River Canopy Zipline Expedition-2013
River Canopy Zipline Expedition
Disclosure: We did the river canopy tour last year and had a lot of fun. We wrote it up in a blog post, so this year, they
invited us to do the expedition for free and had their photographer document our trip. So this report might not be 100% unbiased, but you will see we always call a spade a spade.
Last year my wife talked her way out, but not this year. After a short introduction about zipping and braking, complete with corny jokes, we were off on our expedition with Miguel, Hector, and Gerardo.
You are at the top of the river ravine to start. This is the River Cuale, the same one that divides Puerto Vallarta from Old Town. You take a short zipline to make sure you were listening and then the longer and higher ones start.
In between ziplines there are some climb/hikes, Just about the time you are huffing and puffing and ready to stop, you get to
the start of the next zipline. I love heights, but the first run that is 300 feet or so above the canyon floor is still a rush. The guides really do a good job getting even the most timid to pick up their knees and go. There is no strength required, the harness does all the work. All you have to do is lean back and enjoy (or if you don’t like heights, endure) the ride. There are about 6 or so impressive ziplines before you get down to the easier part of the expedition.
Next, you head horizontal for a while, crossing swinging bridges and at one point leaning out and walking a cable across. This all leads up to the next big challenge.
Just when everyone was getting pretty cocky about having braved the ziplines and crossed the various bridges, we came to
the top of a 70 foot cliff and it was time to rappel. My wife says the toughest part of the day was swinging your butt out into space with your feet against the wall. Once you overcame this fear obstacle, the actual rappelling was pretty easy, you could walk or even hop down and you really have complete control. Once at the bottom you had to climb back up for a “free fall” this really wasn’t a free fall, it was just a trip down the cliff where you couldn’t touch the wall.
River Landing and Rafting
The next part of the day was a couple of ziplines down near the bottom of the canyon. I even got to go upside down one of these zips. Really !! I have photos. The last zip dumps you right into the river and generated one of my favorite photos
Some thought the water was cold. I thought it was perfect. I do wonder what this is like in November after the rainy season. After splashing and posing in the water, we set off down the river in large inner tubes. There were small rapids, but for the most part, it was a leisurely float through the beautiful canyon. This is fun, but no big adventure. Once again, it might be different with the water higher.
Somewhere in the trip we took a romantic Tarzan swing. I lost track of where exactly this happened. I think it was right before the Mules.
The final part of the trip is on muleback. This is not that exciting, but it beats the heck out of climbing the 400 plus vertical feet back up to the staging area.
When we arrived back at the camp, there is a restaurant or you can have a little intro into how Tequila is made. The do a very nice job of explaining. Of course, the lesson was followed by Tequila tasting. I am a little skeptical in their claim that the anejo is 7 years aged, but it is very good. The coffee Tequila tastes like Kahlua is quite good. The vanilla (sorry guys) tastes like chalk. After some time to relax in some hammocks, our open air bus took us back down the river canyon to the Canopy River office in Old Town. you can find them at canopyriver.com