Health and Safety

This region is Costa Rica's capital of adventure tourism—it gave birth to the zipline canopy tour—so any risks up here are far more likely to be natural than criminal. Before you set out rafting, ziplining, rappelling, or bungee jumping, be brutally frank with yourself about your abilities, your physical condition, and your fear levels: it's almost impossible to turn back on many excursions once you've started. Even an activity as innocuous as hiking or horseback riding poses a certain amount of risk, and you should never go alone. Nature here is not an amusement park.

Remember also that there is little government oversight of adventure tourism here. Pay close attention during any safety briefings and orientation. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be afraid to walk away if something seems off to you. Look for zipline tours with built-in brake systems, double cables, and chest harnesses in addition to the normal waist harness. Many companies include GoPro helmet mounts so you can document your canopy adventure hands-free. If you have travel insurance, make sure it covers action sports or adrenaline activities—most standard packages do not cover injuries related to kayaking, horseback riding, ziplining, kitesurfing, or other such sports.

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