Hello, friends. COSTA RICA: Zip Lining!! First, before you read any further I want you to watch the VIDEO below!!! It is going to be much better than my post, I promise. OK, have you done that? You may now proceed (sarcastic undertone and a devilish smile).
I am not even sure how and where to start this post. Monteverde has so much to offer and since we were only there for under 24 hours I cannot possibly do it justice in one post, but I will do my best. Our plan is to return several times and maybe (if we are lucky) live there for a couple of months. How cool would that be? Although we would never be able to come off the mountain to pick any guests up since the road is crazy and unpaved for most of the way. I think mom’s exact words were, “I don’t know if I will be able to visit you here.” Now, in her defense there were some tense traffic moments on our descent. Don’t worry, Will got it all on video, but that is for another post. I envision there being an entire post, with a video of course, completely dedicated to road conditions, crazy drivers, pot holes, disappearing roads, unpaved adventures and much, much more. The idea is that you experience it as we do, right?
For the sake of this post, let’s chat about Costa Rica zip lining and suspension bridges today. Have you ever zip lined? Four years ago Will and I did it for the first time in Belize. We spent an entire afternoon zip lining through the trees and I could not image anything more spectacular, until we did it in Costa Rica. Zip lining ABOVE the trees beats zip lining THROUGH them any day.
This adventure was a birthday gift for Largo, but I like to think of it as a birthday gift for all of us (giggle). After I consulted my resources (aka Facebook Costa Rica groups) we came to the conclusion that if we were going to do this then we needed to GO BIG! I don’t believe one can go bigger than traveling up a windy dirt road for hours to the top of a mountain in the Cloud Forest of Monteverde. You only live once.
We booked our canopy tour (as they are referred to in CR) through Selvatura Park in Monteverde. The whole process took only a few minutes online, it was uneventful and seamless.
On the morning of our big adventure, a Selvatura van picked us up (included in our price) at our airbnb.com rental and off we went. After gathering several other guests and a twenty-minute drive up the mountain we arrived at the base lodge. The check-in and gear up process was very efficient.
Overall the experience was amazing. We were literally zooming above the tree tops at lighting fast speed (ok, maybe not quite as fast as lightning). For those of you who are starting to panic and want to ask me if I was scared the answer is yes, no, yes, no. I was never scared of the idea of zip lining. I had done it before and I knew what to expect, but I will say this is not for a person who has a fear of heights, NO AT ALL! My fear was more about the harness and if someone had a bad day at the office in this profession I could end up dead. The drop below us was longer than the length of a football field and an airlift would be necessary if there was an accident. Also, there were a couple of lines that got some serious speed. Luckily, they showed us a handy technique to manually slow down. I had to use it a couple of times. Finally, when we were arriving into a stop zone I felt like I would hit the tree every time. I never once hit a tree, but every single time I am sure I made that face (check out the pic at the end of the video). So, was I scared, yes, no, yes, no. Ha.
How about the rest of the family? Largo said that it looked scary, but actually it was not. Avalon said she was not scared at all. Mom was a bit concerned with the speed on a couple of lines. Will, well, he claimed he was not scared, but if you check out the video on Instagram of his Tarzan jump you will hear him using some profanity (in Spanish of course) and a bit of a yelp.
My only complaint would be that we were a bit rushed through the experience. Now, I did not want to sit and have tea (although that would have been nice), but a little more organization for the departure process when a family is involved would have been appreciated. Our kids, being the thrill seekers they are took off to lead the pack behind the guides while we were left to scramble through people in order to catch up. We probably should have had a better handle on the situation as well, but who really wants to hold back a child eager and willing to take an adventure. After a brisk walk we arrived at the first line to see our kids strapped in and waving goodbye. I am sure it was easier for smaller families or individuals to engage in each persons lift off, but for large families this was a challenge.
Once our tour was complete we were starving and parched. We retreated to our locker to refresh ourselves and then took a peek at the photos. We never buy the package deals, but in this case they got better pictures than I did (check out the video to see their pictures). I thought for $30 it was a good deal considering what they charge in the US for these type of pics. Don’t even get me start on Discovery Cove in Florida.
We ended our tour with some walking on the suspension bridges. Cool!!! We could not do the entire tour because of our shuttle departure, but what we did see was amazing. Our senses were enlightened. We heard some of the most beautiful bird songs and saw many colorful flowers, bugs and even a Pizote (a member of the raccoon family). If you go be sure to give yourself enough time for the suspension bridges; they are truly worth it.
- Bring a small backpack and try to carry as little as possible on the tour. The equipment can get heavy and less is more. They do have lockers on site which we found to be very handy.
- Bring water on the tour. Even though it is relatively short, you will want a drink after some of the climbs to the lines.
- Wear a rain coat or poncho. It is pretty misty and it can get a little chilly at the top.
- Don’t be afraid to take your kids. They allow them as young three if the parent is on board.
- Scream when you go down the line. It feels so good.
- If you have a Go Pro, video camera, phone with video, etc bring it. You will love the footage.
- The Tarzan swing has quite a drop and has been know to cause a little motion sickness.
- If you do the Superman fly on the last zip line make sure someone is at the other end taking a picture. This is the closest you will come to being a super hero and you want it on video.
- Be aware that there is a photographer on some of the lines and if you make ugly faces (like me) they will be captured and then your husband will put them in his video.
- The gloves stink (bad) and so will your hands. There is nothing you can do about it so just deal with it.
- Make sure you give yourself enough time to relax and enjoy the suspension bridges. I suggest even packing a picnic and hanging out for lunch.
Would we do it again? Absolutely. Selvatura was wonderful, but Costa Rica is a big country, so we would likely try a view from another location in Costa Rica.
What is the most exciting family adventure you have done? Was it scary for any of your family members?