One of the most popular tourist activities in Costa Rica is the canopy tour, which entails clipping a carabiner to a steel cable that has been strung between two platforms and traveling to the next platform via this steel cable. We did the zip line at the Buena Vista Lodge, which had eleven platforms and ten cables.
Before heading to the zip line course, the employees fit you in a harness and give you a helmet and pair of construction gloves that are reinforced with an incredibly thick piece of leather across the palm. We then trudged through the jungle to the first platform, where they instructed us how to brake (pull down on the cable…ah, so that’s what those gloves are for) and what to do if you get stuck in between the platforms (uh, stuck?). And then we were off…for ten cables with incredible views of the rainforest.
It was fun, but I’m not sure if I really have any desire to do it again. I’m not that scared of heights, but it’s a bit different when you are standing on a creaky platform 100+ feet above the ground and angry monkeys are howling and baring there teeth five feet away from you. Also, all I could think of was that episode of The Office where Toby breaks his neck because of a zip line harness failure.
Here is a video of Sam on the zip line. Apologies for the poor camera work, but I was using a Flip MinoHD and was clinging to the tree for dear life (you’re always attached to some cable with the secondary safety line, but, uh, yeah…).