Throughout my travels in Costa Rica, I was bombarded by signs for various tours in nearly every town I was in. Whether it was horseback riding, night tours in the jungle, turtle watching, whale watching, deep sea fishing or canopy tours, there was was never room for a tourist to get bored! I, however, was a special kind of tourist. I was the kind that traveled around with a backpack, scoffing at all the tourist attractions, saying I’d never get pulled into that crap. Truth of the matter was, I would have loved to ride a horse on the beach or take a day trip on a sail boat… but four months of traveling makes you many things, and one of them is cheap! My budget just didn’t allow for $60 here and $100 there, so I decided I would take just one “tour”, and I would save it for something good.
The end of my trip arrived and I found myself in Alajuela (a city just near San Jose) with nothing to do but walk around and eat fruit. Because it was my birthday weekend, I decided I’d be much better off spending my last few days in the lush, green cloud forest of Monteverde just 3 hours away. So I got on a bus and headed over, meeting some great people on the way.
I had no big intentions for my 3 days in Monteverde, I thought I’d just hike and visit the hummingbird gardens. But that quickly changed when my new friends mentioned doing a canopy tour and bungee jumping. Suddenly I remembered my promise to myself to indulge in one tourist attraction… it was now or never!
Our second day in Monteverde, we booked a canopy tour through our hostel at Extremo Park, the most well known canopy tour in Costa Rica. They picked us up at our hostel at 9:00 am and took us to the park, which was included in the price of the tour. At the park we had the options of doing the canopy tour (zip lining), the superman (a zip line where you’re suspended from your back and feet), the Tarzan swing (an extreme rope swing), bungee jumping, and the Extreme Tarzan (which is the Tarzan off of the bungee platform). I was sure I’d do the canopy tour, but I had my doubts about the bungee! Luckily, I was sharing the experience with an awesome (or should I say extremo) group of people, which soon came to be known as Team Extremo (pronounced as a gringo would, of course). “It’s a good day to die” was the motto for the day, a motto which may have gotten me thinking a little more than I should have before taking those leaps of faith! I will admit though, it was a good day to die… warm and sunny. (Kidding, mom).
We did the full canopy tour, which included rappel, Tarzan and Superman and a total of almost 3 km of zip lining. You would think that that would be enough excitement for one day, but funny enough, the combination of all of these things left me totally prepared and wanting to bungee jump. Each part of the canopy tour got more and more intimidating, and every time I put my feet back on the forest floor I was left with a sense of accomplishment and thinking “that’s it? no big deal!”. More than the adrenaline, I’ve become addicted to watching fear transform into confidence.
Needless to say, the bungee jump was a liberating and awesome experience. There were moments of it that I absolutely hated, like hanging by my feet and spinning in circles uncontrollably, but still I’m so happy I did it. And it’s true, when one door closes another opens… skydiving somehow seems a little less far-flung now.