We decided to check out one of the many adventure activities available in Costa Rica. We contacted a small local tour company, Arenas Travel, http://www.arenastravelcr.com to set things up for us. The day started out wonderfully, with the tour company van picking us up just down the street from where we were staying and then one of the best experiences of the day. Getting into an air conditioned vehicle, it was wonderful. After 6 weeks without A/C in these temperatures and humidity that air conditioned van was worth the price of the whole trip. We picked up three more customers and headed off for Monteverde. Our guide, Geovanna, told us the drive was about two hours, but with road construction that ended up being just over three. Oh well, the A/C was wonderful, did I mention that? The drive to the site reminded me a lot of trying to get through the Rocky Mountains during the summer time. Constant delays and rough roads. Having said that, the trip was comfortable and uneventful with beautiful views of the surrounding valleys to occupy our minds.
We arrived at Monteverde and made our way to 100% Aventura Adventure Park for our zip lining experience. The staff that greeted us were all very upbeat and professional. As they sized and fitted us into our harnesses and helmets I felt assured by their performance.
There was about 50 people waiting to start on their zip line experience and I was a little worried about the wait times we would be experiencing but for the most part everyone was kept moving along at a reasonable rate. At times I was glad for the chance to just catch my breath and absorb the whole thing. Flying through the air can take your breath away at times. 100% Adventura has a course of about 10 zip lines set up with the last two being the Superman Zip Lines (one of these is an epic 1590 metre long line) and then something called the Tarzan Drop at the end to round out your day. As you fly through and over the jungle canopy the views are truly amazing and the thrill really can take your breath away at times.
I have put together a video that describes the experience a little bit. I chose not to put music in it because the random verbal outbursts do a lot to explain the effect it has on people. There is some profane language but I have inserted a warning so if this offends you you can mute it at the appropriate time.
The idea of flying through the air in the prone position (Superman) is a bit disturbing at first. But once you relax it is truly spectacular. The last feature of the day is the Tarzan drop. If you can nerve up to do it I highly recommend it. It is over every quickly, but in those very few seconds you experience a rush that is quite a thrill. If you already jump out of planes or off bridges on a bungee cord you may find it rather pedestrian, but for folks like myself it is more than enough of a thrill.
We piled back in the van and started back for Puntarenas as soon as we were done. This was the next pleasant surprise of the trip. Quite often near the end of these tours the guides shut down and the driver morphs into an Indy wannabe. Not so with Arenas Travel. We stopped for lunch on the way home which was delicious and very rejuvenating. As well our driver, Ricardo, spotted a family of Howler Monkeys in a massive guanacaste tree beside the road. He stopped and we had a chance to watch and photograph these entertaining creatures. In addition we did some roadside shopping for avocados and lychee fruit from a local vendor. To top it all off they stopped at an ice cream shop and gave us the opportunity to get some ice cream. It was fantastic.
All told it was an outstanding day from beginning to end. I would highly recommend both Arenas Travel and 100% Aventua Adventure Park for tours if you are in the area.