In my previous post about zip lining, I mentioned Diamante Adventure Park, and how we chose not to go zip lining there. However, this park has a number of different activities, and we did visit the animal sanctuary, which was well worth it! The sanctuary is the largest in the area, and all of the animals have been rescued by the Costa Rican Ministry of Wildlife. Now, enough with the words, on with the pictures.
There was a variety pack of frogs and pretty flowers. And a bunch of reptiles, but they didn’t photograph well in their tanks.
A howler monkey feeling the heat.
Turtles, iguanas, and large, toothy iguanas (right?).
Sloths! So lazy they wouldn’t even eat at feeding time, when the keeper was hand feeding them (Jack the Dog must be part sloth…).
There were many butterflies. Here are two.
And beautiful toucans.
And last but not least, there were 4 types of jungle cats. I was only able to capture two decently, since they were behind glass.
One of the things we wanted to try while in Playa del Coco was a zip lining tour. We came across two main options within a reasonable distance of town – Congo Canopy and Diamante Adventure Park. Both looked great, and by no means am I saying that one is better than the other, but they do seem to be very different experiences, so choose accordingly!
The Diamante zip line tour seems fantastic for those with a need for speed and adrenaline. It includes superman jump, a free fall, really loooooooooong zip lines… cool stuff, but not for us. Instead, we opted for the “family friendly” original zip line canopy tour at Congo Canopy, with 11 cables and 3 hanging bridges, and we were more than happy with our decision.
We were there first thing in the morning, so we were able to go as a group of 3. Private tour!
We had two guides with us, who were super nice, and also hilarious. It only took us a few minutes to get used to their jokes and remain nonchalant when they came flying towards us hollering as though they couldn’t stop. Or offered a high five just as they were about to take off down the zip line…and then held on as though you were to be yanked right off the platform. They were fun!
We also had a photographer zipping (hahaha) around with us. Since we couldn’t bring cameras we thought it would be worthwhile to pay for their photo service, and with three of us it made a lot more sense to pay for a CD with a bunch of pics instead of just one each. So all of the pics in this post were taken by the Congo Canopy photographer (who was also a super nice guy).
You can see in the above pics that we have one gloved hand resting on the cable behind us as we cruise down the line. One of the things we liked about this particular zip line tour was that, because the cables were not extremely long and fast, we were able to have a bit more control. For example, we controlled our speed by braking with that back hand as we approached each platform.
As I mentioned above, there were also a few hanging bridges to cross.
One of the cables had the option of going upside down!
The only unfortunate thing with this one was that we didn’t know if we had to pull ourselves upright before reaching the end. Not knowing, I started to, but the guides called out not to. Which was fine, except that my parents were watching from the far end and thought that I had tried and failed. Given that, my Dad decided not to go upside down, although he did briefly go hands-free!
We also had the option on one cable of going superman style. This one was with a guide, who took care of the braking.
What happened next is possibly the best memory of the entire trip for my Dad and I. See, my Mom was an enthusiastic participant and was having a great time, and was also completely content to go last every time and to forego the superman flight. Well, on the next cable, our guide motioned to Mom to come over first and started setting up the harness and cable…about halfway through it dawned on her that he was actually setting her up for the superman! But too late now, off she went, and is glad she did (I think)!
Although we went in the morning so it wasn’t AS hot as it could have been, quite frankly it was never not hot. The tour was nicely set up with some water along the way. We took a break for some water and pictures on the highest platform.
Another great thing about this tour was the wildlife that we saw! I could be wrong, but I suspect one wouldn’t have as many interesting sightings on the zip line tours focused more on adrenaline.
And finally, the after shot.
It was a fantastic morning. The site also offers other activities – horseback riding, a small animal sanctuary, ATV tours, and river float trips. We had a few minutes after zip lining and checked out the animal sanctuary, which was worthwhile as an add-on, but wouldn’t be worth it if that was all you were going to see (it’s neat, just quite small, there is another I’ll recommend later that is a primary destination). Definitely a spot worth checking out if you’re spending time in the area.