Soaring Through Costa Rica: Zip Lining Through the Osa Mountain Valley

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t care very much for heights. In fact, I would rather do almost anything else.

When I heard about the opportunity to go zip-lining, I pictured the DIY zip line my friend’s father had built in their backyard (maybe 6 feet off the ground). At most, I figured it might be the height of the one at Camp Cheerio.

Nope. Instead, this activity was a mixture of zip lining and a ropes course. What I had not been told was that this was a canopy tour on Osa Mountain. In order to reach the rain forest canopy (the top of very tall trees), you first had to climb a series of platforms and rope obstacles. The whole time, we were strapped-in securely with safety harnesses, so the fear of losing our footing and falling was nothing more than an inhibition, rather than a possibility. Once you got up there, you were a minimum of 20 feet off the ground–with the platforms at an elevation of 3,000 feet! When you were out on the steel line, the ground fell away sharply at an indeterminable distance and you dropped nearly a thousand feet (literally) during the 1.25-mile-long ride.

But, once you got out there, you felt like you were flying. Yes, I was terrified on the platforms, but the fear blew away as the wind whipped through my hair (or, rather, as Iwhipped through the air at over 80 mph).

The views were breathtaking. There were so many shades of green–more than I could ever have imagined! I could see everything from Uvita Beach to the Osa Peninsula. And the air was fresh–clear of the heavy pollution we have in the States. It was all surreal.

And, what’s interesting about this course, is that it isn’t just a single zip line. There are different segments you ride as you cruise between the mountain sides.

All too soon, the flying was over. Little did we know, but we had two more obstacles before we were back on solid ground.

First, there was a rope bridge. That was when we learned just how afraid of heights several of us were. After about three-times-as-long as it should have taken us to cross (since we kept freezing), we got to the last obstacle. Actually, it was more of just a test of our trust in our guides. They attached our harnesses to a rope and belayed us down from the platform (about 20 feet).

Now, it wouldn’t have been that hard, had our guides not decided to have a little fun with us and lower us upside down. They said it was “like Spiderman.” I have to hand it to them, though. Even without knowing us, they knew exactly how far they could mess around with us, and when they needed to stop. They made us step out of our comfort zones and face our fears, but they took great care to make sure we were safe and having fun. When someone was truly getting scared, the guides made sure to help them through the fear.

After we were all down, they had fresh fruit laid out for us. To those of you who have only ever had fruit from the States: YOU. ARE. MISSING. OUT. Really, it was that good!

Unbeknownst to us, the guides had one last surprise, and (for some, like me) a challenge. They had a rope swing that swung from the gazebo where we were eating and out towards the Osa Mountain valley. Also included: a 6-foot drop when we first stepped off the edge.

The adrenaline high from the zip line made my fear of heights momentarily less debilitating and I accepted the challenge. At least, that’s the only reason I can come up with for getting on. But, it too was exhilarating.


Cheesing it up!
Realizing how far away the ground it.

While the heights were a bit extreme for my comfort, that’s the whole point of this experience–to get you out of your comfort zone. In fact, if an adventure didn’t challenge you in any way, would it even be worthwhile?

Superman de Osa is a great experience that everyone should go on at least once. My only regret is that we did not have enough time to go more than once while we were there. But, there will be a next time…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *