At the beginning of the tour, our instructor explained, "But if you do happen to stop halfway on the cable, you will find which of your friends are really your friends. The ones who aren't will immediately whip out their cameras and start taking pictures of you." This drew a laugh, but little did I know that I would be blessed with that experience three times on the zip lining tour. (And in actuality, the walls of mist of the cloud rainforest were too thick to allow for pictures.)
I swear, I followed all the instructions. I really did. But for some reason, I just couldn’t make it all the way on three of the lines. On the first few I was okay, and the experience was exhilarating (though it is somewhat interrupted by having to make sense of the guides’ hand signals about braking). The cool mist rushing past my face as the forest canopy whooshing by (not to mention the forest floor sometimes hundreds of feet below) is quite the mental picture I am unlikely to forget. But as I stepped off the longest zip line they have (I think the longest in Costa Rica), something went amiss and I stopped midstream. I started pulling myself out, hand over hand, until a guide came over and pulled me out. This happened again on the next two. (This time I pulled my self out with my now rock hard arms. Quite the workout!)
Here’s what I think happened: My body twisted to the right after a few seconds in the air with each one. Afraid to brake at all, I didn’t use the brake to realign my body, and my speed suffered the consequence. Of course, the instructor didn’t mention anything about that. So there’s a strike against them. Overall, though, the instruction was good, and I always felt safe in the guides’ hands. They were super professional (most were half decent at English), and when I got to see them zip lining (for them the three hundredth time) they could do cool stunts like hanging upside down.
There are three elements to a zip line: height, speed, and length. Height gives awe, speed exhilaration, and length just makes that happiness last longer. Overall, Mundo’s ten lines do well in these categories. There are a couple were you go really fast, and a couple where you travel a really long ways across the mountain valley in view of La Fortuna Falls. The long ones are really slow (which is why I stopped on them), and the fast ones are rather short. I suppose it is difficult to get both. The rest of the lines were somewhat monotonous, especially in the beginning (but the original thrill makes up for that), but it really doesn’t matter; you’re flying through the canopy for heaven’s sake! I would be interested to see, though, how Disney would make such a course with their infinite ingenuity (and resources, I suppose).
In all, I would be absolutely beaming about the trip had I not had my stopping experiences. With those, though, I do have a suggestion for Mundo: make one line (maybe the long one, as that’s slow enough anyway) one where instead of zipping you just pull yourself along (or are pulled with a pulley contraption) so you can just sit back and enjoy the waterfall and valley hundreds of feet below. The three times that I stopped I wished I could just stay that way and enjoy the view!
One random observation: in English, “Mundo Aventura” is Adventure World, which (at least to me) sounds a little hokey. I wonder if there is the same connotation in Spanish.
We took the option of riding the horses the way back down. We were herded into an “indigenous village” which surprisingly was quite genuine. All the Indians of the area are modernized of course, but they have this plot of land at Mundo to try to preserve their heritage and sell their wares for a good cause. There were bowls, facemasks, and necklaces for sale, and my group indulged. The horseback riding was fun and lasted about as long as the web site suggests (45 minutes). However, unlike how the web site claims there was no guided natural ecosystems walk. All in all, though, I do feel that I got my sixty dollar’s worth. This attraction was certainly one of the highlights of our trip, and I would undoubtedly do it again; the natural setting is unbeatable.
If you own or manage Arenal Mundo Aventura, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.