Canopy Tour . Puerto Vallarta
I’ve wanted to do a canopy tour, or zip line ride, for some time. The concept is simple: You get strapped into a multiple point harness, latch a handheld wheel onto cables strung between trees and platforms, then fly over or through the treetops for a birds eye view of the land.
I’ve seen ads for them during past trips to the Yucatan Peninsula, but although the Yucatan jungle is beautiful I never found zip-lining appealing due to the flat landscape. I’ve seen photos of zip liners in Costa Rica and it looked like a fun adventure. So when in Puerto Vallarta Mexica recently I decided to give it a shot. Puerto Vallarta sits snug up against the lush Sierra Madre mountains making for some scenery in addition to the adrenaline rush.
Several companies offer the tours. Actually with the number of vendors plying for your business it seems like several thousand companies. The couple managing the condo we stayed at recommended “Los Veranos.” Their office is next to the Pemex Station, just up the hill from old town Puerto Vallarta. We hopped on their small bus and 20 minutes later after a ride down the rugged coast overlooking the bay we were in the village of Mismaloya.
Upon arrival we stowed our valuables, (so they wouldn’t fall out of pockets and plummet to the forest below,) and gathered around to watch a primer and safety demo on how exactly to zip-line. It’s quite simply and extremely safe. Our professional guides were energetic 20somethings who made everyone feel welcome. After a demonstration using one of the kids in our group we proceeded and and I had no qualms whatsoever.
Our first few runs were under the trees. Eventually we hiked higher and above the treetops making some long “zips” a few hundred feet above the valley and river. A few short walks were required allowing us to pause a bit and take in the surroundings. When the group periodically assembled on a platform or ledge our guides pointed out local such as a coffee bean native to that Mexican region.
I can’t say it was the most phenomenally thrilling activity I’ve ever done. I’m not scared of heights, so I got a little bored mid way just sliding back and forth. But the last few lines are a few hundred feet over a river – which provides a stellar view of the mountains and valleys.
While I probably won’t do another zip line tour is was an enjoyable day, and I was able to cross it off my travel “to-do” list. Since this trip was just sitting on the beach with friends it was an excellent time to do something underwhelming, rather than have it eat up a day somewhere more exotic like Costa Rica or someplace.
Here’s some additional photos if considering such an adventure. It’s great for the kids too and the ones in our group had a great time. If in Puerto Vallarta I’d recommend Los Veranos as well.