There are mandatory experiences in a traveller’s life: skydiving in New Zealand, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, eating ice cream in Italy and Zip-lining in Monteverde. You can’t get around it. The question is not ‘Will you do it?’, but ‘When will you do it?’ So, here are a few insights and tips for your next trip to Costa Rica. Oh yes, by the way, leaving the country without having visited the mountain village Monteverde would be like deciding against zip-lining, so don’t even think about skipping it! It’s one of the Must-Sees, Must-Have-Dones that you can check off your Things-To-Do-Before-I-Die-List. So, please don’t be ridiculous, here is how it works.
Finding the right company for Zip-lining in Monteverde
All tour companies offer more or less the same program: 14 zip-lines, one ‘Superman’, one Tarzan Swing and a Rappel. (Don’t worry, we will explain the different types later on). They all pick you up at your hotel/hostel in Monteverde and bring you back afterwards. The tour takes about 3-4 hours, so make sure you bring some water, our company did not have water included which would have been nice as it got hot and humid during our trip…
When you get to Monteverde, take your time and walk around the small village. You can compare each offer according to price and size of the group. We decided in the end to go with the tour company called ‘Extremo‘ because it sounded simply tempting to even put an extra bit of extreme adrenaline rush to it. We paid 50 USD which included the pick-up and transfer to the park area, the equipment and the transfer back.
What you can expect when you go Zip-lining in Monteverde
It goes without saying that this is a day filled with fun. I laughed a lot and screamed many times from the bottom of my lungs. Nervous, sweaty hands can be a common symptom, but once you’ve started and gone down your first couple of zip-lines, then you get literally the hang of it and understand that it is not as scary as it looks. Oh and the best part is that you fly above extremely beautiful scenery which makes this rush even more fun! Look down, that’s really breathtaking!
Although the canopy is not inside the main nature reserves like those of other companies, the views are extremely amazing. On top of that, it has the longest lines that are almost 3.2 kilometres (2 miles) in total. The individual zip-lines are between 40 meters (131 feet) to 750 meters (2,461 feet) long, including 4 cables that are longer than 425 meters (1,394 feet). You will walk many stairs and up a hill in order to make it from one end to the next line. It’s a great way to get to know the rest of the group, as we were about 15 people from all over the world lining up for the next zip line. 🙂
When you make it through the first 10 Lines, suddenly you are supposed to leave your metal hooks in a bucket, as you won’t need them when you go down the Tarzan Swing. Imagine a bungee jump, but with your head up and feet down, plus you are holding on to the rope (all secured, of course). Well, like Tarzan you swing around after a jump off the platform and a free-fall of about 9 meters… it really is not for the faint of heart and made me scream again – I now understand why Tarzan did not swing in silence!
The highlight at the end is the so-called Superman which simply means that you are now ready to turn onto your belly and rush down the line with open arms as if flying like, well, Superman of course. Since we went with Extremo, our very last zip line even took us through a tunnel that was recently built to give you an extra bit of rush right at the end. Yet, for me, nothing topped the great scenery that we were able to look at throughout the whole time. All in all, we had fun, laughed and screamed a lot and definitely would go back to do it again!
If you love adventure activities, you might like our post about Sailing in Nicaragua. But first tell us, have you been to Costa Rica? And did you go Zip Lining in Monteverde?