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Since rappelling down mountains, exploring deep caves, speeding on roller coasters, and flying on a trapeze aren’t enough, I decided to hurl my daredevil son hundreds of feet in the air across a deep river chasm. On a string of wire, no less. Guess what: he loved it.
Puerto Vallarta Zip Line Canopy Tour
Ben and I had an adventure honeymoon backpacking through Nicaragua and Costa Rica for two weeks. It included bungee jumping, SCUBA diving, and zip lining. That way my first zip lining experience and, though I was sure I was about to die, I was exhilarated at how freeing and beautiful it was. Ben waited until afterwards to point out all of the safety hazards of the tour, and that it had been much more relaxed than those in the U.S.A. which are more strictly regulated.
Well, I guess I wanted to feel that brush with death again because going on a canopy tour was on the top of my list of things I wanted to do in Puerto Vallarta!
Read below for details on how to book your on Puerto Vallarta canopy tour
Los Veranos Canopy Tour
We chose to tour with Los Veranos Canopy Tours on this trip. They’re the only company in town to allow children as young as 5 to zip, and they bent over backwards to fit us into a tour with just 1 day notice during their busy season.
As soon as we entered the shuttle I could tell this tour would be different than ours in Nicaragua. Cars and buses professionally decorated with their company’s logo flanked their downtown office where we were asked to fill out some paperwork and sign waivers. We then transferred to an open-air safari truck (what are those things called, anyway?) and the real fun began.
Our shuttle driver suddenly walked away from the truck explaining, “There’s been a change of plans. Miguel will now be your driver. Good luck! ” with a mischievous smile on his face.
Oh good. It’s the sort of company that tells jokes while you’re jumping for your life. Who doesn’t take their fear and hesitation with a side of humor?
A group of 12 of us set out on the hour’s journey into the forest mountains of Western Mexico. Three grandmothers, 2 newlyweds, a family of Nebraskans and I all exchanged traveling stories while staring at the gorgeous scenery laid out around us.
This tour ended up being so much more than adrenaline-pumping zips across a river; the peace and tranquility of that truck ride back and forth was a welcome distraction from the tedium of every day life. (The glass-half-full types could also consider the constant bouncing on ill-paved roads as a sort of massage, too.)
We were warmly greeted by the entire Los Veranos staff as soon as our bus pulled up.
It’s an impressive compound: two sets of men’s and women’s bathrooms, check in desk, and locker room in the center, restaurant, lodge activities, and animal sanctuary to the right, then zip line prep station and hike to the lines on the left. I felt very safe leaving my backpack in the locker rooms, and then we were off to the prep zone! Each member of our group had a personal employee fit them into a harness, helmet, and gloves. I’ve worn these harnesses plenty of times so I felt perfectly safe, but I could tell they easily put some more concerned members of our tour at ease immediately. I did watch them dress Whit like a mother hawk, and was sufficiently impressed as they checked and re-checked the right harness size and fit for him. They were not going to let him slip, which I really appreciated.
We were then introduced to each hilarious member of the staff, and given a 10 minute explanation of what to expect and how to zip line, complete with demonstrations. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as Whit likes to say!
It felt like we hiked up and out to the farthest zip line and then zipped back in to the lodge. The hike in had stairs and a handrail, but we still covered some elevation and a few member of our group were left out of breath. Ok, ok… I was left out of breath. Whit, on the other hand, practically danced up the mountain! Oh to be a kid again…
The pictures and video probably speak for themselves, but in case they aren’t feeling chatty I’ll spell it out: Whit loved zip lining. He was a tiny bit nervous to go on his first run, then insisted on being the first at each subsequent zip.
He even said that zip lining in Puerto Vallarta was his favorite activity he’s ever done! That’s saying a lot because, well, let’s be honest- this 5-year-old is kind of living the life.
Los Veranos Zoo and Restaurant
If the gorgeous open-air ride and adventurous zip lines weren’t enough, Los Veranos features a ton of activities to do after your adventure.
They have a really terrific Mexican restaurant, water slides, tire swings, and kayaks for use on the river, a tequila bar, and even an animal sanctuary! We spent a mandated hour-and-a-half here before the truck took us back, but I could easily have stayed all day.
Actually, offering a little bed & breakfast on the property would be a really excellent idea! And I’d like royalties on that, please.
Here are 3 reasons Los Veranos Canopy Tour is my favorite of all of the zip line tours I’ve done:
- Hilarious Staff. They make sure you feel confident in their guide abilities with a cool, calm, and collected disposition. Being able to laugh and watch people enjoying themselves put everyone in our group at ease. You’re not just there to zip, they want you to have a truly amazing experience.
- The View. We’ve done tropical zip lines and mountain zip lines, and, for me, tropical wins every time. With this one, in particular, we weren’t just surrounded by rollings hills of lush vegetation (which would have been just fine), we also zipped across a gorgeous river. Over and over again. In fact, out of 15 zips 8 of them criss-crossed the river for incredible views from different angles.
- Ending siesta. When we zipped back into the lodge we were greeted by waiters with complimentary cups of fresh mango smoothies or margaritas. We then had around 90 minutes of down time to sunbathe, swim, eat, or visit their animal sanctuary. At first I was concerned about spending 6+ hours on a zip line tour, but this forced down time in their gorgeous location at the end of an adventurous activity was more welcome than I realized. Usually a zip tour is one big burst of adrenaline: this one had a slow build up of the truck drive in, then the zipping action, and a slow down with our siesta and drive back. Perfect.
How to book a Puerto Vallarta Canopy Tour:
Contact: Call +55 (322) 223- 0504 for tour times and pick up locations closest to your hotel.
Buy tickets online before your trip to make the day as easy as possible.
- Backpack with anything you’ll need. They provide lockers to store it in for safety during the zip!
- Bug Repellent. Oh. My. Word. Honey, don’t forget the bug repellent!
- Sweatshirt. The open-air truck drive can get a bit windy and chilly.
- Camera. Good for shots before and after the zipping, and you’re also able to bring it with you on the zips as long as it has a strap. If you don’t want to that’s ok, too- 2 photographers and 2 GoPro videographers zip with your group and will compile a CD of their material for $80 MX afterwards.
- Money. They accept tips afterwards, sell picture CDs, and have a restaurant on-site. Restaurant prices range from $120-$300MX and the menu includes kid’s section of hamburgers and chicken fingers, and Mexican basics of chips and salsa, guacamole, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and, my favorite ceviche! We ordered a smoothie, ceviche, chips and salsa, and a cheese quesadilla with guacamole and it was amazing.
- Bathing Suit. The lodge is on the flat portion of the river and water equipment and flat rocks are provided for fun on the water
I am beyond trilled that we spent the day with Los Veranos for our canopy zip line tour in Puerto Vallarta. Seriously. It was both a cultural and adventurous experience. I can’t think of a better way to explore and enjoy this side of Mexico!
If you’re interested in other fun activities in Puerto Vallarta check out our Downtown Walking Tour of Puerto Vallarta!
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