It’s official – zip lining is the new way to sightsee. From the Costa Rican jungle to the Eiffel Tower, loads of famous landmarks and attractions seem to be getting their very own zip line. Here’s where you can tackle some of the best in the world…
Forget beaches and relaxation. These days, a holiday isn’t a holiday unless you’ve channelled your inner Tarzan and zoomed across a zip wire strapped to a harness. It’s the quickest and most efficient way to tick off those impressive sights, after all.
This week the UAE announced a new zip line attraction, where brave tourists can hurtle across a line that’s over 2,800 metres long – the exact length hasn’t been announced, but we can guarantee that it’ll be a record breaker. It’ll officially open in the first week of December 2017, just in time for Christmas!
And, if you want to carry on ticking off plenty of other challenging zip lines, here are some you can try out in our top destinations. Whether you’re into jungle japes or mountain mischief, there’s an adventure waiting for you…
There’s no better way to get acquainted with Costa Rica’s breathtaking rainforest landscape and jungle canopies than by skirting over them at 50 miles an hour. In fact, zip lining is one of the top activities to tick off in the tropical country. There are several locations and excursions to choose from, but the top places for a rainforest adventure include the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, the Tortuguero National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is a 35,000-acre volcanic national park packed with sulphur pools, tropical birds, howler monkeys and sloths. While, the mist-covered Monteverde Cloud Forest is a jungle high in the mountains which is home to hummingbirds, toucans and rare butterflies. You can walk over the eight hanging bridges or tackle it via zip line – the longest line being over a kilometre. Or, head to the Tortuguero National Park, known as the ‘Amazon of Costa Rica’, which is teeming with tropical wildlife, a maze of lakes and canals, and 13 zip-lining platforms that you’ll get an amazing bird’s-eye-view from.
Jamaica’s adventure-filled Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios is where you can get stuck into some sky-high escapades. The adventure park crams in an aerial gondola ride, a bobsledding adventure, 10 zip-lines and even an infinity pool and a waterslide.
To get to the top of the mountain, you’ll take a speedy gondola ride over the jungle canopy, taking in views of Ocho Rios’ coastline and the Caribbean Sea. Then at the top, there’s a jungle bobsled ride. Yep – we’re talking a real life version of Cool Runnings where you’ll whizz around a 1,000 metre tree-lined track in a bobsled that looks just like the one from the film. And once you’ve had enough rides (because you can go again and again), you can zip-line right down to the bottom of the mountain. There are 10 platforms to cross, each with increasing difficulty, and from the longest one you’ll be able to see the ocean. The friendly, fun-loving guys who run the tour entertain you as you go, zipping across the wires in ways you didn’t even know were possible.
From ancient Mayan ruins to secret cenote pools in underground caves, Mexico’s Caribbean coast lines up so many unique sights to spot. And, it has its fair share of rainforest to explore. On our Tulum Jungle Maya tour, you’ll be able to tick off all three and cover both land and sea on this exciting expedition. You’ll swim in Yaxmuul cenote, a natural pool tucked away in a cave, and go snorkelling in Sac-Actuncenote, the world’s longest underground river. You’ll then hop into a 4×4 to explore the rainforest and, you guessed it, zip line through the thick jungle. The tour ends with an exploration of ancient Mayan site Tulum to round off your fun-packed day.
If you’re heading to Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, you’ll be able to tackle Mexico’s longest and fastest zip-line course and add a big dose of adrenaline to your trip. You’ll find it right in the depths of the Sierra Madre Mountains, where there are treetop bridges, zip lines, canyon swings and an abseiling platform to cover. One of the zip lines is a massive 1,200 metres long, and you can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour on it. If you do this as part of our Jungle Expedition, you’ll be able to raft down a river afterwards.
Mauritius might seem like the place for a tranquil island escape, but it’s actually the home of some adrenaline-fuelled activities – sky diving, abseiling down a waterfall, and walking along the sea bed wearing a bubble helmet, to name a few. Head to Casela World of Adventures, which is near the resort of Flic en Flac and you can do some zip lining over the tropical jungle, too. This place has the longest zip line in Mauritius, which leaves you in the air for a dizzying 22 seconds, and you can pick an hour long tour or go for the whole day if you fancy. Best of all, there’s the option of zip lining in tandem, so if you’re feeling a bit scared, you can actually hold hands with someone along the way. After you’ve crossed all the platforms and consider yourself to be a zip lining expert, try the canyon swing, which involves stepping off a 45-metre-high platform and swinging Tarzan-style (quite literally) through a canyon.
Don’t miss the Nature Kingdom area here which is full of exotic birds, big cats, giraffes and rhinos. After your high-octane adventure, you can pay a visit to the peaceful lettuce-munching giant tortoises that are native to the island.
Exploring St Lucia’s scenery makes you feel like you’ve stepped onto a film set. There’s everything from dramatic mountains and sparkling waterfalls, to emerald jungles and even a drive-through volcano. On the north west of the island, you’ll also find the Treetop Adventure Park, where you can fly over a forest canopy at 30mph spotting tropical blooms and exotic birds as you go. There are 12 zip lines to tackle, including the longest and tallest on the island at a huge height of 150 feet. St Lucia has its own native parrot, aptly named the St Lucia parrot, that exists only on the island – so keep an eye out for the striking, rainbow-coloured bird as you’re whizzing past. And, if you’d rather take things at a more leisurely pace, there’s always the option of the air gondola, which will take you on a gentle ride through the rainforest. Pick the Royalton St Lucia hotel as your base to be closest to the action.
There are plenty of places to hop on a zip-line in the Dominican Republic, including Punta Cana in the east and Puerto Plata on the north coast. If you want to pack as many adventures as you can into one trip, try our Extreme Mega Adventure tour which combines a waterfall and plantation visit with horse riding and zip-lining. You’ll visit the pretty Damajagua Waterfalls before saddling up at a ranch and going on horseback through the countryside. You’ll then be whisked to a tropical plantation to check out native aloe vera and blackberry plants before taking part in a zip-lining adventure through the forest.
You can also spend the day whizzing across 8 zip lines in the Anamuya Mountains in Bavara on our excursion. This course consists of 2,100 metres of cable and covers the whole of the mountain region, with the longest line stretching for almost a kilometre. Once you’ve got your head for heights, you can try the extreme swing adventure too.