I loved ziplines long before I rode my first in Mazatlan, Mexico.
It’s no secret that I’m a big advocate of environmentally-friendly travel that encourages people to appreciate the outdoors and supports local economies. Ziplining does all of those things. Since you spend most of the activity suspended above the ecosystem that you’re viewing you have very little impact on it. It’s an exceptional way to appreciate nature. It’s adventurous. It can be done by people of all physical abilities and ages.
Perhaps best of all, it requires a relatively small investment to set up, which means that even people in less-developed countries are able to set up these eco-friendly tour businesses and increase their earnings through responsible and somewhat educational tourism.
As far as I’m concerned it’s an all-round winning prospect. So, I was pretty excited when I found out that ziplining was on the agenda while visiting Mazatlan with Go Mazatlan.
Since ziplines are often hung hundreds of feet above the ground safety is a very serious concern. Your equipment is the only thing separating you from a plunge into the fields of agave plants below.
When ziplining you’re strapped into a harness that is attached to two lines (in case one breaks) by two pulleys (in case one breaks) so that if any one part of the system breaks there’s always going to be a fail safe.
We were given a twenty-minute safety brief that discussed the safety features of the zipline and harness, how to slow down when approaching the platform, how to keep yourself facing forwards, and how to pull yourself hand-over-hand to the platform if you slow yourself too much and accidentally stop in the middle of the line.
The Green Beast
The first part of the adventure was the ride to the top of the mountain in a six-wheeled military-looking beast of a truck called a Pinzgauer Swiss Army Vehicle, an all-terrain vehicle made to climb slopes of up to 70 degrees. The road was extremely steep and bumpy — and fun. The ride up was almost as exciting as the ziplines we were about to ride back down.
Zipping Above Fields of Agave
Huana Coa has nine lines that total 1.6km in length. They vary in distance and height.
The landscape was dry and desert-like. Dry brown bushes and trees and cacti contrasted by a deep blue sky was most of what we saw. Only the last one actually crosses a field of agave.
After a couple of zips we all got the hang of controlling our speed and stopping at the platform and everything went very smoothly.
One of the funnest parts of the day was rappelling about 30 feet from the last platform to the ground. The sinking feeling during the fast drop was awesome.
The Zipline Company: Huana Coa Canopy Adventure
The canopy tour is only one of several that Huana Coa offers. They also have horseback riding, ATV tours, and are just up the road from the Los Osena distillery, which offers tours of its own (and are a great way to wrap up a day of adventure).
The Huana Coa canopy tour is a short drive from Mazatlan in the Vinata of Osuna, near the village of La Noria.
You contact them at:
Phone: 0052 (669) 9901100
Address: Av. del Mar 1111 Local 10
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Hotel Don Pelayo