Zip lining in Costa Rica is a popular way to view the canopy habitats of many of Costa Rica’s native animals. In Costa Rica, 90% of native animals and 50% of plant species live in the rainforest canopies.
Zip lining has a long history in Costa Rica. In 1979 zip lines were first used to study primates that lived in the canopies of the rainforest. Since then, zip lines have become a soaring attraction for thrill seekers all over the world.
The concern with zip line safety lies in the lack of set regulations for zip line safety. Zip lines are not federally regulated in the United States. In most states, the Department of Labor oversees zip lines, while in Florida and Pennsylvania, it is the Department of Agriculture. Approximately half of all US states have roller coaster or elevator oversight agencies. In Connecticut and Minnesota, the state fire marshal is responsible for oversight. Some states, including Arizona and Virginia, have no state oversight. In these cases, zip lines are subject to city and/or county regulations.
Regulations like these are in place worldwide. Inspectors often review construction schematics instead of inspecting zip lines in person. Leaving the wear and tear of the zip line in the hands of the property owners.
Beyond the zip line itself, there are some other precautions you should take before you soar through the Costa Rican rainforest. Costa Rica’s location near the equator, and the lofty elevations of many of the attractions, add up to extremely intense UV radiation. Protect yourself from the harsh sun rays. Another challenge is that water can wash off sunscreen, leading to hospitalization for sunburns. Heat exhaustion and dehydration can catch you by surprise as well. Many of the adventure tours in Costa Rica are physically demanding, especially in the humid climate where dehydration can occur rapidly.
Additionally, consider the insect and wildlife population that you may encounter while zip lining in Costa Rica. It is recommended that you use DEET or Picardin sprays, or wear long sleeves and pants to avoid bug bites. Snakes, jaguars, crocodiles, and sharks will avoid you if you avoid them.
All of these facts can sound deterring. Overall, zip lining is a safe, fun, family-friendly activity. Before starting the zip lining course, you will receive a brief safety training session to ensure you understand and comply with the safety rules. In addition to a helmet, you must wear gloves throughout the experience.
Before you head to the course, it is recommended that you verify the safety protocols and regulations of the zip line course. Also, you should verify any age or height and weight limitations with the company before you go. To ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip to Costa Rica, it is important to adequately prepare for your adventure.
If you’re planning to visit some of the world’s most stunning sites, Passport Health can assist you in getting started. Call 937-306-7541 or book online to schedule your appointment today.
Written for Passport Health by Brittany Evans. Brittany is a freelance writer and photographer in North Carolina. She has a passion for the outdoors, health information, and traveling. You can find her at her website.