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Ziplining near Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Ziplining In Costa Rica with Adventurous Kids

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Oh my gosh. I’m actually not even that articulate in my mind. I’m gibbering inside from the sight of the horrifyingly, breathtakingly tall tree we have to zipline to next. I have no choice but to move forward, but my body doesn’t want to, and there is no way I’m letting go of my daughter even though she’s trying to get ready to zip off the edge of the platform. She tells me later that the guide kept saying “It’s ok, ma’am, you can let her go,” but I don’t remember any of that, and no, I couldn’t let her go!

We’re in Costa Rica and of course, I knew if we went to Costa Rica, that meant ziplining. Everyone ziplines in Costa Rica and there are many companies offering this service. Ziplining sounded like fantastic fun, and I was eager to set this up for my kids and me. I read through the information for a few companies, and ended up settling on one that was convenient and that stated we would always be clipped to two lines, rather than the one line offered by many companies. Please, go with two lines; you’ll be so glad you did when you come to that horrifyingly tall tree.

Middle of the ziplining trip near Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Middle of the ziplining trip near Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica.

The tour starts with a harness fitting, followed by a brief training and test run on a mini-zipline. We then rode in the back of an open air truck with the rest of the 20 or so people in our group up the side of a mountain to the first platform. Guides are stationed at every platform and take care of clipping and unclipping you from the lines. Mostly, the guides were efficient and business-like; some were clearly exhausted from the business of transporting guests at a rather breakneck speed through the rainforest. We zipped through over a dozen platforms, with a brief stop midway for a Tarzan swing, if the ziplines weren’t exciting enough for you! Of course, both of my children eagerly jumped on the Tarzan swing too!

We had young children on our tour (5-6 years old) and, while they were allowed on the tour, they had to travel the ziplines clipped to a guide. Some of these children were noticeably upset by the end of the tour, but safety policies didn’t allow them to be clipped to a parent. After watching these young children, I would be unlikely to recommend this fairly intense excursion for children of a young age.

At 10 and 12 years old; my children were exhilarated by the end of the tour and ready to go back for more. The tour brought us back to where we started with the promise of a cold drink. Make mine a cold Imperial, please!

Zipline tours are an easy day trip from the coastal resort hotels. If you have adventurous pre-teens, definitely put ziplining on your to do list!

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Andrea is a single mom in Arlington, Virginia with a 15-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. Her children took their first trips when they were just four…

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