The Full DIA­MANTE

Make it Yours

Howler Magazine - - Travel - By John Brock­meier Tom Schultz

Ihad heard about Dia­mante Eco Ad­ven­ture Park even be­fore mov­ing to the Coco area of Costa Rica. Look­ing for­ward to my first visit to the park, I could barely con­tain my ex­cite­ment about the thrill of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing Cen­tral Amer­ica's long­est side-by-side zip line. There had to be a good rea­son why this so-called Su­per­man line is touted to be in the world's top of its class.

On ar­rival, we en­tered the gates and drove to the park­ing area, where a shut­tle bus took us up the steep in­cline to the Dia­mante of­fice. Be­ing greeted with the full open Pa­cific panorama off Playa Mat­a­palo was spec­tac­u­lar. The sense of tran­quil­ity was mes­mer­iz­ing as we re­laxed and en­joyed the view un­til ev­ery­one in our group ar­rived. Still, my an­tic­i­pa­tion of the com­ing adrenalin rush was no less in­tense dur­ing the wait.

In due course, I dis­cov­ered for my­self what all the fuss is about. The Su­per­man line lived up to all my heart-pound­ing ex­pec­ta­tions and then some. One of the in­ter­est­ing fea­tures I no­ticed was the self-brak­ing sys­tem. Its ad­van­tages be­came ap­par­ent when a cou­ple of older peo­ple in front of me were de­scend­ing, and I won­dered how they would han­dle stop­ping. Then it was my turn to be put on the line and sent whizzing down. Near­ing the end, I re­al­ized that al­most any­one can en­joy this ex­pe­ri­ence re­gard­less of ath­letic abil­ity, thanks to the mech­a­nism that au­to­mat­i­cally slows you down for a com­fort­able land­ing.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing the lines, we made a tour of the Dia­mante an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary. It was a rare op­por­tu­nity to marvel up close at iconic Costa Ri­can species in nat­u­ral en­clo­sures that sim­u­late their wildlife habi­tats. These an­i­mals are very well cared for, hav­ing been res­cued and re­ha­bil­i­tated in cir­cum­stances that would make re­lease into the wild not fea­si­ble for var­i­ous rea­sons. Walk­ing over the swing­ing bridge, we peered down at the hun­gry croc­o­diles, in awe of their mas­sive size and power. The jaguar brothers, their play­ful­ness be­ly­ing a fierce ap­pear­ance,

Pho­tos cour­tesy of Dia­mante Eco Ad­ven­ture Park

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