An exploration of the origins of jungle canopy ziplining leads to a tangled web of claims and a fascinating story in the heart of Costa Rica.
The canopy zipline was invented in Sarapiquí in 1979 by a U.S. biologist named Donald Perry to study the rain forest canopy. Eighteen years later, a Canadian entrepreneur named Darren Hreniuk opened the first canopy tour to the public in Monteverde, and then patented the technology.
Years of litigation followed as Hreniuk tried to protect his patent, while other operators argued that zipline technology was in the public domain. Regardless of legal wrangling, the canopy tour industry born in the Costa Rican rain forest soon spread like wildfire to the rest of the world.