The new Xtasea in Acapulco is billed as the world’s longest overwater zipline. // © 2017 Mark Chesnut/LatinFlyer.com
Featured image (above): Vallarta Adventures offers packages that include ziplining and off-roading. // © 2017 Vallarta Adventures
For some vacationers, there’s nothing more exciting than flying — not the overcrowded plane ride, of course, but the breathtaking experience of soaring over the wilderness. And Mexico has more ziplines than ever, where thrill- seekers can strap on a harness and take to the sky.
The most attention-getting new zipline this year is Xtasea, which is advertised as the world’s longest overwater zipline. This Acapulco attraction — which is owned by Grupo Autofin, a company with plans for more developments in the destination — sends brave souls on a 5,906-foot trip over Puerto Marques Bay, where they reach speeds of up to 75 mph. A shuttle picks them up on the other side of the bay.
Many zipline attractions in Mexico provide the opportunity to combine the experience with other decidedly active endeavors. Cabo Adventures, for example, offers an Outdoor Zip Line Adventure package in Los Cabos that takes visitors through part of the UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve, reaching a maximum speed of 60 mph as participants glide nearly 4,000 feet. On the same excursion, visitors can also go rock climbing, hike across suspended bridges and ride Polaris RZR off-road UTV buggies.
Outside of Mazatlan is Huana Coa, an adventure park that has nine ziplines and 12 platforms, as well as ATV and rappelling activities. The interesting activity pairing here is Los Osuna, a blue agave distillery where visitors can learn about the mezcal-making process and perhaps enjoy a sample or two to celebrate their zipline flight.
In the state of Oaxaca, visitors to the beach resorts in Huatulco can take a ride on the zipline at Tangolunda Bay, which is located about 15 minutes from the town of Santa Cruz. Visitors will glide at about 16 mph over a dense canopy of trees, with lots of interesting photo opportunities.
Riviera Maya and Cancun
Mexico’s Caribbean coast offers an array of unique zipline experiences. At Xplor, near Playa del Carmen, the 14 ziplines go above ground as well as underground, allowing visitors to fly at speeds of up to 19 mph over suspended bridges and waterslides. In Cancun, the Selvatica Extreme Canopy Tour includes a 10-line circuit with three different types of ziplines (one of which is over water, and another is upside-down), as well as the chance to swim in a cenote. Lunch and nonalcoholic beverages are included in the full tour.
A quick ferry ride away from Cancun, on Isla Mujeres, Garrafon Park is home to a zipline that starts from a 42-foot tower and extends above the tranquil Caribbean waters; it’s a good complement to the park’s snorkeling, kayaking and swimming activities.
Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta
In Puerto Vallarta, Los Veranos Canopy, billed as the first zipline tour in Mexico, features 15 lines that run at speeds of up to 30 mph. One of the easiest ways to visit is through a company called Vallarta Adventures, which offers a six-hour Extreme Adventure package that includes a zipline ride as well as off-road outings in a Polaris UTV. Another option is the company’s Outdoor Adventure tour, which includes ziplining as well as rappelling and jungle hiking.
Celebrity sightings might accompany a zipline experience in Rancho Mi Chaparrita in Riviera Nayarit, where a line extends more than 1 mile and reaches heights of 410 feet. Thirteen cables and three suspension bridges make it easy for guests to enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains. According to tourism officials, big-name celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the visitors who’ve taken to the skies here. Horseback riding and ATV tours are also available.