Monteverde, Costa Rica is one of the most popular zip-lining destinations in the country. This area consists of a dense cloud forest filled with unique flora and fauna. A zip-lining tour here will take you soaring over the lush ecosystem with an aerial view.
We have gone zip lining in Monteverde several times. And, in our opinion, it is the best place in the country to enjoy this activity. We created this guide to give you info on the best zip-lining tours based on your budget and your desired thrill level, let you know what you can expect, and give you advice on how to have the best overall experience.
So, let’s get to planning your Monteverde zip-lining adventure!
Zip Lining Lingo
Before I go into all the different ziplining options, you first need to know about lingo. That way you will have a better understanding of what I am talking about and can easily book the best adventure for your thrill level.
Platform: OK this one is kind of obvious. The platform is where you stand before you zip. A guide will be at each platform while you zip line. They will hook you up to the cable and tell you when you are secure and can jump.
Cable: Cable is the line that you are attached to when zipping from one platform to the other. The length of the zip line cable will vary throughout your tour.
Tarzan Swing: A Tarzan swing is basically a rope swing from a high platform. Don’t worry, you are harnessed in. The initial drop may take your breath away, but then it is very exhilarating!
Superman Swing: A Superman swing is when you go zip lining while lying down and looking out over the jungle below. It may seem a bit scary, but the view is definitely amazing! In the picture above you can see my dad being daring and trying out the Superman ziplines in Monteverde.
Rappeling: Rappeling is when you are attached to a cable and go down the side of a cliff face. In Costa Rica, a lot of the rappelling is done down high waterfalls. This is a popular activity for all you adventure lovers.
Hanging Bridges: Hanging bridges consist of nature trails and suspension bridges that you can walk over. These bridges vary in length and height but they can guarantee a great view! A lot of zip lining parks also have a section of hanging bridges.
Canopy Tour: A canopy tour is just what they sometimes call the zip lining tour in Costa Rica. After all, you are getting an overhead tour of the canopy.
Aerial Tram: An aerial tram is basically like a gondola that takes you up to a higher elevation. This is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the landscape below.
There are several options for your Monteverde zip line tour. Let’s go through all the best places to find the perfect one for you based on thrill level.
Selvatura Adventure Park
Selvatura is one of the most popular canopy tour parks in Monteverde. It is a good place if it is your first time zip lining and for families with children. We have always had a great experience here.
Number of Platforms
There are 13 cables with a total of 2.2 miles of zip lining. The experience here also includes the option to try a Tarzan swing. For an additional cost you can add a Superman style experience on the last cable.
The Selvatura property has:
A Restaurant: Serves soups, salads, sandwiches, mains, and desserts
Lockers: Free to use
and clean restrooms
Other Things to Do
You can add on the option to enjoy…
A Sloth Sanctuary: You can add a visit to the sloth sanctuary to your Selvatura experience. The sanctuary houses 20 sloths that have been rescued from poachers, habitat destruction, illness, and accidents.
Reptile and Amphibian Exhibition: For an extra fee you can visit this exhibition. Here you can see lizards, snakes, and frogs, in Selvatura’s custom-built terrariums.
Butterfly Garden: For an additional fee you can visit the butterfly garden. This facility is home to more than 30 species of Costa Rican butterflies.
Treetop Walkways: We suggest adding the hanging bridge park to your experience at Selvatura. This consists of 1.9-mile trail through the cloud forest trails. There are 8 bridges ranging from 170ft up to an amazing 560ft in length. You can get some of the most beautiful views of the area from here.
Selvatura has a variety of package options. It is best to check their website and find which package is best for you and your travel companions.
Their most comprehensive package is the All-Day Package. This includes:
- Canopy Tour
- Treetop Walkways (Guide not included)
- The Sloth Sanctuary
- Butterfly Garden
- Reptile and Amphibian Exhibition
However, you can also arrange a basic package with just zip lining if you prefer.
Families, first-time zip liners
Children over the age of 4 are able to participate in a zipline tour here.
Free transportation from your hotel and back within downtown Monteverde is included.
For more information and to reserve ahead of time you can check out the Selvatura Park website here.
Booking Your Adventure
The best way to book this is directly through the Selvatura website. They offer the best rates and package varieties. Keep in mind that they allow free cancellation up to 72 hours before your tour.
It is possible to book this activity on Viator. Viator is typically our preferred way to book tours in Costa Rica. However, since Selvatura offers transportation, has a good cancellation policy, and has a secure on-site booking system; it is best to book directly on their site.
Treetopia Park Monteverde
Treetopia Park used to be called Sky Adventures Monteverde. So, if you see reviews for Sky Adventures or Sky Trek somewhere, they are talking about the same place. They also have. allocation in La Fortuna which kept the original name.
I believe it is still run by the same amazing company, just with a new name and branding.
Treetopia stands out as a great place to zip line because of their close attention to the guest experience.
For example, they have an effortless braking system that doesn’t require you to use your hand, they pride themselves in safety, and consider themselves a family-friendly park.
Number of Platforms
7 cables ranging from 460 to 2460 feet in length with a total distance of 1.9 miles.
There is a on-site restaurant and cafe, restrooms, and free lockers for guests to use.
Other Things to Do
This place is super fun and has different experiences than you can have at any other park. Besides zip lining, it is also possible to book an adventure that includes:
Hanging Bridges (Skywalk): You can visit the hanging bridges with a guide or on your own. This bridge walk consists of 6 suspension bridges, ranging from 157 to 774 feet. In total, it is a 1.7-mile trail.
Cableway (Treetram): The cableway is a gondola-like ride up to an elevated point with a guide. Here you can enjoy sweeping views of the cloud forest canopy and learn about the surrounding environment.
Tree Climbing: They also offer a tree climbing adventure. You will get to climb up 5 different trees while harnessed in for safety. At the top, you will get to jump in a controlled free fall descent.
Treetopia offers the chance to customize your experience exactly as you would like. Check out their Build Your Bundle page for more info.
Families that are looking for a fun and safe adventure. Children over the age of 5 are able to participate in zip lining here.
The shuttle service from Monteverde area hotels is not included. However, it can be added on for $10 per person roundtrip.
Additionally, there is a large parking lot that is available free of charge if you have a rental car. The lot is secure, but please don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle just in case.
Booking Your Adventure
The best way to book this activity is directly through the Treetopia website. They have a secure booking platform. You can cancel your reservation up to 48 hours before your tour.
Aventura Adventure Park is perfect for all of you who are looking for a more extreme adventure.
Number of Platforms
10 cables (2 are Superman cables), a hammock bridge, one rappel, and one ride on the Tarzan swing. This place is home to the longest zipline in Costa Rica at 5220 ft (1590 m).
Other Things to Do
100% Aventura also offers a hanging bridge park with guided tours. This consists of about two miles of trails with 8 hanging bridges.
Booking Your Adventure
For this experience, we suggest booking through Viator. The price on Viator is the same as directly on their website.
However, with Viator, you have the added bonus of being able to cancel for free up to 24 hours in advance.
Note that transportation is not included. You will need to drive to the park yourself.
This is the best place for all of you looking for an extremely thrilling zip-lining experience. If this is your first-time zip lining and you are a bit wimpy about heights, this is probably not the place for you.
Number of Platforms:
This zip line experience includes some extreme activities that none of the other parks have.
There are; 11 cables, one Tarzan swing, one rappel, one Subterranean Superman Tunnel, and one aerial Superman.
The cables total over 2.5 miles in length, making it the longest canopy in Costa Rica.
Other Things to Do
They also offer horseback riding tours and wildlife night tours.
Booking Your Adventure
For this experience, we suggest booking directly through the Monteverde Extremo website.
The Original Canopy Tour
The Zip Lining Experience
You will start your trip with a zipline tour over the lush Monteverde canopy.
Next, you will get to rappel 150 feet down to the forest floor.
A ladder system through the middle of a tree will bring you back up into the treetops. Then, you have the option of enjoying a thrilling Tarzan swing free-fall experience.
This adventure includes transportation from your Monteverde area hotel. All you need to do is input your pickup location at checkout.
Booking Your Adventure
I suggest booking this activity through Viator. It has amazing reviews and is a well-established company, but their website is not very well designed or updated. Viator seems to be their main way of making reservations.
Map of the Zip Lining Parks
People often get confused because some things in Monteverde are listed as being in Santa Elena.
Monteverde and Santa Elena are basically the same place.
Monteverde is the overall area, Santa Elena is the name of the main town. So, people use both names somewhat interchangeably.
Here is a map of all the zip line parks to give you a better understanding of their locations.
What to Bring and Wear
Here is everything we suggest bring and wearing on your canopy tour experience.
What to Wear
- A rain jacket
- Lightweight pants: I don’t recommend shorts because they aren’t the best with the harness. I usually opt for sports leggings, but breathable hiking pants would also be good.
- A breathable shirt: Usually it’s a bit cool in Monteverde so I usually go for a long sleeve shirt.
- Close-toed shoes: I usually go for Keen shoes, but sneakers or hiking boots would also be fine. I find that the more lightweight footwear the more comfortable your feet will be for this adventure.
Keep in mind that you will be wearing a helmet. So, ladies, don’t put your hair up nicely that day.
What to Bring
Most places have lockers for free or to rent for a small fee. We suggest bringing…
- A change of clothes: If you would like to go do something else after. Plus, you may get wet if it is a rainy day and want to change.
- A towel: It might not be necessary, but if its raining a lot you might want to dry off. We like microfiber towels for Costa Rica because they can easily fit in your luggage.
- An I.D.: Some places ask for it when you sign safety waiver forms. I usually just bring a photocopy of my passport and leave the original in my hotel safe.
- A full water bottle: You can not bring this while zip lining, but it is nice to hydrate with a full waterbottle once your adventure is done.
- A Dry Bag: We love our dry bag backpack for all our adventures in Costa Rica. But, it is especially great in Monteverde where there is always some rain.
Our Personal Experience Zip Lining in Monteverde
We have gone zip lining here a few times, but I would like to share our first experience to give you a bit more info on what you can expect.
We went zip lining in Monteverde while traveling with a large group of our family and friends after our wedding. In total there were 13 of us looking to tackle a zip lining adventure.
So, the day before our Monteverde canopy tour adventure we all sat down and chose our zip line park of choice. The owner of our hotel strongly recommended Selvatura Park for beginners and Extremo Park for more action.
In the end, all the Germans (except for Thomas who stuck with me) chose Extremo Park and the US crew all chose Selvatura Park. That should tell you something about the adventure level of the Germans vs. the people from the US. 😉
The next day we woke up early to wait for our free transportation to the parks. We opted to go zip lining around 9am so that we could beat the crowds and also so we would still have the rest of our day to do other things.
The buses picked us up about an hour before our scheduled zip lining launch time (probably not the correct terminology haha). This allowed us plenty of time to pick up other zipliners, drive the 30 minutes to the park, and gear up.
Once we arrived at Selvetura we checked in at the front desk. It was there that they asked us if anyone in our group wanted to try the Superman swing for the final cable for a small extra charge. Thomas and my dad both opted to pay the additional fee for the Superman swing.
Next, we put our stuff in the free lockers and headed to the gear room. Oh, and we made sure to use the bathroom one last time before we got our gear on. We were then given hard hats, gloves, and harnesses which a Selvetura employee helped us put on.
Then we were off! We had a short hike to where the first platform was, listened to instructions on the safety measures, and tried to shake our nerves.
The first cable was really short and was meant to give you a little introduction into what you are doing.
After that, the cables got longer. I liked the longer cables because it gave us a chance to really enjoy the spectacular views.
There were also some cables that you could do as a couple.
There was also one in which there were two cables next to each other that you could do as two couples racing.
Then we came to the Tarzan swing. My dad, one cousin, and I all sat this one out. However, the rest of our group went for it. It was so fun to watch everyone’s reactions as they jumped. I’ve never heard my sister scream like she did as she had her free fall from the platform.
We all had a lot of fun and felt completely safe and secure the entire time. The tour guides were also excellent. They had fun with it but were very professional as well. I highly recommend going ziplining in Monteverde at Selvetura. You’ll have a blast!
When we reunited with the German crew they had nothing but great things to say about Extremo Park as well. However, I’m happy I stuck with Selvetura because some of the things they talked about seemed a bit above my thrill level at that time.
So, in my opinion, there is no “best option” for a ziplining tour here. All of the places I listed are great. Instead, you should choose your adventure based on your personal needs.
What to Know Before Zip Lining
- Tipping is not required, but if you have a really good experience with a particular guide, feel free to give them a small tip in US dollars or Costa Rican colones.
- Spanish is the main language in Costa Rica, but don’t worry, the guides at all the main zip lining places will speak English.
- Keep in mind that the motto for life here is “Pura Vida”. This is used to mean “everything is good.” However, it also translates into the lifestyle. Things sometimes run a better slower and more relaxed than you might be used to.
- If your plans are already set, it’s a good idea to book your canopy tour ahead of time. In the rainy season you will have no problem booking your zip line adventure the night before but during the dry season (end of December until mid-May) things can book out ahead of time. Just be warned that some of the companies don’t have any cancellation policy.
- We suggest booking your zip lining adventure for the morning. These parks fill up later in the day.
- All of the companies I listed are very reputable and have great safety records. However, if something doesn’t feel safe or right to you, always trust your instincts. There is no shame in bowing out of an activity if you don’t feel comfortable. Along with that, always check everything quickly yourself. The guides are good, but it is always best to double check that they hooked you up properly.
- Most of these places allow young kids to participate as well. Smaller children will usually be harnessed in with an adult or with the guide. Each place has a different minimum age limit.
- Some of the adventure parks have a maximum weight limit. This is typically about 250 to 300 pounds.
What to Do After
There are so many fun things to do in Monteverde after your zipline experience! Some of the most popular activities are…
Visit the Ficus Tree: This is a fun FREE activity. Head to this spot on Google Maps and walk into the woods until you see this massive ficus tree.
In the past, you could climb all the way to the top, but I guess it is a bit of a safety risk. Now you can only climb up a bit and they blocked the rest with concrete.
Hike at Santa Elena Reserve: The La Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena is a private reserve with hiking trails. This is a great way to enjoy the cloud forest from the forest floor. It is located next to a lot of the zip-lining parks. Find out more here.
Take a Wildlife Night Tour: These tours are great for seeing night active wildlife with an experienced naturalist guide. This guided tour includes the use of a headlamp and sometimes includes transportation from your Monteverde area hotel. You can find out more with our guide to Monteverde night tours.
Our favorite places to grab lunch after a fun-filled adventure are:
In conclusion, Monteverde is the perfect place to enjoy a Costa Rican zip lining adventure. The cloud forest environment is unique and beautiful.
If you have any questions about planning your trip don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out.
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