This blog is written as a trip review by a passenger who visited the Iguazu Forest.
Zip Lining in Iguazu, my recent visit to Iguazu Falls in the Argentine province of Misiones turned out to be unforgettable for more reasons than one. Of course, the waterfalls themselves were completely incredible, but the day before I visited the falls, I had another great experience that was even more personally meaningful to me: zip lining in Iguazu Forest.
After checking into my hostel in the town of Puerto Iguazu, I boarded an open-air safari truck that would take a group of tourists like me to the Iguazu Forest. I’d signed up for a jungle excursion that was geared towards adventurers and featured trekking/hiking, rappelling and zip lining. I’m not the hugest adventurer myself, and in fact, when I signed up for this excursion I wasn’t completely sure if I was going to end up going zip lining, on a zip wire tour or rappelling. The truth is, I’m very afraid of heights. But I love hiking and exploring, anyway, and decided that I’d go on the outing and see how I felt about the other activities once we got into the forest. At the very least, I could certainly hike around and enjoy the jungle scenery and wildlife.
I was a bit confused when we stopped below a zip line station and were told to get off. I’d envisioned more of a free-for-all excursion, in which the people who wanted to go zip lining could break off from the people who wanted to go hiking, and so forth. Apparently, that wasn’t the way this adventure was going to work.
Everybody else on the truck jumped out eagerly, running over to the harnessing station without a care in the world. I lagged behind, avoiding the crowd and nervously looking up at the platform where the zip lining began, perched at the top of a tree. It was pretty darn high—about 20 meters, or 65 feet. The wooden staircase leading up to the platform looked even scarier than the platform itself.
Before long I was one of the only few people left who hadn’t suited up in the obligatory safety harness, helmet and gloves. Our guide had asked me a couple of times if I was ready to suit up, and both times I’d shaken my head frantically “no.” All of my fellow adventurers were already climbing the staircase fearlessly. They were nothing but excited. I felt incredibly envious of their courage. Truthfully, the idea of zip lining in Iguazu Forest sounded very attractive in theory, but the sight of that platform way up in the trees terrified me. I felt a wave of tears coming on as the first brave soul whizzed off across the canopy, calling out in excitement as he went.
As more and more people took off through the trees, I paced back and forth, filled with nothing but disappointment for myself for not being able to conquer my silly fear. Eventually I decided to ask the guide for a harness; there was a small cable set up underneath the staircase that was obviously meant for scared people like me who needed to experiment with the sensation of zip lining before doing the real thing. I put on the equipment and the guide hitched me up to the mini zip line, instructing me on how to hold onto the bars and move them back and forth to slow myself down. I lifted up my feet and coasted down the tiny cable. The sensation of hanging in the air supported by a harness didn’t feel absurd; on the contrary, it was simple and relaxing. I decided to give it a go, and a minute later I was climbing slowly up the wooden staircase toward the platform.
Halfway through, I froze solid. A wave of panic gushed over me as I took in my surroundings, and fresh tears rolled down my face. I watched the last person zip off through the trees and realized I was about to miss my last chance to go zip lining in Iguazu Forest.
A few full minutes later, I continued climbing extremely slowly, gripping the banister as I went. As I reached the top of the stairs, the man working the platform stepped down and held my hand to guide me the rest of the way. I was shaking uncontrollably as he hitched me onto the bar.
“Sit,” he told me simply in Spanish
“Sit on what?” I asked, chattering in fear.
“Sit,” he repeated, and I realized he wanted me to sit down in mid-air, just like I’d done on the mini cable down below. This was it, the moment of choice.
I sat. And I was off, gliding along the cable through the trees. Almost instantly, my fear vanished and was replaced with pure wonder at the sight before—and below—me. I was above the trees, and it felt perfectly natural. I felt safely supported by the harness. I was flying—flying!
“Wooooo!” I yelled instinctively. I heard the guide below clapping as I left my fears behind. I’ll never forget the incredible sensation that I was flying, something I’d only dreamed about experiencing. I knew that I’d made the right choice by going zip lining in Iguazu Forest.