So far on our travels we’d driven, cycled, trekked, climbed, sailed and swam through many incredible national parks, so when we discovered we could zipline our way around the lush jungle of Bastimentos national park in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, we were up for the challenge! I mean, what was the worst that could happen on a 300 metre-long zipline 100 feet above the ground? Hmm we decided not to contemplate that and listened rather carefully to our safety briefing instead! Luckily these guys were professionals at it…well the one on the left anyway!With our safety briefing complete and after 20 minutes of getting belted, buckled, tied, gloved and strapped in (phew!) we clipped our helmets on and set off into the jungle ready for our adventure! Luckily the adrenaline and excitement was going by now so nobody cared how ridiculous we looked.
Having successfully passed our clipping and swinging skills test on the practice line, we were finally ready to start our tour. Safely attached, we began climbing the stairs up to the height of the forest canopy where we’d spend the next 2 hours acting like monkeys – awesome!
Upon arrival at the platform we took a minute to contemplate the first of our 7 ziplines we had to look forward to. At 150 metres long, the guide informed us this was quite a fast one (oh joy!) so remember to use our ‘breaks’ towards the end (i.e. repeatedly pull our weight down on the rope as hard as possible!).
Thrilled and relieved to have successfully applied my breaks and completed my first smooth platform landing, my confidence was building and ready to take on the longest (and highest at 200 feet) of our ziplines for the tour (oh and one of the longest in all of Central America apparently)…deep breath and off I went! Flying through the lush green canopy surrounded only by jungle and wildlife was amazing! Can you spot me in the distance?
And getting closer…After the exhilaration of 5 ziplines, we weren’t prepared for the scary part that came next however…it was assault course time! Faced with wobbly wooden planks and thin ropes, fear kicked in a little for the first time as we tentatively wobbled our way across the chained wood, trying to avoid looking directly down! After another bridge, tarzan swing and a climb up some more wobbly wooden planks, we were a little relieved to have completed that part of the course!
Next we were back to our favourite activity as we faced the final ziplines!
Full of confidence now our guide challenged us to go hands free and upside down for the last swing…well I decided i’d rather not have a rush of blood to the head, but braved a hands free ride and loved it! We couldn’t believe our 2 hours was up already, it had felt like only 10 minutes!Ziplining through the jungle of Bastimentos was an amazing experience and one we’d highly recommend if you get a chance to visit!