Ziplining With Monteverde Extremo Park
Costa Rica has a lot of adventure options and tours but Ziplining has to be the one that Costa Rica is most known for. There is no doubt that flying through or over the canopy of Costa Rica’s jungles is a great way to spend a few hours or a full day.
I had done some research into ziplining before I planned to go to Costa Rica and a few blogs and articles I read suggested that Monteverde Cloud Forest was the perfect location for my ziplining adventures. This was good advice and I had the best day ever ziplining through the cloud forest in Costa Rica
What Is Ziplining?
Ziplining is when you are fitted to a harness and then clipped onto a steel cable for the purpose of “zipping” from one location to another. Ziplines vary in length, height and duration. Costa Rica has parks that constantly try to outdo each other so this is where you get some of the longest and most unique zip line experiences.
I had been once before in New Zealand but never done anything that was similar to the multi-stage ziplines that Costa Rica has.
I didn’t have a car in Costa Rica and was traveling by public transport and minivans so I decided to book a day tour for my zip line day. I looked for the one with the most lines and the most unique experiences and booked that.
I went through the Extremo Park in Monteverde is only about 15 minutes outside of Santa Elena, which is the main town for all Monteverde adventures.
14 zipline cables
A Tarzan swing
A 30 meter Rappel
A superman cable
A Subterranean zip line which goes through a 175m tunnel
And covers over 4km in total.
The longest cable is 1 kilometer and another 4 are over 450 meters in length with a total distance of 4KM
The reason I booked through Trip Advisor was that while the Extremo Park does have an online booking system, it looks like you have to book each thing separately and that felt a bit strange and was heaps more expensive. I’m sure I was just reading it wrong but I also wanted the transfer from my hostel in Santa Elena so I booked the tour.
Staying Safe While Ziplining
If you're like most people, the idea of zip lining through the trees is both exhilarating and a little bit terrifying. But don't let that stop you! Zip lining is a great way to experience nature and get your adrenaline pumping.
If you're new to zip lining, though, there are a few things you need to know before you head out on your first adventure. Here are some tips for calming your nerves and having a safe and fun zip lining experience.
Zip lining is an exciting activity that people of all ages can enjoy. However, following some basic safety guidelines is important to ensure a fun and safe experience. Here are some zip lining tips for beginners:
1) Choose A Reputable Tour Operator:
Choosing a reputable and experienced operator is important when choosing a zip lining tour. Many fly-by-night companies set up illegal and unsafe zip lines, so it's important to do your research before booking a tour. A good tour operator will have all the necessary permits, insurance, and experienced and trained guides.
2) Arrive Early:
When you arrive for your zip line tour, be sure to arrive early. This will give you time to check in and get oriented with the facilities. You'll also want to make sure you visit the toilet before you start your walk to the zip line. There is nothing worse than being an hour into a 3 hour adventure and realising you have to pee. In the jungle!
3) Wear The Right Clothing:
Another important tip for beginners is to wear the right clothing. You'll want to avoid loose clothing that could potentially get caught on the zip line. Instead, opt for form-fitting clothes that won't impede your movement. Closed-toe shoes are also a must. And, if you'll be zip lining in warm weather, be sure to apply sunscreen and wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
4) Listen To The Safety Briefing:
Before you start your zip line adventure, you'll receive a safety briefing from your guide. It's important to listen carefully and follow all the instructions. These briefings are designed to help keep you safe, so pay attention and ask questions if anything is unclear.
5) Don't Forget To Read The Waiver:
Most zip lining companies will require you to sign a waiver before participating in the tour. Be sure to read the waiver carefully and understand all the risks involved. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your guide or tour operator before signing.
6) Check Zip Lining Equipment:
Before you start zip lining, it's important to check your equipment. Make sure that your zip line safety harness is properly fitted and that all the carabiners and pulleys are secure. Your guide will help you with this, but it's always a good idea to double-check before you start.
While you won't know the technical rigging involved, if something feels not right, or is pinching you let them know now so they can change it.
7) Go Slow At First:
If you're a beginner, it's important to take things slowly at first. Start with shorter, slower zip lines and work your way up to longer and faster ones. And, be sure to listen to your guide's instructions. They will help you navigate the course and stay safe while zip lining.
The only exception to this rule is if they tell you to do something a specific way. For example on one of the longer runs there were a couple of teenagers in front of me and the operator instructed them to keep their arms in tight and their heads down. This was a long line and they were very light so he didn't want them stopping before the end.
He told me that I might have to put my arms out like and angel to slow down at some point. I was much heavier and did go much faster.
8) Use The Provided Gloves:
Most zip lining courses will provide gloves for you to use. These gloves help protect your hands from the friction of the zip line and can help prevent blisters. Be sure to put them on before you start zip lining.
9) Don't Panic:
If you start to feel panicked while zip lining, the most important thing is to stay calm. Your guide will be there to help if you need it, but try not to scream or flail around. This can make it more difficult for them to control the line and could put you in danger. Instead, focus on taking deep breaths and relaxing until you reach the end of the line.
10) Enjoy The Ride:
Zip lining is an exhilarating experience, so be sure to enjoy it! Take in the scenery as you zoom through the air and savour the wind in your face. If you do these things, we're sure you'll have a great time zip lining!
I felt completely safe throughout the whole adventure and I’m not exactly a lightweight. They did ask me my weight before the Tarzan swing which was a little reassuring to me, to be honest. I was fine and well within the weight limit which I think is 120kg, but it was good that they checked.
I’m sure others would be wildly offended by that but I was around 100kg at the time and am very tall so they were well within their rights to ask.
There is one zip line where you have to do it in pairs so I was paired with another guy which was fine for me, however, you are very close together during the ride, so if you are a woman that would not be happy with this just speak up and they will hold you aside until another single woman comes along. A girl in front of me did that and they were more than happy to accommodate her.
Notes On Ziplining
It is important to listen to their advice on the longer zip lines. You can get way too fast or too slow if you don’t. For the 1km long one, they told me to put my arms out asap to slow myself as I was pretty heavy and would be going too fast at the end if I didn’t.
Apparently, they often have situations where people don’t listen and one of the crew has to climb out over 500 meters and retrieve zip liners that have stopped in the middle. So, listen to them and do what they ask.
Hiking between the Zip Lines
It is worth knowing that you do have to walk from one zip line to another and while it’s not days of hiking, it is steep in parts and there are a few hundred steps between some lines. Of course, if you are zip lining you have to get up high enough to do it so that means hiking up the hill.
This does give you a nice experience of the forest floor in places and I really enjoyed the walks between the lines.
Overall I really enjoyed my day, I felt very safe the entire time and would recommend this tour for sure. I loved the Tarzan swing the best and wanted to go back and do it again, but that would have been a bit of a stretch for my budget.
Ziplining Tours From Monteverde
There are multiple companies that run zip lining adventures in and around Monteverde. If you can't get into Extremo, try these ones below.