“We were swinging through the air like Tarzan “… and flying through the jungle on zip lines!
My heart was pounding as I inched closer and closer to the edge of the Tarzan swing platform. The 50-foot cable cinched tight to my harness, my belly pressed against the gate that held me back. Finally, the gate swung open and “swoosh”. Before I could swallow I was starting my backswing from atop the jungle canopy enjoying a tremendous rush, swinging back and forth until coming to rest on the platform on the jungle floor. It was about 40 feet below the ledge where the next zip liner was being strapped in.
If adventure seeking is what turns you on, then this is definitely one thrill you’re not going to want to miss when in Costa Rica!
We were relaxing at a beautiful roadside bungalow just outside of the friendly little town of La Fortuna. The grounds were lined with date trees and huge spider plants that look like something out of a storybook…. at least compared to the ones sitting on my coffee table back home.
No reservations were necessary at Hotel Sueno Dorado, about $35 U.S. a night per person. The family owned roadside accommodation featured small cabins and offered a great view from the base of the magnificent Arenal volcano. It also featured a soothing hot spring pool… compliments of the underground springs heated by hot lava below the surface edge of the eye-popping cone-shaped mountain.
The following morning we were enjoying a delicious complimentary breakfast of fresh local eggs, rice, black beans and fruit. The owner approached us with a special for the zip line tour located just down the road. The offer was $55 U.S., a great deal for two and a half hours of adventure upon the side of this amazing geological masterpiece. The Eco-Glide zip line shuttle picked us up at 10:45 a.m. sharp and we were on our way to the canopy tour site.
After being harnessed up with safety straps and helmets, we got a quick lesson on a small practice cable set-up. This was our safety training before making our way up the side of the volcano. On the ride up we saw two-toed and three-toed sloths, and several native Costa Rican birds including the white hawk and a toucans. Howler monkeys could be heard in the background as the feel of a real jungle permeated my body and mind.
The jungle on the side of the Arenal volcano is a perfect location for a world-class zip line tour. Once we were up the side of the mountain and into the old growth jungle, we were ready to take on the 12 cables and an (optional) Tarzan swing mid-way down. The adrenaline ran on every ride while clipping along from platform to platform. Some were 80 to 100 feet in the air and we made speeds of about 35 miles an hour.
I was first in line and had no indication of what I was about to experience. The crew was edging me closer and closer to end of the platform. My belly was pressed against the gate when it flung open…. and down I went….and then up…. way up… into the top of the jungle canopy! I swung back and forth until coming to a stop on the platform below. WOW… I can’t wait to do it again.
Nothing was more exhilarating than the Tarzan swing!
The swing was the halfway point of the canopy tour. We continued traversing down the volcano with the last 6 cables. One of which was 1400 feet long and offered a magnificent view of the volcano foothills and valley below.
It was truly breathtaking!
When we arrived at the final landing platform, it was just a short walk to home base where we were given a beverage of our choice. A CD of photos taken during our adventure was available to purchase.
One couple in our group claimed that this zip line adventure was the finest they had experienced out of about thirty different places around the world they had tried. I thought to myself…. this one is going to be hard to top!
If you find yourself in the Lake Arenal area of Costa Rica looking for a great adventure…. be sure to find the “Eco Glide” canopy tour and brace yourself for an experience you won’t soon forget!
The tours run daily and are easy to get hooked up with through – Anywhere Costa Rica
Guest Post By: Jed Vaughn
Jed Vaughn is a Travel Writer and Copywriter. Completing the 2014 Travel Writers workshop by Great Escape Publishing, he has gone on to become a published writer in Northwest Travel and Life Magazine, Travel Dreams Magazine, Lighthouse Digest, and is a regular contributor for Coffeesphere.com. He is also doing copywriting for web content. He enjoys flying drones and aerial photography, playing guitar, and spending time in Mexico and other destinations.