Ziplining Above the Rainforest
Canopy ziplining has rapidly emerged as a popular tourist activity in the Caribbean since its commercial introduction in the early 1990s. The sport combines the exhilaration of a thrill ride with an opportunity to view spectacular scenery from a unique perspective.
Long before ziplining was a recreational pursuit, however, it served as a means of transportation. The first zipliners were residents of isolated mountain communities who used heavy ropes tied to trees to cross rivers and canyons. Mountain climbers eventually employed the technique. European alpinists are generally credited with developing the early equipment that ultimately formed the basis of ziplining.
Costa Rica, with its extensive system of national parks and proud tradition of environmentalism, emerged at the forefront of eco-tourism and ziplining. By the early 1990s, canopy ziplining had gained a foothold in Costa Rica's eco-tourism industry. The concept proved to be a hit, and new complexes soon spread throughout the Caribbean and beyond.
As a participant, you can expect to be given a safety helmet and a pair of thick leather gloves. For your comfort and protection, you should wear snug-fitting closed-toe shoes, such as sneakers. Plan on wearing a t-shirt to protect your skin from being chafed by the riding harness. If you have long hair, you'll want to secure it in a ponytail. You'll also want to make sure that any possessions you're carrying are contained in pockets that are buttoned up or zipped tight. With just a few precautions, you can ensure that your ziplining experience will leave you wanting more.
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