What is a Canopy Tour?
One of the fast growing activities among tourists nowadays is the canopy tour. Just what is a canopy tour? Here are some facts about this popular tourist activity in forested areas.
What is a canopy tour?
The term “canopy” refers to the portion of the forest formed by a plant community or a forest. Originally practiced in Costa Rica, a canopy tour is a tour of the forest canopy using a system of harness and cables to suspend the tourist high above or within a forest. The tour provides the adventurous tourist a different perspective of the forest, high above it, instead of the usual perspective down below. This is a similar perspective when one is riding an airplane or a helicopter, where one gets a good view of lush forest cover with dabs of flowering species forming a beautiful collage of trees, only closer and inexpensive.
Aside from the trees, the canopy tourists will have the opportunity to see and hear the sounds of wildlife inhabiting the aboveground foliage which, characteristically, are not found on the ground below. Birds are more visible as well as mammals that opt to live in the forest canopy either to avoid their predators on the forest floor or to look for fruits and seeds as food on the most productive portion of a tree; that portion exposed to the sun.
The cloud rats, for example, are found frequenting the forest canopy since they are arboreal animals or animals that live up in trees. They need to stay there because they are slow moving and are easily preyed upon by large predators. Also, their food consists of fruits, flowers and seeds of trees. Canopy tourists will have a greater chance of seeing these animals on top of the trees.
Some canopy tours include a swing from tree to tree for the more daring tourists. Others provide a narrow bridge connecting view decks for canopy tourists to take pictures of scenic landscapes as well as plants and animals of the higher elevations.
Canopy tourists can zip from one point to another in different positions. They may soar like superman head on or just hang and slide in a sitting position high above the forest floor. The canopy tourists are given the simple instruction of holding on the cables once in a while to break their speed along the cable. Usually it ends down with a rappel from a tree.
Who originated the canopy tour?
The canopy tour was originated by Darren Hreniuk way back in 1992 to help protect the forests from damaging activities by generating funds out of the activity. He created a unique adventure tour that provides tourists the excitement without necessarily removing or destroying the trees just to create trails for tourists who would want to enjoy the beauty of the forest.
Is it safe?
In Costa Rica, over 1 million tourists have safely soared from tree to tree. The youngest among canopy tourists is 5 years old. In Costa Rica, they have a weight restriction of 265 pounds. Canopy tourists just have to wear long or short pants, sneakers and insect repellent to prevent insect bites or mosquitoes that might be a problem in malaria-infested forest areas.