I was studying abroad in Costa Rica for the summer and my group decided to take a weekend trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica. This area is filled with lots of adventurous things to do, so we thought it would be a great group trip for everyone. Monteverde offers many ziplining activities with its various adventure parks located in the middle of a cloud forest. Ziplining has always been on my bucket list, so I’m so glad I was finally able to check this off my list. And doing it over a cloud forest made it so much cooler, too!
How to Get There
I found that getting there was a little more challenging than I had anticipated. We took a public bus from San José, the capital of Costa Rica, to arrive at Monteverde. However, the buses that leave for Monteverde are very infrequent. There are only two buses that head there each day – one at 6:30 AM and another at 2:30 PM. You need to buy the tickets in person at Terminal 7-10. There’s the option to purchase the tickets ahead of time, but from what I know, you will still have to go to the station to purchase them for a later trip. I recommend arriving about half an hour before the bus is scheduled to leave to give yourself enough time to find your seat and settle down. If you’re planning on traveling during a weekend, I recommend purchasing those tickets many hours or days in advance because they do fill up occasionally.
Where to Stay
We stayed at a tiny hostel called Cozy House. It wasn’t a super glamorous place to stay at, but it was very cheap and included breakfast (perfect for college students). The best part about our stay there was the hostel manager, Jesus. He served as a tour guide for us and didn’t charge us anything extra. He offered us advice on which adventure park to go to and took us hiking to some hidden spots in the area. I would recommend staying here just because of him. I included pictures of a few of the places he took us to below.
Extremo Park is one of the many adventures parks in Costa Rica that offers ziplining. On their website, they state that admission costs $50 for foreigners. However, I paid about $45 for 3 hours at the park. Thankfully, there is a $5 discount on the canopy if you buy more than one. The package that I purchased included 14 cables – with a couple of Superman-style ziplines (one of those going through a tunnel!) – and a Tarzan swing. You’re able to zipline over a cloud forest and have an excellent aerial view all around you. It felt like I was flying!
I had no idea what a Tarzan swing was before going to this park, but I will never forget about them now. The Tarzan swing involves climbing up to a platform that’s over 100 meters high up, where they strap you up and then remove the floor below you. Then, they release you a little before they actually drop you. You are essentially experiencing free fall on this swing. You also get to enjoy the gorgeous Costa Rican scenery while you’re swinging around. It was one of the most beautifully frightening experiences of my life.
Other activities that the park offers but I didn’t get the chance to try out was horseback riding and bungee jumping (in case that Tarzan swing wasn’t enough). Overall, this park has lots to offer and if you can stomach the price, you’re sure to have an amazing experience. Even though the cost is a little steep, I thought it was 100% worth the money. A lot of effort goes into ensuring you are safe during this experience, so I didn’t mind paying that much. If anything, I feel like it should have cost more for everything they offered, but I’m not complaining!
One of the cons about this park is that there is a lot of hiking that you have to do to get from one line to another. A lot of this hiking involves climbing multiple staircases and going uphill. This can make it very inaccessible for those who have physical disabilities, which is important to note. A large portion of our time was spent walking from line to line, and not actually ziplining. I remember feeling out of breath for a while because of all of the hiking. It was rewarding, though, since I enjoy physical activity.
Overall, I highly recommend visiting this adventure park. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had more adrenaline rushing through my body in a single day. It was an exhilarating experience that I will never forget! Sadly, I don’t have as many photos from this day as I would have liked because I was focusing on vlogging the experience. I’m currently editing it, so be on the lookout for when it gets released!