I’m soaring through the air, watching a thousand trees disappear beneath me. My arms are stretched out in front of me as I whoop in sheer delight. The noise remains unheard yet it reverberates across the rain-forest as I hurtle above the trees. The click and whistle of the zip-line is the only touch of reality, like a gentle reminder that I’ve yet to gain the ability to fly.
I am speeding down the longest zip-wire in Latin America in Monteverde, Costa Rica. There is a never-ending mist of rainfall and sun, a combination that casts permanent rainbows across the sky. Lying in a sling and facing forwards, I am thrown off a platform with 1,590m to fly across.
I booked my trip with 100% Aventura, the leading Zip-wire company in Monteverde. For $50.00 (£34.00), the day included 10 zip-lines, rope bridges, a rappelling drop, Tarzan swing and a pick-up from my hostel, Cabinas Vista Al Golfo. The tour pick up times are 7:30am, 12:30pm and 14:30pm. I booked just one day in advance directly at the hostel reception.
I went zip-lining with another solo female backpacker (Rebecca), a girl who very kindly made me soup for lunch. She was closely guarding the hostel stove, the fierce winds extinguishing the small blue flames over and over. It’s these tiny yet mundane moments in travel that truly capture the true spirit of travelling – I can’t believe a girl I met yesterday made lunch for me!
We boarded the transfer bus together. For the 14:30 slot, there was approximately 50 of us getting kitted up with harnesses, helmets and gloves.
We traverse through the course together, grinning from ear to ear with the lethal combination of fear and fun mixed together. We reach Cable 7 which is the “point of no return”.
It was the perfect combination of zip-lining that made my heart soar with joy combined with a Tarzan swing and rappel drop that invoked pure terror.
The last activity with 100% Aventura was a Tarzan Swing with a 45m drop. I cross the 15m hanging bridge and I give the instructors a smile as they harness me in. It felt like a matter of seconds. The metal gate suddenly swung open revealing a deathly drop beneath me. My blood ran cold and my heart started to beat in my throat. I grasp onto the rope that is hanging from my waist, clinging onto the only element of safety I can comprehend within that moment.
Before I can gather my thoughts, I am falling. I forget to scream, perhaps making a noise like a strangled cat before plummeting towards the ground. Fear courses through me in an instant, like being struck by lightning. The first few seconds of falling was crippling fear. The drop morphs into a brilliant yet crude swing, bringing the experience to an end. I’m high on adrenaline – my senses heightened, my heart racing and every colour, noise and emotion intensified like a Instagram filter.
I struggle to sleep that night and I’m bouncing off the walls for the rest of the evening. It’s a unmissable and brilliant experience in Monteverde. I cannot recommend it enough!
- 100% Aventura is situated approximately a 15 minute drive from Saint Elena. Transport is included in the price of the ticket.
- You will see about 100 tour agents and hostels advertising tickets for 100% Aventura. For the sake of convenience, I’d recommend booking at your accommodation or at the official office opposite Supercompro, otherwise there are a lot of ticket touts around.
- The Tarzan Swing is terrifying, but optional. It’s right at the end so you can choose not to do it if you don’t want to.
- I paid $50.00 for the experience (Feb 2016). This is also shown as the official price on the website.
- You’ll have achy arms at the end, there’s a lot of pulling up your own body weight to get clipped in!
- You can pay by card at most hostels.
- It’s colder then you think! Don’t believe the vest + shorts photos in the promotional leaflets (I was cold in a fleece). Bring layers + a waterproof if you can.
- They provide water for you midway through the course.
- The whole experience is approximately 3 hours.
- If you have anymore questions or queries, feel free to ask here or email me.