Best Bungee Jumps

Thanks to Urban Titan for the research and information, which I’m nicking for your viewing pleasure.

1. Victoria Falls Bridge, Zimbabwe/Zambia.

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Feel like plunging 500 feet above the Zambezi River? Travel to Zimbabwe or Zambia, and take the leap.  Gorgeous scenery!

2.  Royal George Suspension Bridge, Colorado.

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You only get one chance a year, but if your thing is a flying leap off the highest suspension bridge in the world (at 1053 feet) the Royal George is for you.

3.  Volcano Bungee, Chile

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Find the other bungee jumps too tame?  How about a jump from a helicopter over molten lava.  You’ll dangle from a 350-foot cord, about 700 feet from the fiery inferno below.  If that’s not exciting enough, the helicopter transports you back, dangling from your bungee cord, for 35 miles back to the base.

3.  Colorado River Bridge, Costa Rica

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Not terribly high at 265 feet, but the trip down from the Colorado River Bridge in Costa Rica offers breathtaking scenery (that is, if you keep your eyes open long enough.)

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Tarzanland

Located in the tropical jungle of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge in Costa Rica, the Almonds and Corals Lodge is comprised of 24 palm-roofed huts, or pavilions, elevated on stilts and dreamily decorated in the soft tones of the surrounding canopy. I don’t know whether I’d feel like Tarzan or Hemingway; I certainly would feel like I was on safari.

Night views of the pavilions.

Room 7. Romantic and Exotic.

I would never want to get out of bed.

Exotic Dining in the Main Dining Hall.

A single room is $235.00 per night; double occupancy is $300.00. This price includes breakfast and dinner.  Each room has an rain shower, inside and out, and biodegradable soap.   If you want a Jacuzzi in your room, add another $100 per night.

A couple of downsides:  it’s HUMID,  so much so that it affects the electricity.  I can do without a lot of things, but air conditioning (especially in high humidity) isn’t one of them.  There’s a gazillion mosquitos, so you have to keep your hut hermetically sealed if you don’t want that annoying ZZZ in your ear all night. The management also advises you to regularly check your luggage and bed for “insects”. Insects? Apparently scorpions aren’t typical but you could find one.

The Jungle Spa

The water may look a little brown, management explains, but just wait and it’ll turn clear.  It’s the natural mineral content.  It’s recommended that you don’t drink the tap water, although it’s perfectly safe to bath in.  The management is more than happy to assist you in removing any “small animals” that sneak into your room.  The didn’t specify what type of animal.  I’m hoping it’s a cute monkey.

Outside view of pavilions.

The beach does have riptides, and the management explains that you must observe the water before going in.  They also tell you what to look for:  the waves should be parallel with no brown colour.  (I think I’d tie myself with a long rope to a palm tree before taking a dip, just in case.)

I guess I’m not much of an adventurer.  I love the look of the lodge (especially the huts) but the humidity, bugs, and killer riptides?  I don’t know which of the three are worse.  Hell, I don’t even go camping.

Canada with Palm Trees

When one door closes, another one opens.  Or maybe two or three.

It turns out Central America wants me too–maybe more than Belize.   I feel like a debutante at her cotillion, surrounded by prospective suitors.  Let’s see what these other suitors have to offer:

1.  Costa Rica.  In 1980, Costa Rica began its retiree incentive program, directed mainly at the U.S.  It was wildly successful, to the extent that now the Costa Rican government is scaling back: they’ve increased the pensionado income requirement from $600 per month to $1,000 dollars per month.

2.  Panama.  Panama, to the south, is doing some serious courting. Its retirement incentive program has been called the gold standard.    Highly westernized, Panama is a stable country which enjoys excellent health care.  For the retiree, you pay no taxes on your property.  You are able to import a new car every two years, tax-free.  You also get discounts on a ton of things, from dining to health services.  It’s all yours if you earn $1,000 per month–and for that thousand, you can own property, hire maids and landscapers, and a manicurist or two.

3.  Nicaragua.  North of Costa Rica, Nicaragua also boasts an attractive retirement incentive program designed to attract real estate development and tourist dollars.  Nicaragua’s incentives are similar to those in Belize, and includes things like a $50,000 tax exemption off the cost of building materials.

It’s hard not to think of this region–particularly Panama and Nicaragua–as anything other than treacherous war zones run by ruthless dictators.  Fortunately for us–and them–things are different now.

I’ve thought a lot about my needs in what will be my new (part-time) country.  I want it unspoiled, but modern; I want a hut, but with all the conveniences; I want a modern, accessible health care system, free of cost; I want a life unencumbered by red tape; I want the freedom to change my mind.

I want Canada, only with palm trees.

Stunning Waterfall, Costa Rica.