Ready to feel the wind in your hair and see your destination from a bird’s-eye view? Here are some of the world’s best places to zip-line, from active volcanoes to historic landmarks.
Costa Rica is perhaps best known for two things: active volcanoes and zip-lines. Combine both with a canopy tour of Arenal Volcano. Arenal’s foothills make up one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the country and therefore one of the best places to zip-line. You’ll sling from platform to platform, learning about the wildlife and the volcano along the way. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a sloth or monkey.
Not into volcanoes? Try the famed cloud forest of Monteverde for higher cables and an elevation that makes for whimsical fog in some weather conditions.
Don’t want to go it alone on a zip-line? You and a friend can experience the thick New Zealand bush together in an untouched native area outside of Auckland thanks to EcoZip Adventures’ dual zip-lines. Learn about the North Island’s more remote natural areas on a day trip to these three different zip-line experiences, crisscrossing across the property and overlooking vineyards and the Hauraki Gulf.
One of the world’s most famous and best places to zip-line is called La Bestia (the beast) for a reason. At over 1.5 miles long, Puerto Rico is home to the world’s longest zip-line, and riders tackle it head-first—literally. Suspended belly-down and “Superman-style,” you can hit speeds of up to 65 miles per hour over the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park on La Bestia. Transportation from San Juan is included, making for easy access to the experience. Just be ready for an adrenaline rush.
The longest overwater zip-line in the world, Haiti’s Dragon’s Breath zip-line will send you soaring 500 feet above the island’s bright blue waters and idyllic beaches. Riders reach speeds of about 50 miles per hour and land at a rocky sea cove called Dragon’s Breath Rock. This zip-line caters mostly to cruise passengers thanks to its proximity to a port.
Zip-lining isn’t just a tropical pastime—it’s also the best way to go leaf peeping in a deciduous autumn forest. One of the most colorful places in the U.S. during fall is Vermont, which protects many of its forests and doesn’t allow billboards to obstruct its sweeping mountain views. Stowe, Vermont, is a favorite for skiing during winter, but is also perfect for fall thanks to its zip-lines, like the ones at Stowe Mountain Resort. They’re also side-by-side for paired runs, and open to ages 10 and up.
In case the height and speed of zip-lining doesn’t give you enough of a rush, you can add caves to the mix in Belize. Soaring into Jaguar Cave, an ancient ceremonial space, means you’ll see the green, leafy canopy from above before entering a dark, stalactite-filled mouth at a sudden end to the forest floor. Jaguar Cave also offers tubing and spelunking tours to visitors, but seeing and entering it from the jungle sky is the most mesmerizing way to discover it.
For one brief week this summer, the Eiffel Tower made history by suspending a temporary zip-line over its historic grounds and offering it up to visitors free of charge. The urban zip-line was sponsored by Perrier and celebrated the French Open in June, but its immense success begs the question of whether or not it might temporarily return again one day. The trip down from the world’s most visited monument took about one minute to complete, and riders hit speeds of about 55 miles per hour.
Alaska has some of the best mountain and glacier views in the world, and a lengthy zip-line might be the most invigorating way to see them. The Icy Strait Point ZipRider sends up to six riders at a time (side-by-side) across the length of 18 football fields for an all-encompassing view of Icy Strait Point, near the small Alaskan village of Hoonah. Evergreen trees and mountain peaks punctuate the sightline to a ship-dotted harbor. Try it in winter for snow-capped views if you’re not deterred by the cold.
By: Shannon McMahon, Smarter Travel, July 19, 2017
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