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Wingnuts Canopy Tour – Keeping It All In The Family, And Making You Feel Like Part Of It

Taking a break from her kitchen, Wingnuts matron and administrator Deborah steps outside her home and introduces our guides for the day, Manu and Freddy; Manu is one of her three sons, all of whom work for the family business, and Freddy is a Hojancha native who Deborah affectionately refers to as “[her] other son”. Over 13 years ago these two men personally built the 10 platforms and hung the 11 cables that constitute the Wingnuts Canopy Tour on the family property just outside downtown Sámara, and they have been guiding tours together here ever since.

Both fluent in English and Spanish and providing of a wealth knowledge on local flora and fauna, the dynamic duo make the ideal team to guide any group through this fun, picturesque zip line course right here in Samara’s backyard. Always providing good humor and encouragement, Freddy has the eyes of a hawk and was able to point out various monkeys, iguanas and birds that surely none of us would have spotted on our own. Manu’s patient leadership and seasoned professionalism succeeded in changing unsettled nerves in to exhilarated smiles within the first few minutes of the tour.

Once we’re all geared up we take a short scenic walk on a path which ends at a hanging bridge leading up to the first platform where Manu provides us with a thorough explanation of the tour, proper zip lining technique and safety precautions. Before you know it, we’re all ‘oohs and aahs’ as we soar from Guanacaste to Panamá (the tree species of course, not the actual locations) and no matter where you look, up or down, left or right, there’s always something to feast your eyes on.

About halfway through the tour, we all settle down on a platform with one of the best views of Sámara Beach I have ever seen; Chora Island, the reef, the sky, the hills, the bay, the sand, it’s all there. Manu and Freddy put out a nice spread of fresh pineapple, watermelon, organic whole wheat cookies, bottled water and mixed fruit juice for us to snack on while we take it all in and rehash the first part of the tour. Tasty wholesome food, good company and awesome photo ops while perched high in the rainforest on the Costa Rican coastline…not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

I have done larger scale zip lining tours in the past, and what our local tour may lack in extremism it makes up for in personalization. Rather than running an assembly line of nameless tourists through a labyrinth of cables without any idea of where they are or what’s around them other than great heights, Wingnuts takes the time to get to know their guests, familiarize them with the names of surrounding trees, animals, insects, and provide them with landmarks they can relate to as points of reference throughout the tour. As an added bonus, on the last two cables Wingnuts guests are given the options of gliding down in the traditional zip line position (right side up, feet first) or the more adventurous can go for it upside down and backwards, even spinning in circles! And just when you think that the fun is over, Manu and Freddy have one more trick up their sleeve…I don’t want to ruin the surprise, you’ll have to go on a tour and find out for yourself!

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