ZIPLINING: SkyTrek in Arenal

Among the tons of things to do in Costa Rica, ziplining (often called the more easygoing sounding "canopy tour") is everywhere. Whilst slumming about in the La Fortuna area, we decided to go ziplining. There are at least three zipline companies around La Fortuna and we chose SkyTrek because they had the longest ziplines. The cost was $66USD per person.

SkyTrek was a terrific choice. We had two killer guides - Joshua (though it had some crazy Spanish pronunciation) and "Mr. Lopez". (We suspect Mr. Lopez is not his real name, but that's how Joshua introduced him, so....) Mr. Lopez was actually one of the builders of the ziplines when they were put up about five years ago. All the equipment was from some Austrian company and everything seemed sparkling new.

We rode up on the SkyTram gondolas after being outfitted with Swiss seats - this is the strapping that you wear to get clipped onto the zipline. They tell you that if you spot something interesting in the trees as you're riding up on the SkyTram, they can stop the gondola for you to take pictures.

After arriving at the top, we were greeted with fruit juice with little paper fancy straws. (Most tourist places in Costa Rica seem to want to offer you fruit juice...) Anyway, we get off the SkyTram, swig down our juice and then Joshua explains how the ziplines work and what to do when you "land" and so on. There is a short - maybe 25 feet - line for everyone to try out and get the hang of ziplining. This is also the last place you can chicken out.

No one in our group chickened out (and one of the people in our group was a 60+year-old grandmother), so from there, we zipped a short length to another platform and off we went! I think there were a total of eight or nine lines. The longest was more than 2,500 feet and one of them was 450+feet high... very cool.

There are two guides for each group. One would zip first to the next platform and be there to "land" us and the other would be the last to go and could also tandem you if you didn't want to zip by yourself.

So below is The Dog's video he shot from one of the lines as he flew over the jungle.

You can see Lake Arenal in the above video. I don't recommend ziplining as a way to see nature in Costa Rica, but you do get to hang out in the trees. I imagine at times you can spot some cool birds while being in the trees, but we didn't see any. However, the adventure of ziplining was definitely cool and SkyTrek was very professional. To check them out online, you can click here. I believe they also have a zipline operation in Monteverde.