There are several spots to zip line in Central America, however none better than Monteverde, home to the highest zip line cables throughout Latin America. I hadn’t really contemplated just how high this was when I signed up, but I’m thrilled I got a chance to do this as I absolutely love zip lining!
There are two main companies offering zip line experiences in Monteverde – Monteverde Extremo, and 100% Adventura. Both companies offer very similar activities.
Monteverde Extremo’s main activity is their 14 cable zip line (also referred to as canopy tours) course that includes a superman cable, a rappelling cable, a tunnel cable, a Tarzan swing, and a bungee jump cable too. Horse riding can also be arranged through them.
100% Adventura offer a number of activities including zip lining, ATV’ing, horseback riding, and high altitude suspension bridges. Their zip line course consists of 12 wires, which include a hammock bridge, a rappelling cable, a superman cable, and a gut wrenching mega tarzan swing, which you won’t find me on anytime soon!
My time in Costa Rica was with a G-Adventures group, and whilst seven of us booked a zip lining experience, our group was split between both activity companies due to what we wanted to do. Those interested in booking more than one experience should consider booking an adrenaline package like 100% Adventura offer, as this will save you a few bucks across several activities. I opted to book with Monteverde Extremo. Read on to hear all about it.
Once we arrived on-site, we were suited and booted with our safety equipment consisting of hard hat, googles, leather gloves and most importantly, our harnesses. Strapped up and ready to go, we were given a safety briefing along with a guide on how to position ourselves on the cables (leaning slightly back, knees up, and ankles crossed), and how to use our dominant hand as a brake by directly handling the cable which helps to stabilize your balance.
The zip line course consists of 14 wires which spanned 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) in length. The wires range in distance from 40 meters (131 feet) to 750 meters (2,461 feet), and include 4 cables that are longer than 425 meters (1,394 feet). This was going to be epic!
The scenery was breathtaking – high up in the cloud forests, there was a killer view of all the surrounding lands, and we could see all the way out to the Gulf of Nicoya. There was even a waterfall to be spotted along the way too!
As we were driven to our starting point we were all super pumped to get going. The First 11 Wires were all good fun and one by one we flew from platform to platform. It’s the best feeling to soar through the open rainforest! There were one or two wires where we had the option to ride in tandem, and on the longer of the wires I did this with my friend Jodie. Hopefully Jodie’s hearing has recovered after my single high-pitched scream ran the length of the cable!
Switching things up slightly, the next zip line was a Rappel Wire. I had never rappelled before and had a slight freak out, but watching the others go down one by one, along with the support from the friendly guides, this was actually good fun. The guides took it slow with me and as I broke out into a big grin, they dropped the cable to let me zoom down the last section, and subsequently scream out! Don’t be afraid of it if this is something you have never done before!
Next along the course is an optional Tarzan Swing which was included within the activity. Some of our group did this, but I wasn’t brave enough so I watched from the side as one or two of our troops threw themselves off from the upper platform like a bunch of lunatics. You can watch a video of the Tarzan Swing below!
We continued along the course to the last 3 wires which were the most extreme! I’m loving how many times I can say the word ‘extreme’ in this post! Ha!
First up we had the Superman Zip Line. You have the option to wear a body harness and fly down face first. This wasn’t for me, so instead I went down in tandem with one of my friends letting out an excited yelp as we flew at a height of 180 meters, along a 1 kilometer long cable! This was pretty cool (or some might say scary!), but what you don’t realise is just how far out in the vast landscape you actually are until you’ve already left the platform! It’s important to have a bit of weight on you for this line, so don’t surprised if you are encouraged to go down in tandem, otherwise you’ll be like one of the girls in our group who didn’t make it to the end of the line. One of the guides had to monkey climb backwards along the wire from the final platform to pull her back in!
Next up was the optional Extremo Swing, a super swing that puts the Tarzan Swing to shame. At nearly three times the height of the Tarzan Swing (and almost the same height as the bungee jump), you must be a serious adrenaline junkie to want to do this! The swing cable is 50m long and you will be suspended more than 100 meters high! Blurgh! Note, there is an additional charge for this activity and you do NOT have to do this!
The final wire was pretty cool as we soared along the new Tunnel Cable, again with the option to ride in a superman position or the regular seated position.
You won’t find me anywhere near this, especially as it’s the highest bungee jump in Central America – Argh!! Daredevils can Read more here.