Written by: Staff Friday, April 6th, 2012 .
If you’re the type that prefers thrills without frills, then you’ve got to check out these five amazing zip line adventures. When you’re cruising along a zip line, it’s just you, a steel cable, and the open air. Originally a method of transportation in mountainous areas, zip lines are quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist adventures. Today you can find them all across the world in a range of sizes and intensities. Some are designed for a relaxed tour of local scenery while others are built solely for speed. Among the zip line adventures featured below, you’re sure to find one that suits your adrenaline needs.
1. Sky Trek, Costa Rica
As the birthplace of the zip line tour, Costa Rica has no shortage of treetop tours to choose from. One of the largest systems of zip lines is operated by Sky Trek Canopy Tour in the Monteverde rain forest. In total, the tour covers nearly two miles of cable from nine different launch points. At the tour’s highest point, you’ll be soaring through the canopy at 456 feet above the ground. When you’re not strapped into your harness, you’ll travel by foot from platform to platform across an amazing network of suspension bridges.
2. Dragon’s Breath Zip Line, Haiti
With a name like “Dragon’s Breath” you know this is going to be a good one. At a total length of 2,600 feet, this zip line adventure in the resort town of Labadee features the longest zip line over water. Starting at 500 feet above sea level, riders shoot down the side of a mountain before skimming across the crystal clear bay. Although this is a short ride, the feeling of gliding above the water must be amazing!
3. Icy Strait Point Zip Line, Alaska
Among the many zip line adventures vying for the title of world’s largest is this zip line in Hoonah, Alaska – and who are we to argue with them. The ride’s stats are pretty convincing: 5,330 feet long, 1,300 foot vertical drop, 60 mph maximum speed, 300 feet highest point from ground, 1.5 minute ride time. Six riders are launched at the same moment for a race to the bottom while taking in sweeping views of Port Frederick and Icy Strait. This one is great for those who like to take in their scenery at high speeds.
4. Captain Zipline, Colorado
Captain Zipline is one of the first zip line tours to open in the United States. Located in Salida, Colorado, amongst the Rocky Mountains, this rugged tour is comprised of four to seven cables depending on which package you choose. As you soar across the scenic wild west, you’ll get to know the majestic landscape in just the same way that the resident eagles do. There are also many treats to be found along the short hikes between platforms, including an abandoned silver mine, lime kiln ruins, petrified travertine spring formations, and pinyon pine bonsai tress.
5. Zip 2000, South Africa
Zip 2000 is a zip line for the true adrenaline junkie. Over a mile long, this zip line is less about observing nature as it is about going fast. Unlike the other zip lines featured here, you’ll be strapped into a harness head first; and to keep you flying straight, they attach a wing to your feet. By far the fastest zip line we’ve ever seen, this one sends its riders down a mountain at nearly 75 mph. We want you to see this one in action, so we’ve posted a video above.