Thursday, March 08, 2012

Of Ziplines and Hanging Bridges

Today is our Selvatura adventure day. Today we zipline.

We breakfasted at the hotel. The restaurant is in a separate building within the compound. A little descent and the restaurant is there, next to the covered pool area. Despite buffet breakfast that was in our itinerary, this was a made-to-order breakfast place, although there is a visible set-up for buffet.

The food is typical Costa Rican breakfast - rice and beans - although there are other choices too, which include the continental (?) eggs and meat (sausage/bacon) combo.

The meal was rushed as you could imagine. A van from Selvatura was expected to arrive early, at 7 am for our 7:30 am ziplining. We chose to sign up for the first schedule of the day. We thought that with all the rain we had yesterday, it would be safer to get done with the activity early in the day.

The van arrived on time, went about picking up other people from different hotels, then we were dropped off at a visitor center where we showed our tickets and were then instructed to go to the back room where we would get suited up for the adventure.

A little wait, not long, then it's back to the van. The short ride took us to the jungle (cloud forest) where the ziplines were located. A lecture/demo was prepared by the group with Q&A. Then those who wanted to try it on the trial line could do it. Nobody did, we were all confident we can handle the lines.

IMGP2991

IMGP1104IMGP1106

Selvatura Canopy Tour as they call it contains 15 cables and 18 platforms. In order to get to the platforms, one must trek in the forest, under lush greenery, in designated paths that sometimes goes up and down. Some of the paths feel longer than they actually are. The last cable is 1 km long and it is going through nothing, because I think it's too high and all you see is cloud or fog. Kinda exciting. Selvatura is the only canopy tour in Costa Rica that is located inside the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

The tour was about 2.5 to 3 hours. There was an optional Tarzan swing adventure, which from the name you know what it's all about. We all said no to that. Part of our package was the hanging bridges. I was looking forward to this. They called this the Tree Top Walkways.

2011_09_04 1079
Selvatura's Tree Top Walkways consist of a 1.9 mile (approximately 3 kilometer) trail that crosses through the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Here visitors will walk on eight different bridges with various lengths ranging between 150 feet ( 50 meters ) up to 510 feet ( 170 meters ) and altitudes ranging between 36 feet ( 12 meters ) up to 180 feet ( 60 meters ).

Each bridge has a width of five feet, the widest bridges in Costa Rica, and also a capacity of up to 80 people per bridge making them both the longest and strongest bridge systems in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The Tree Top Walkways are suitable for people of all ages. The duration of the hike usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours and guided and self guided tours may be booked in advance [Selvatura website].

IMGP1115
Higher than the treetops.

The cool part about this was looking town at treetops, so dense you couldn't see the ground. It was when we finished ziplining and was on the way to the bridges that rain started. Quite early I thought.

P1030265
It was exciting and challenging to get from one bridge to another taking these paths when it's pouring like crazy. We were soaked.
P1030264
Doesn't this trail/path lovely? I could just imagine walking here leisurely without the rain.

Here are a few of what we saw while hiking from bridge to bridge.
IMGP1124

IMGP1123

IMGP1131

IMGP1119

IMGP1136

Here's a little video of our ziplining.




14 comments:

  1. Sounds exciting. I like the macro photos of the plants and the wee red flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not adventurous when it comes to nature hikes and ziplines. But kudos to you for your 'bravery' :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. what a fantastic adventure! did you enjoy the zipline? i love the view from the tree top walkway. the trails and flora are beautiful. i'd love to be here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i used to be less phobic when it comes to heights, but lately, just the thought of it, makes me scared.
    haha! must be the age. ^0^
    it would be fun to try it out sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've done the Canopy Tour at the Iguazu National Park in Argentina. The bird's eye views are terrific. Love the flora shots, very beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ang sarap ng biyahe na iyan. congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  7. A fine series that shows us this adventure and some excellent shots of the path and luscious plants.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Such a paradise...I'm always fearful that the zip line just might snap!! Yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is so fascinating to be in a real big rainforest, so rain you must really be prepared for. I am excited with these things but i can't try because of the height, i might die! Six of us were in Lake Sebu which has they said the longest and tallest zipline in SEA above a series of 7 waterfalls. But i opted to be left out alone on the ground, just took the 'habal-habal' to join them at the other side. I am amazed at the length of those bridges there, and wonder how it was built! But most of all, i am surprised that you can still get good photos despite the rain and the fast walk. Your finds are so beautiful. thanks for the tour!

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ P - thank you for your kind words and for the visits.

    @ DAPHNE - napasubo na kasi, walang atrasan, but I was scared at first.

    @ LUNA - yes to a point the ziplining was fun because of the views from up there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @ ARABESQUE - I was scared too, but then I just decided to suck it up and go with the flow.

    @ JM - thanks.

    @ ATTICUS - it was a memorable trip.

    @ DON - thanks.

    @ LINNEA - believe me I feared the same thing :)

    @ ANDREA - at some point in life you just have to do it no matter how much it scares you. it came to that point with me, i came all the way to miss it? so i said i was going to do the zipline here and only once in my lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oooooh! Astrid and I would do that in a New York minute, Maria. How fun. Fabulous pictures, too,!

    ReplyDelete
  13. So you call it zipline? We call flying fox. I tried it a couple of times, enjoyed it, but not really crazy about it.

    The bridge is breathtaking!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fascinating tour. I enjoyed the shots and the bridge is amazing.

    ReplyDelete