Monteverde, Costa Rica

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July 4, 2015 by kimberlyfenton

The small town is next to the Cloud Forest and has been built up around the extreme activities which draw tourists in from all over the world. It boasts the longest and highest zip line in the world, and the highest bungee jump in Latin America. Pretty cool, although the town is full of tourists, tourist agencies with mannequins flying outside their shops, and restaurants. Perfect for adventure and adrenaline… just don’t expect the full beauty of Costa Rica.

we experienced the must-do activity in Monteverde, the canopy and zip-lining tour with 100% Aventura. You could tell that this was one of the most popular activities here, as it wasn’t like any of the other tours that we’ve been on with the personal touch of a really friendly guide. Here it was just so efficient, and boom, boom, boom. After the safety briefing we were off on our first zipline, and it was just nonstop from there… no hanging about, almost a pun, after ziplining one line, we landed on the platform, lifted up to get unhooked, and then straight off the same platform onto the next one. Such a buzz!

ZipliningTarzan Swing Platform

There were 9 ziplines and it was so much fun gliding through the rainforest, although you barely had time to take it all in and appreciate the surroundings, as they were so fast. We made our way through the canopy via the ziplines, a really quick rappel which burnt my thumbs through the glove, some hanging bridges and then one long hike up to the top of the mountain to reach the longest zip line in Latin America! Just short of a mile, 1590m long, with a flying time of about 1 minute 40 seconds in the air! The two longest lines that the company had were both done in the Superman position… i.e. no hands! Instead of using our hands to control the speed and provide the brakes, we were hooked on from our backs and bums, and off we went, flying like a bird above the rainforest from one mountain to another… absolutely insane! It was genuinely one of the weirdest feelings I’ve ever had… we were so high above the rainforest and with no control whatsoever. It was so exhilarating, yet at the same time when I reached the middle of the line I did get a little bit frightened, as my dad would say, and my “woohoo” screams turned into little scared yelps. All alone out there, high above the canopy it really was surreal… the views were absolutely incredible, and seeing our shadows way down below, we looked like tiny birds flying.

 

Longest zipline in L.AmericaFlying over the canopy
Tarzan Swing PlatformIs it a bird? Is it a plane?...

The two superman lines were definitely the best, and they seemed to go on forever! The 360 degree view from the line was unbelievable! Flying down the last zipline in the superman position we were able to see the Tarzan Swing! Gulp! To anybody that didn’t already know what to expect, they would’ve believed it to have been a bungee platform; it was so high, and with all the bungee ropes ready for their next victim. The walk from the edge of the mountain to the platform was a daunting one. Essentially a hanging bridge with no destination, we walked the plank one by one and had no idea what to expect. Nor did we have time to think about it, or turn away. Once we were at the edge, and seeing how high up we were for the first time, we were all hooked up and ready to go with the only one instruction “Jus’ hold here and jump.” Before you know it, the gate holding you safely secured was sprung from your waist and the bungee ropes give you no option but to just jump and enjoy the free fall. WOW. IT WAS AMAZING! Given that you don’t get to see anyone doing it before you go, the extent of the drop was completely unexpected and then the bungee ropes catch your fall just as your tummy about reaches your chest and it swings you so high and fast that you really do feel like the jungle man himself. Such a thrill!!!

I went before Sal, and all she could hear were my screams of excitement as I flew through the air and then swung back and forth a couple of times. Then it was Sal’s turn and I was so glad that I had gone first so I could watch her go. I could see from the bottom that she was asking the man lots of questions and asking for her harness to be tightened, whilst being completely ignored, she gets strapped in and bundled to the edge. She was looking down at me like “Kiiim?” and the door jumps wide open, and before you know it, there she went flying, falling and screaming like a mad woman. It was priceless. She loved it and we both wanted to go again straight away! Definitely one of the highlights of the trip! It was just madness and so much fun!

Jacuzzi time!Sunbathing poolside

In the clouds...Macaws
Our stay in Monte Verde was otherwise pretty chilled, with a lot of walking up and down the mountain to the town of Santa Elena and to the sister hotel to use their sunbeds, pool and jacuzzi a couple of times! A short taxi ride away from town is where we went to do the Night Walk Tour.
First Sloth SightingScorpion

I fully recommend this visit, for any nature lovers, it was great. The guide was brilliant and had such an eye. The currency of Costa Rica, Collones, are really pretty with bright colours featuring a different animal on each note, highlighting the variety found in Costa Rica. Sloth, Capuchin Monkey, Shark, Butterfly etc. The first thing we saw was a sloth, which was crazy! Directly translated from Spanish, and Danish, it is called the lazy animal, and with reason. There are two types, 2 toed and 3 toed and they sleep for 16 hours a day, and only come down the tree to go to the toilet once a week. We had a lot of luck on our tour and saw FOUR deadly snakes, and our guide said that he had never seen so many before in one night. We even saw two making some snake lovin’. The pit vipers were a beautiful colour of bright green, and I have no idea how the guide spotted them!
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