A canopy tour is an established route through a wooded and often mountainous landscape making primary use of zip-lines and aerial bridges between platforms built in trees. Tourists are harnessed to a cable without interruption throughout the entire tour for safety. Although canopy tours date back far back into history for their civil and even scientific uses they are now used primarily for recreation and fun and have become part of the adventure tourism industry.
Types of Canopy Tours
There are hundreds of zip-line tours across five continents to date, but are particularly popular in México, Costa Rica, Thailand, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Cambodia and other countries with jungles or rainforests. Costa Rica was the original location for canopy tours and as such there are a high number available there. Canopy tours are available in other areas throughout North America, Europe, Africa and Australasia.
Canopy tours often include a jeep or hike tour to the zipline site during which a guide tells you about wildlife and flora. At some mountain resorts, the ziplines are near the base of summer-green ski slopes and the first zipline is reached via a chairlift. These guided tours often last from one to three hours depending on the tour company. It will often include accommodation, meals, transport other activities such as rafting, mountain climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
Ecology and Conservation
Canopy tours are part of the burgeoning ecotourism industry and are often marketed as being environmentally-friendly. Whether they are or not is a whole other question. They require the construction of several platforms supported by trees far above the ground.