Canopy Tours (Ziplines)

The mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental surround Puerto Vallarta and the Bahia de Banderas, the wide bay that was once a haven for pirates and Spanish explorers and now is a port of call for cruise ships. The hillside jungle surrounding the resort community is home to more than 400 species of birds and 300 varieties of orchids, as well as other abundant tropical flora and fauna. Visitors can get a bird’s-eye view of Puerto Vallarta’s exotic land on a canopy tour, but be prepared to meet certain age, weight and health requirements.

Canopy El Eden

Arnold Schwarzenegger filmed his movie “Predator” in the Sierra Madre jungle in 1986, and Canopy El Eden has named two of its longest zip lines in his honor–Predator and, in recognition of his latest role, Governator. The 2-mile canopy tour consists of 12 lines, the longest at 1,650 feet, zipping visitors through the trees and above the Mismaloya River. Schedule a morning tour–which is recommended, particularly in summer when the rainy season brings afternoon showers–and stay for lunch at the riverside outdoor restaurant. Follow lunch with a swim in the cool waters of the jungle river.

Los Veranos Canopy Tour

The zip lines here criss-cross the Rio Horcones, offering a close-up view of the tumbling waters as they run over the rocks on their journey to the sea. Los Veranos has 14 zip lines with one section measuring 1,300 feet and one of the highest lines in the area at 500 feet above the jungle floor. The Rio Orquidas also runs through the site and guests can dine at an outdoor restaurant, adjacent to the river rapids. Pocket pools, surrounded by large river rocks and fed by cascades of water, provide an ideal setting for a river swim. The small zoo at Los Veranos allows visitors to pet a python or allow a tarantula to take a walk on a bare arm; less adventurous visitors can opt to stroke a tiny marmoset monkey.

Los Veranos Canopy Tour

Rancho Mi Chaparrita

Sayulita is a small fishing village, fast becoming a popular resort area, located about 20 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, a 35-minute ride from the city center. Rancher Luis Verdin operates a 13 line, 1.5-mile canopy tour on his family’s land that stretches from the jungle hills to the beach. The ranch offers visitors a unique way to arrive at the hillside canopy tour–a horseback ride from the beach through the jungle.

Rancho Mi Chaparrita

Vallarta Adventure

Vallarta Adventures focuses on designing tours that highlight the culture, wildlife, biodiversity and natural beauty of the area. It also claims to be the only canopy tour operator in Mexico granted a compliance status from the Association for Challenge Course Technology, a trade organization dedicated to setting international standards for zip line tours. The outfitter uses two safety ropes on each of its lines, which are suspended 90 feet above the jungle floor. The zip lines take riders for a tree-top ride through a protected area of virgin tropical forest, south of town, offering close-up views of large tropical hardwood trees, orchids, bromeliads and palms.

Vallarta Adventures

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