Running from the Law: Puerto Vallarta - Ziplining

Friday, January 14, 2011

Puerto Vallarta - Ziplining

On the third day of our Mexican vacation, we scheduled an "Outdoor Adventure" excursion through a company called Vallarta Adventures.  We wanted an excursion that would pack the most bang for our buck and I think we found it.  Outdoor Adventure has it all - speed boats, mule rides, ziplining down mountains, repelling down waterfalls, hiking through the jungle and cold Coronas at the end of the line.  What more could you want?

We started the day off at the marina next to our meeting location.  We had a quick bite to eat in the blazing, sweltering, smothering heat (damn, it's HOT in Mexico in August!  Who knew?), before heading over to begin our adventure.

We arrived at our port of call and chilled out for a while in an attempt to not die of heat exhaustion. 

Alison, our resident Floridian/Hawaiian didn't seem to be affected by the heat at all.

The excursion begins with a speed boat ride that took us to Boca de Tomatlan, a secluded beach at the edge of the jungle on the southern shores of Puerto Vallarta's Banderas Bay, aboard high speed inflatable boats. 

Once we arrived, we took a 4x4 Mercedes Benz Unimog on an off-road expedition 2,000 ft above sea level to base camp deep into heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains.  I'd say it was a bumpy ride, but that might be the understatement of the year.  Thank goodness for "oh shit handles.

Once we reached the base camp, we had a chance to store our stuff, met our guides for the day and get suited up with harnesses, helmets and caribbeanners. 
And now we're ready for the action to really begin! 
We took a short hike over to the stables and got paired with a mule.   Our mules would take us on a trek up the mountain, even deeper into the sub-tropical forest. 

My mule was named Honey.  She was sweet as honey, but slow as honey too. 
Iris had a speedy mule that passed me right out of the gate.
 At the top of the mountain, the ziplining began.  The course allowed us to fly through a thrilling series of zip-lines, rappel down waterfalls, traverse jungle bridges and splash through streams and natural river pools on a specially designed circuit.  It was amazing!
Mel was an expert from the get-go.

Iris was a natural.
Kirsten liked to "come in hot." 
And sometimes backwards.
And I just wanted to go FAST!
I'd been ziplining before (in Cabo San Lucas), but I must admit that this experience was WAY better.  The runs might not have been quite as long, but the views from the top of the mountain were incredible, the guides were fantastic, the ziplines were faster and we just had so much fun!
Next up was repelling down a waterfall.  Talk about fun!
Unfortunately, these pictures cannot do this waterfall justice. 
It was high...and steep...and slippery...and awesome.
I don't look like I'm having any fun at all, do I?
Talk about perma-smile.
I think out of everyone, Iris was the most graceful.  She descended so lightly and so effortlessly.
Waterfall #2 was a free fall.  No rock cliff to support you.  We just had to turn around, close our eyes and fall backyards.  Amazing.
Straight down into a pool of ice cold water, where the guides would completely dunk you.  It felt fantastic!

The final zipline was a race.  We were each paired with a friend and got to race to the bottom of the zipline. 

Below, looks like Kasey's beating Mel.
And Jacquie's ahead of Julie.
I had a slight lead on Iris, but we were neck and neck through the whole race.
And then there was Kirsten and Alison.  I don't know what's going on here.
I guess, they're coming in hot!
At the end of the ziplining, we hiked back to the base camp to change clothes, have a snack and a beer before heading back to the boats. 

 Great excursion, great friends, great day.
If you ever go to Puerta Vallarta, I can't recommend the Outdoor Adventure enough.  Vallarta Adventures really runs a tight ship and did an excellent job.  Everything was clean and safe and fun.  The guides were funny and charming and really took care of everyone.  It was a fantastic adventure.

Next post: Las Caletas!


  1. This makes me want to go NOW! What a fun trip to take with just girls!

  2. Um. Um. UM. That first picture like looking down the zip line? Made me shaky. You are a brave, BRAVE woman. I would have died. Basically, my idea of a Mexican vacation is to sit on the beach and get tan. With a pina colada. This is probably why the husband and I never go anywhere like that together because he'd want to be all zip lining and crap.

  3. I'm so jealous of your sunny, warm trip. This makes me want to go away sooo bad.

  4. I LOVE zip lining. Such an adrenaline. Your route looked amazing.

  5. You are CRAZY! I can't believe I was afraid of the "bunny slope" zip lining I did earlier this year. I'm mortified now!

  6. Thank you for posting these pics! I was in the WORST mood ever and then I blog stalked and saw your adorable smile and our super fun trip and I upgraded to just a mood. Love you tons and can't wait to see you. P.S. What you call "grace" was simple self preservation or I was just being slow. I was nerve of breaking something and/or dying simultaneously! lolzz

  7. OMG, that looks so scary!! But looks like a blast too.

  8. What a wonderful adventure. With this post you prove when dealing with a big group it's best to let someone plan and run all the activities. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oh my goodness. That looks absolutely amazing! What an adventure!

  10. holy moly, what an adventure.

    i went ziplining in Belize once. it was SUCH an amazing experience.