One of the things I love about living in Costa Rica is the beautiful array of wild life, especially the vast variety of birds. I remember when I was a kid about 5 years old, I used to look up in the sky when I heard the screech of a hawk and watched as he was soaring on the thermal drafts barely flapping a wing and thought to myself, boy I would love to be able to do that, how cool would it be to fly like a bird.
Now I am sure everyone has heard of zip lining, you know strapped to a cable strung over a river or thru the canopy of the jungle. This is a major draw that tourist and locals love to do here in Costa Rica, me too.
I had been coming to Costa Rica as an investor and vacationer since 1999, and although it was a cool thing to try, I was always hesitant about stepping off of some platform 300 feet in the air over a ravine while my life was dependent on a metal cable. Yes I know it is safe and I am not what you call an adrenaline junkie; I have acrophobia ever since I fell out of a tree when I was 10 and now I tend to be a chicken about stuff like this so I never did it for many years.
About four years ago and client of mine was back in Costa Rica enjoying the home they bought and asked me to go on a full day adventure tour with them. They said they were heading up to the Ricon De la Vieja volcano area to one of the many places that do this kind of stuff; you know horseback riding floating down a river in an inner tube, mud bath, hot springs and of course zip lining. I was a reluctant and finally said sure I’ll go, thinking I can always skip the zip line part.
Ha, that was a mistake in the thought process, we actually rode the horses up the mountain to where the zip lining took place. At this point, I was like “holy crap now what do I do now? What have I gotten myself into?” So after getting all the gear on and asking more questions that you could find in an immigration office, I was somewhat ready to try my first-time zip line.
One by one the entire group I was with got hooked up to the wire and off they went, just the sound of the wire humming was starting to make my knees weak, Ok you can call me what you want, I told you I was a bit of a chicken. Well after the last person headed off the guide turned to me and said” ok buddy boy estas listo?” Ready? “Heck no, I am not ready are you sure I can’t just walk back down the mountain and meet you guys at the bottom”. The guide just looked at me and laughed, he said he had been doing this for 10 years and he has never seen one person on this zip line tour get hurt let alone die so don’t be scared.
Scared I said, I am not scared to die, it is the fall that scares the “you know what” out of me. The Guide looked at me pointed with his finger to the edge and said “ come on you will have a blast”. I hesitantly walked up to him and followed the instructions, all hooked up to the line and his last minute advise was Just have fun. With his last words of HAVE FUN I felt his hand on my back pushing me off the plate form.
At first my heart felt like is stopped and I had 3 Adam’s apples in my throat, as I continued down the line I started to scream and yell with such joy and excitement I felt like that little kid again. By the time I reached the next platform I was hooked it took only one line to get me over my fear of heights and falling. It was incredible. I now do as many zip lines as possible in the area and am going to tell you about the best one I have ever been on.
Located just a short 20 minutes’ drive from Playa Hermosa is the new El Diamante adventure park. Just email me and I will help you find it. The park is not totally completed yet as there will be mountain bike trails, and zoo and butterfly farm a botanical garden ATV tours, horseback riding, ocean paddle boarding kayaking and more. However the Zip Line is open and ready to go along with the restaurant and gift shop.
So a couple of weeks ago I took a friend and her daughters to give it a try as they had never done this before either, and they live here full time. After getting all geared up the guides loaded us into a truck and off we went up the mountain. I mean to top of the mountain. The views of the Pacific from there were incredible just breathtaking you could see all the way to the Santa Rosa National Park across the Gulfo de Papagayo along with witches rock, monkey head rock and the Peninsula Papagayo.
The superman zip line, as they call it, is almost 1 mile long in length; to be exact they told me it is 1.4 kilometers long so just under a mile. When standing here watching the guy before you get all geared up, there is even more gear just for this run as you are laid out flat in a harness and you have to keep your hands tucked on you sides. I asked the guide so how fast will this get, he looked at me and said “ well we do not have to put weights on you, you got enough so you should do about 50 miles per hour and reach the other side no problem” I felt reassured and then Oh wait a minute, I have enough weight? I guess it is time for more exercise.
When it was my time to get set and go I was totally stoked and excited. Here was the first time in my life I would be able to fly almost like a bird, laid out flat and looking down and all around. The anticipation was unbelievable, no fear of the height at all, just waiting to zoom down the line. After about 5 minutes of getting me ready, and just so you know, these guys checked and rechecked everything twice to make sure all was correct with all the harnesses and cables and such, then called the other guides on the other end to coordinate. Once all was ready the countdown started, Uno, Dos, Tres and they pushed me off the platform.
It was incredible; the feeling of soaring like an eagle was just insane. I have never had the ambition to do hang gliding or jumping out of a plane, but I think I am starting to get the courage to give it a try as this line was just a mind-blower. I wish it had lasted for hours. I could talk about this for hours and maybe write a longer story but this is long enough.
So when you come to come to Costa Rica, as a vacationer, you have to try this. If you decide at some time in your life that Costa Rica is the place to live, which I have, then you will know there are more so many cool and interesting things to do than you can pack in on a vacation.
So come and fly like a bird with me, you won’t be sorry.
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