One of the most popular Costa Rica activities is the zip line (otherwise known as a wire slide or flying fox) tour, where you slip on a safety harness, clip on to a wire and rocket from one tree-top platform to the next, hoping not to plummet to the forest floor 80m below.
There are close to a hundred operators in the country but choose wisely and not necessarily the cheapest – there is a safety factor involved, so ensure that equipment is in good shape, fits snugly and your guides are sensible and sober.
Skytrek (3hrs, 2km/1. 25m) in Monteverde (private) Park offers the biggest wire slide, including one 400m slide, with 80m suspension bridges.
Surfing off Playa Dominical, a small and relaxed town on the southern Pacific coast. Photo by Haru Master.
When to surf Dominical beach: April through August the waves are clean and the swells come rolling in constantly. September through December there is still a good swell but the weather can be unpredictable.
There are often good waves on the Pacific side at Pavones (South), Boca Barranca, Playa Jaco and Doña Ana (centre) and Playa Tamarindo (NW, Peninsula de Nicoya) and on the Caribbean at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Boards are available to rent.
Arenal Volcano is currently the liveliest cone in the world and has mini-eruptions hourly while the neighbouring town of La Fortuna offers loads of activities, including Arenal treks.
A Costa Rica ‘hanging bridge’ in the Monteverde cloud forest. Photo by Haakon Krohn
Alternatively for those who wish for more forest study and less speed, canopy tours include high suspension bridges (sometimes known as sky-walks) and platforms from where travellers can eyeball wildlife horizontally, getting a far better view of monkeys and birds than is possible from the ground.