It’s not so much that I have a fear of heights…it’s more that I have a fear of falling. Which might explain why I just about passed out when I learned that the grand finale of my adventure spent zip lining through Costa Rica’s magnificent Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve involved facing biggest fear: bungee jumping off a ledge, dropping 25 metres to the ground below.
Sky Trek Costa Rica
Until this point, our Sky Trek excursion had been a perfect mix of gorgeous vistas, a touch of adrenaline, and plenty of shrieks of laughter. The day started with an overview and safety demonstration at the Sky Adventures Costa Rica base near the town of Santa Elena, where our group of five was instructed to lean back and keep our legs crossed while zooming down the wires, then to use our hands to pull the metal lever back and forth to brake as we neared the platform, opening our legs wide at the end to slow down. Seemed simple enough, and after a quick test run we headed up the aerial tram which drifted slowly up to the top of the mountain, revealing panoramic views of the soaring peaks shrouded in mystical fog and eliciting countless gasps of wonder along the way.
Over the next couple hours, our group criss-crossed a series of seven more lines stretching 1,000 feet across the canopy of green, leafy trees, catching speeds of more than 60 km/h on each 30 second stretch, yet having plenty of time to soak up the epic scenery sprawled out below. We navigated winding trails and scampered up staircases (painted green to blend into the jungle) leading to the next set of wires, where a friendly crew member was always ready to latch us onto the next line. For some reason, zooming across a tiny wire suspended 100 metres in the air with nothing but a harness and a couple of carabiners never made me nervous—perhaps I was too captivated by the hanging bridges, Monteverde cloud forest and Gulf of Nicoya to even think about it.
WATCH: Speeding down the Monteverde zip line
And then we got to the end. Or so I thought.
One of the guides beckoned us up a staircase, and as we got higher he explained that there were two ways to get down: an easy rappel, or to jump.
This was new information.
Monteverde bungee jump
The Vertigo Drop is the last stop on the Monteverde zip line tour, where guests stand on the edge of a 25 metre high platform and are fastened to a bungee cord. Those brave souls then leap off–backwards–and free fall for 12 metres before the cord tightens and they’re lowered the rest of the way down onto a huge mat. Um…not exactly what I’d signed up for when I agreed to do a zip line tour.
One woman in my group opted to rappel down, but to my amazement the rest of our crew enthusiastically lined up to jump. WHAT WAS THIS MADNESS. Realizing that I only had a minute to make a decision, I quickly weighed out my options. Take the easy way out and enjoy a leisurely ride down but never hear the end about my missed opportunity when I got back home…or get some epic GoPro footage while potentially simultaneously having a heart attack.
Well, here’s what happened:
As I lay sprawled out like a starfish on the soft mat, my mind swirled and I could hardly catch my breath or move any of my limbs, as my body felt completely exhausted from the adrenaline rush I’d just put it through. I eventually peeled myself off, and began giggling hysterically as the hilarity of the situation kicked in. It hadn’t been pretty, but I’d just conquered one of my biggest fears, and the feeling of accomplishment was incredible.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Will I bungee jump again?
Oh hell no.
Globe Guide experienced Sky Trek as a guest of Sky Adventures, organized by Green Spot Travel which organizes customized tours around Costa Rica. As always, hosts have no editorial opinion on articles.
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