Diamante Eco Adventure Park Review – Zipline and Zoo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Our trip to Costa Rica was months in the planning, especially since we were trying to coordinate between four families in three different provinces. When we finally settled on Costa Rica, Mom immediately said she wanted to try ziplining.
Now, Mom is well into her 70s, and has some issues with her knees. She’s not a little lady, either. But what Mama wants, Mama gets, and my sister did a ton of research, trying to find a zipline near Playas del Coco that could safely accommodate Mom.
We eventually settled on Diamante Eco Adventure Park, after my sister contacted a number of places to grill them on their safety equipment and practices. This ended up being an excellent compromise, as our kids were too small to go on the zipline (much to their disappointment), and Trevor and I were not into ziplining, ourselves, but the zoo was plenty entertaining for all of us were too little (or too chicken) to go with Mom.
Admission was, like many of the things we encountered in Costa Rica, surprisingly pricey. Our son, at age 5, had to pay an admission, though our daughter (age 3) was free. We all elected to try the buffet lunch, which tacked on an additional expense, but that was completely worth it; the food was good, and simple enough to be appealing to the non-adventurous eaters in the group.
The ‘animal sanctuary’ area was a great hit with the kids. I am not entirely comfortable calling it a rescue, however, as some of the cages were awfully small for the animals they contained, and most of the animals appeared to be adults (rather than juveniles being rehabilitated for release). Having said that, all of the animals appeared to be healthy and well cared for, and the enclosures were all very clean.
For Trevor, who enjoys bird watching and photography, the highlight was the bird enclosure – specifically the toucans. The enclosure was the type you can go inside, and the toucans were very obliging, sitting on low branches and flirting with the camera. Trevor was able to get some stunning bird photos.
The kids were quite entranced by the butterflies. Marcus had been learning about blue morpho butterflies in our research on Costa Rica, and was delighted to get up close with a bunch of them in the butterfly enclosure. There was an interpretive area in the back of the butterfly enclosure, which was air-conditioned…a nice discovery on a 30+ degree day!
Jordie and I were completely wowed by the jaguars. Jordie, because she loves cats, period; I was really pleased that they were out and active and busy being photogenic.
While waiting for Mom to come down the zipline, we sat down near the sloth exhibit, and got us each a drink from the concession. There were shaded areas around the zoo, but it was really hot, especially where the sun was beating down on paved paths. The slushy drinks were a welcome treat, but they were pricey, even for a tourist attraction.
Of note, the website had advertised free drinks, but these were at the entrance area; the zipline and zoo were both quite a distance from the entrance, and you are bused down after paying your admission, so you are really a captive audience once you are in. The bus runs back and forth between the entrance and the zoo every 15 minutes or so, but who wants to interrupt happy kids to go get a drink? I highly recommend packing lots of snacks and a big bottle of water (or two) for your visit. You will want to bring lots of sunscreen, too, and wear a hat, as it can get very hot.
Mom and my sister were very happy with their zipline experience. Mom decided to pass on some stretches of the line that were just too intimidating – like the ‘superman’ line, where you are strapped in facing down (rather than in a sitting position), and reportedly can get up over 70 miles per hour. It was no issue for her to skip these parts, which was helpful. There were some significant stretches of stairs between lines, but the staff were very patient while Mom made her way down them. All of the equipment appeared to be in good condition, and Mom felt as safe as you really can when you’re flying through the air!
While we did not check them out, ourselves, we were informed that there is a private beach area to swim in, as well as guided horseback rides (for an additional fee). The zoo and zipline were enough to keep us busy while we were there!
I would recommend the Diamante Eco Adventure Park, especially to families where there are different levels of adventurousness in the group. With a range of activities, clean, well maintained paths (fine for strollers and wheelchairs), and the option to have lunch without having to go off the property, it is a nice day trip. Just remember to pack your own drinks and snacks!