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Costa Rica

Costa Rica Zip Line Tour

Ziplining Over Rain Forests is Both Scary and Exhilarating

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Our Costa Rica canopy tour started with the first terrifying jump nearly 100 feet in the air. We were not in Virginia any more.

One lady didn't make it. She climbed all the way to the top with the rest of us, made the mistake of looking down and then decided to climb back down.

Some of us wondered if we would do the same thing when it came our turn to jump.

The moment can be terrifying -- standing on a platform hanging from a tree 100 feet in the air, having a local hook your harness to a wire overhead and jumping forward into a glide that takes you over the wire dozens of yards to the next tree.

Costa Rica Canopy Tour
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We found ourselves in a rain forest in Costa Rica during a western Caribbean cruise that included a stop at the cruise port of Limon.

After a lengthy ride to the park, we were helped by locals into harnesses at the main facility, given explanations on how to use them and hiked through the forest to the first tree.

It didn't seem scary until we got there.

It didn't even seem scary when our group started the climb.

It did seem scary for some of us when we realized how high we climbed.

Our local guide was the first to hook her harness to the glide wire, give some additional explanations and encouragement, and seemed to throw herself off the platform.

She zipped quickly across and expanse high in the air that was at least dozens of yards to the next tree.

The first of our group jumped, and another, and another. Nerves are on edge as you are hooked to the wire and encouraged to go.

But when you glide, the fear is forgotten. Exhilaration takes over.

All you experience is the speed and the sensation of the tops of trees around you. Any thought of being so high in the air is gone.

You reach the next tree, sometimes too fast and sometimes too slow, but the guide is always there to help. No one had any trouble.

In time, a sense of adventure grows. It also has the feeling of what it was like to live in that tree house in the movie "Swiss Family Robinson." It certainly builds an appreciation for the beauty of nature.

Like all great excursions, our canopying adventure ended too soon and we were back in the main facility for the ride back to the cruise ship.

All three of our children (the minimum age to go is 12), loved the experience and handled the heights well.

Canopying in Costa Rica is a thrilling family adventure and one of the best excursions in the Caribbean.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

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December 15, 2008

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