costa Rica, you will have no issue finding a Zipline!
Going along with the expert product theme, if we take into account that each project works on average 12 people, in turn giving Costa Rica a total of 2400 direct jobs and 10000 indirect jobs- some of these being taxi drivers, transporters, receptionists, and tour salesmen. The business of Ziplining in Costa Rica achieves slight economic democratization. This happens when all actors who participate directly and indirectly are benefited from this activity. Of course, the economic benefits for all are based on excellence in quality and in customer service.
In other words, Ziplines are found in many forms and are often used for entertainment, especially throughout Costa Rica. Enjoy one while you are here!