Zip Lining! With Vomit!

What’s a trip to Costa Rica without a zip lining tour?

Papa Bear booked our half-day excursion with El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tours. They picked us up right at the hotel and drove us about 45 minutes to the mountainside facility. The staff outfitted everyone with harnesses and gave us some rudimentary instructions. Really, though, there’s very little to learn as the competent staff are with you every step of the way. The tour consisted of a series of 11 cables interspersed with brief walks through the canopy and a few climbs to elevated platforms. 

Getting strapped in


On the first platform

The conventional way to zip is to sit in the harness and lean back with feet out front, hanging onto a metal triangle with your hands to keep yourself from spinning around.

Papa Bear doing it old school


Or you can accept the staff’s challenge and go upside down. Papa Bear knows what happens to my brain when a challenge is extended: I’m like a bull seeing a red scarf. All common sense is gone and I charge ahead. Now I trusted that the tour staff knew what they were doing and I wasn’t really in any danger but holy crap that was a freaky feeling. Freaky amazing! I guess Sister Bear inherited some of that trait from me as she, too, went down upside down. Unlike me, I’m pretty sure she didn’t scream the entire way down.

Mama Bear accepts the upside down challenge


Sister Bear goes topsy turvy

There a couple of very long lines on the course, the longest being more than 4300 feet. When the little bears didn’t have enough mass to make it all the way down they were either connected to a guide for the ride or rescued when they stopped 20 feet from the end.

Stranded Sister Bear gets hauled back in


After the last rope, we were still at least 100 feet off the ground so we “rappelled” down, which was its own special pleasure.

Baby Bear rappels down

At the conclusion of the tour we were served a hearty lunch of roast chicken, rice and beans, and salad. For an additional fee we purchased the photo package taken by the staff, which were far superior to our own lame efforts. Some of these photos are theirs.) It was all we’d hoped it would be. And more. The more being Baby Bear losing her cookies just as the van dropped us back at the hotel. Fortunately for the van occupants, she made it out of the van before doing so. Not so lucky were the hotel staff who had to clean it off their steps. The heat and humidity got to us all. I ended up with a rather nasty case of heat exhaustion which extended well into the next day. Oh well, time for another day of relaxing.


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