If you could possess one super hero power, what would it be?
While I have yet to find a way to walk through walls, turn invisible or have the strength to lift a Panzer VIII Maus, I have uncovered a way to fly like a bird! How? Above the Costa Rican rain forest for only $45 US dollars! Talk about an adventure at the best price!
Straddling the Continental Divide at 1440 meters (4662 ft), the Monteverde Cloud Forest area offers one of the most interesting places to visit in Costa Rica. The forest is boosting with over 2,500 species of plants (including 450 kinds of orchids), 450 species of birds and innumerable reptiles and mammals, including: jaguars, tapirs, coatis, toucans, sloths, agoutis, howler monkeys, tarantulas, poison dart frogs and the famous resplendent quetzal. Within the immense flora and fauna, situated high up in the tree tops, lies an exciting offering where you can fly above the forest and through the clouds on Costa Rica’s premiere canopy experience.
The adventure begins with the canopy guides harnessing you with the all the appropriate equipment and going over all of the safety procedures. Then you’re off to the first of thirteen cables and sixteen platforms assembled up to 150 feet above the forest floor – sufferers of Acrophobia beware! As if that isn’t enough, there is a surprise at the end of this adventure; but more about that later.
Climbing up to the first platform is an overwhelming experience. The first emotion you may encounter is fear as the platform tends to make relatively loud creaking noises that intensify the higher up you get. The smell from endless vegetation lingers in the air. The restricted air movement combined with the high altitude is enough to make your body work harder than usual to get oxygen deep into the lungs. But, the view from the top of the platform is enough make you want to sell all your possessions back home and relocate to this newfound utopia.
You can choose to fly solo or opt for “taxi service,” meaning one of the guides will go along with you for the ride. As soon as you are strapped to the cable, the guide will tell you hold on to the line with your stronger arm for balance and speed control. Your other arm is used to balance your weight by holding on to the centre strap that connects you to the cable. After you’re strapped in, you have approximately three seconds to reconsider before you are forced to take the plunge. Stepping off the platform is the hardest part because after that, there is no turning back. You quickly pick up speed as you fly over tree tops and into the clouds. As the wind brushes across your face and forest floor comes and goes, you feel liberated. As you soar through the sky, your depiction of freedom takes on a whole new meaning.
Twelve cables and fifteen platforms later, you come face to face with the last and most exciting cable of all. Stretching 1 km, it is the longest in the country and has you flying at 50 km an hour. You are required to partner up for this one, as the weight of two people is necessary to get from one side of the cable to the other. Having someone else with you makes the journey that much more special because no mater how many times you try to explain this experience, there really are no words.
If you are looking for more adventurous and water activities to take part in during your trip to Costa Rica, why not try stand up paddling boarding or canyoning? Whatever adventure you choose, you’re guaranteed a memorable time!
Have you gone zip-lining before? If so, where?