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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Norris

Zip lining in Costa Rica

My bucket list is pretty much endless. Basically every week,I learn of a new city I need to visit or an activity I have to try and its added to my ridiculously long list. Hiking to Machu Picchu, skiing the Swiss alps, sipping coffee in Rome, witnessing the Northern lights, etc. My desire to travel the world is relentless and my bucket list pesters me every day. So the satisfaction of finally scratching something off my list is such a great feeling.

zip lining Costa Rica

As long as I can remember, zip lining in the rainforests of Costa Rica has always been on my list. I must have been 11 or 12 when I saw a special on TV about the never-ending adventures of Costa Rica and one of the activities they highlighted was zip lining. High above the ground, zipping through the rainforests among the wildlife, in the middle of nowhere seemed like the world's greatest adventure. I couldn't wait to go and knew one day I would overtake my fear of heights and give it a try.

I still have my bucket list I wrote in my teenage journal and in my messy cursive handwriting I have "zip lining in Costa Rica". Looking back at that list makes me smile to think about all of my dreams and goals I wanted to accomplish as a young woman.

And it makes me even happier to say I have finally zip lined in Costa Rica and it was officially scratched off my bucket list. It was just as amazing and thrill seeking as I always believed it would be and I can't wait to go again!

zip lining costa rica

Zip lining tour company

On one of our many Costa Rican vacations, I finally got the whole family to agree on giving zip lining a try. We had already been white water rafting, hiking, rode on multiple ATV tours, fished, kayaked etc. and I was itching to finally zip line. In Costa Rica, there are dozens of tour companies that will take you on zip lining tours throughout the country. The key is to find the right one with the right location. There are a few that offer, in my opinion, cheesy tours with somewhat skeptical conditions. So its important to do some research on the companies to find a reputable group that also offers great customer service.

After doing some digging, I stumbled upon El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour and I feel they are truly the best zip lining company in Costa Rica. They are located just outside of Manuel Antonio and had an almost perfect rating from hundreds of tourists. All of their guides are bi-lingual, certified, and love their job and country. Their canopy tour has over 3.5 kilometers of zip lining with 14 tree platforms and six hanging bridges. Its an impressive course that has views of the rainforest, ocean and mountains.

The entire course was well kept and you felt safe the entire tour. There are multiple guides with you throughout the day and they make you feel comfortable every step of the way. An added plus is all of the info they give you about the rainforest, its wildlife and of Manuel Antonio. So while you are waiting for your turn, you are learning about the flora and animals surrounding you. And you may even see one of Costa Rica's most infamous animals, the three toed sloth! There was one eating right above us on one of the tree platforms. It doesn't get any more "Costa Rica" than that!


Longest twin zip line in Costa Rica

When it comes to heights, I can admit that I can be a total wimp. I hate heights and I instantly lose my confident demeanor if I am higher than just 10 feet. So it was a bit of a shock to my family when I told them how badly I wanted to zip line. I knew I would be nervous but I wanted to try and put my irrational fear behind me and just enjoy my time in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

During our course, I was unaware that our tour company boasted the longest twin zip lines in Central America! After climbing stair upon stair to the top, we reached the longest zip line which coasted above the canopy into an abyss of green. From where we stood, we couldn't see the end. It was intimidating, and my knees shook as I readied myself to take the plunge.

zip lining costa rica

zip lining in costa rica

As the guide got me situated, I felt the impending scream boil up in my chest. I was so scared that my hands are even clamming up as I type this. I'm such a wuss...

When the guide pushed me off the platform, I plunged into the rainforest at full speed. The rush and adrenaline pumping through my body is something I won't forget. I didn't scream, I didn't panic. I didn't pass out. I cried happy tears.

How dramatic right? But soaring above the canopy, alone, with only a blanket of green below me... it was breathtaking and a view I had never seen before.

And while I sped above the treetops, I remember actually thinking "I finally did it". There is something pretty spectacular about finally getting to do or see something that you're younger self only dreamed of.

When I was a teenager, I hoped that one day I would travel the world and conquer any fear or self-doubt that weighed me down. I didn't get emotional about zip lining in Costa Rica just because it was a fun adventure. It was symbolic.

Today I'm living a life that I only hoped for when I was young. One I wrote about in my journal, full of adventures and experiences that would lead me to have a fulfilled life full of happiness. Looking back at my old bucket list assures me that I am on the right journey and I am eager for what lies ahead!

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