A sweltering half-hour bus ride from Granada and a pleasant 1.5 km walk up from the carreterra brought us to the Volcán Mombacho Reserve park entrance. There, a guy from the Canopy Tour company brought us further up the road to their hut, where we promply purchased/consumed cold beverages, and then commenced strapping in for our adventure.
I asked one of the guys how many people had died doing this. His answer: none today. We had thought there would be a “training session” on a wimpy, fear-of-heights-friendly zipline. Instead, we were treated to a 10-second display by one of the hired hands before he rocketed out 50 feet above the forest floor to the next platform 200 ft down the hillside. Next, I strapped in and I was off, keeping my left hand on the caribiner and my right duly on the cable behind my zipwheel as a brake. Soon, all four of us had zipped between several treetop platforms, any residual hesitation swept away by the dizzying rush (also, the guys didn’t give us a chance to stop and think).
Now you might think that this was enough excitement for one day. But no, next we tried “superman” position (no, we’re not talking Kama Sutra here, get your filthy mind out of the gutter). With a guide in tow, you lie face-down with your arms outstretched and leap out into the abyss, somehow trusting that between your back and the cable is a sturdy connection.
But there’s more. The truly adventurous can fly across the forest canopy, 100 ft above ground, upside down — head down & legs up for an novel, inverted view of the vegetation below. Now that was pretty exciting.
As a final treat, we got to cross a supension bridge and observe a troop of Howler Monkeys climbing in the tree top (alpha male, babies and the rest) from as close as 15 ft. Oh yeah, the whole way we had nice cool breezes worh their weight in gold (it’s true, think about it).
Budget Monkey Details
- Mombacho Tours Canopy Tour – US$28.75 including tranport to and from Park Entrance. You don’t have to pay the park entrance fee to do the Canopy Tour (but you should, because the trip to the cloud forest atop the volcano is an adventure in itself).
- Bus from Granada (round trip) – 12 Córdobas (US$0.66). Take the bus to Rivas or Nandaime.