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Zip Line in Costa Rica

Photos  Video

There are 14 platforms with 13 zip lines that take you down the mountain in stages. When you arrive on the first platform a guide attaches the zip line trolley to the steel cable. You hold onto the harness with one hand and grasp the cable (behind your head) with your leather braking hand. Then you just calmly (Yeah, right!) go to the edge of the platform, bend your knees and step off the edge. You accelerate quickly and if you're not in total panic, you may notice the whizzing sound of the trolley as you're speeding down the cable. As you approach the next platform you quickly lock your eyes on the guide as he makes hand signals. The signals give you useful information such as "at the speed you're approaching, you may become embedded in the tree. Slow down!

Some people prefer to take their chances with the high speed approach after experiencing the opposite. That's when you brake too much and stop short of the platform. The long cable sags, so that the end of the zip line is actually uphill. If you stop short, you find yourself dangling from the cable a few hundred feet up in the air. To get to the platform you have to turn yourself around and pull yourself hand over hand until the guide can reach you. this seems to un-nerve some people as they have to let go of whatever they're holding on to, in order to complete this maneuver. 

Forgetting the details, what it's really all about is a lot of fun and an exhilarating adventure. It's amazing to be soaring through the rain forest canopy, and the view from the platforms is unlike any other. If you ever get the chance, this is a worthwhile adventure. 

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In the photos you can see the platforms used for take-offs and landings throughout the canopy tour. Getting to the start of the zip line is also an adventure. A shuttle bus through the city of Li'mon, and then a steep climb up a narrow dirt road. At times it seemed the shuttle was impossibly agile, as the wet dirt road grew ever steeper. Higher and higher, soon you could see a vast sea of green below, peeking between the tree trunks. At last we reached a plateau and 19 brave souls left the relative safety of the shuttle bus. You could hear nervous giggles and chatter as the guides began outfitting everyone with the harnesses and safety gear. After a brief lesson on hand signals and how to use the leather glove for braking, we were off to the first platform.