When the guide told me that I had to wear a helmet when going down the water slide, I gave a look typically reserved for calculus class. Have you ever worn a helmet on a water slide? It sounded nuts to me, although I can’t say it didn’t make me want to do it even more. I was officially curious.
I was about an hour outside of Puerto Vallarta in the Sierra Madre Mountains with Vallarta Adventures, invited to come check out their new prized toy: The tallest and fastest zip-line in Mexico at 4,000 feet long and reaching speeds of 60 mph. While it’s not quite as intimidating as The Beast in Puerto Rico (which is 4745 feet long and 853 feet high), it is the same concept – you ride in the Superman position and zip over a valley of green trees.
It’s a blast, and the staff does a really good job of keeping it moving throughout the half-dozen zip lines leading up to the big boy at the end. Sometimes with large groups, you can spend a lot of time waiting on the platform for everyone to go and the whole experience is very slow. We had a group of over ten but you would have never known it – by the time the last person had left the first platform, a majority of the group would have already launched from the second. You stay with whoever you are with, but they keep it moving and it definitely helped me to feed off the adrenaline, going from one to the next.
One of the unexpected parts of the experience was the beautiful drive out into the country to get to the zip-line park, into the mountains and away from the ocean. It’s not a short drive – about an hour – but it’s an open-aired ride in the back of an “army-like” truck, and the warm breeze and mountain scenery really made it a pleasant trip.
Check out the photos below of the experience, as I would definitely recommend it to those wanting to get their zip-line on in Puerto Vallarta. The Extreme Adventure Tour also includes “walking the line” (suspended wires and bridges), two rappels, tree platforms, wobbly ladders, and UTV course (yes, you can drive, just make sure you get in the front of the pack so you’re not stuck behind the slow drivers… and remember your driver’s license… unlike a certain travel writer who had to settle for shotgun).
As it can be hot in Vallarta, the slide at the end is a nice touch, but it is indeed a wild ride, hence the helmet. No sooner than the first turn was I thankful for the extra protection, my body ripping around the curve, the back of my head smashing into the slide (seriously!). Be prepped for it, but don’t pass on it – it’s fun. I would recommend wearing a bathing suit under your clothes. They made me keep my shirt on. Don’t ask.
It’s $109 for the full excursion – which sounds like a lot – but make sure you consider it’s a six-hour tour, something that’s going to entertain you for most of the day.