A Ride on Mexico’s Longest zipline Is an Experience to Remember
I love beaches, but I get bored quickly and soon look for something a bit more exciting to do. Experiencing a kilometre-long zipline at speeds of 100 km/h through a Mexican jungle qualifies.
The zipline in question is near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and at 1,200 metres in length is the longest in Mexico. (For the record, the longest in the world is in Peru and is more than 2 kilometres long.) I was invited by the Puerto Vallarta Convention and Visitors Bureau to try it.
It’s operated by Vallarta Adventures, a big tour operator in the Pacific coast town that offers a wide variety of activities for tourists . They work with the cruise ships that come to town so they’ve got a steady stream of business. But you don’t have to be a cruise-ship passenger to take advantage of their services. They can easily accommodate independent travellers.
From the beach, you can see the mountains rise up behind Puerto Vallarta. It’s there that the ziplines sit, high in the jungle, several kilometres away from the city.
To get there, Vallarta Adventures ships out their customers in a vintage, military truck where passengers sit face to face on benches in the back. The drive out takes about an hour and gives you a chance to appreciate the rural scenery as you wind your way up into the hills.
The drive into the camp is reminiscent of scenes from the Jurassic Park movies with tourists being driven in open trucks on rough, dirt roads through the jungle. There were no dinosaurs here, but the big zipline was certainly dinosaur-sized in our imaginations as we approached.
Nicknamed Big Papa, the longest zipline is the day’s climax, but the activities that precede it are equally exciting with each providing greater adrenaline rushes than the one before.
The guides are enthusiastic and energetic and do their best to amp up the visitors to have a good time. It works.
While having fun is important to the guides, it’s clear that safety is an even higher priority for them. They start your visit with a safety briefing and some quick training on how to ride a zipline. Unlike some other zipline operators near Puerto Vallarta, this operation uses double cables on all of its ziplines which increases the safety factor. If one ever breaks, you’re attached to a second line.
After a quick hike up a nearby hill, you come to the first zipline of the day. It seems like a challenge, but it’s only a training line and helps you learn the ropes, literally, and helps you get over any fears you may be harbouring.