During my recent vacations in Cancun, I discovered that outside my hotel, there were thousands of activities to take part in. There are tours to the cenotes on the Riviera Maya, interesting visits to archeological sites like Tulum or Chichen Itza, swimming with dolphins. I chose, however, something that would get my adrenaline running. An exciting experience of flying through the air, suspended by a harness, a cable and all the courage you can muster.
I had never been ziplining so I could only imagine how incredible it might be. My nerves were on edge as I found the idea of throwing myself into the open nothingness deliriously attractive. Gravity and the zipline would take care of transporting me hundreds of feet through the air in a matter of minutes. Whether it was chance or fate, I was told that in Cancun, there is a park called Xplor, a new attraction in the Riviera Maya.
I found out that not only was there ziplining in the park, but that there were also amphibious vehicles which you can drive. This is excitement at its very best! Unique and completely out of the ordinary, drive through the jungle, over hanging bridges, through water and even through underground caves. Now that I was in paradise, I knew this was the moment.
From the moment you arrive to Xplor, you'll hear the long zipping sound all over the place (as well as the constant screaming from the adrenaline rush). I think I understand why they call it "zip line". The weight and the drag on the cable create a long screeching noise that makes the ride even more exciting. Get ready, put on your helmet and as you climb the stairs to the take off point, the Caribbean Sea can be seen in the distance. This spectacular view along with the wind hitting your face are clear giveaways as to how high up you are. This is also the moment when many others pray to the saints of their devotion.
It is pretty incredible when the instructors tell you what you can or cannot do, like not moving too much or not holding onto the cable. Their first word of advice is that you forget about your fear and enjoy the ride. They strap your harness to the pulleys and for as small as they look, they can hold hundreds of pounds. Excitement reaches frenzy-pitch as you get strapped in and you hang from the cable before that final push. That's when a quick surge and a drop in giddiness start to take place in your body. The background noise is your possible screaming but you probably really won't notice due to your natural reaction to visually absorb your trip, a fantastic ride across the treetops.
In this fashion, you go up one tower, then another. Cross high hanging bridges and you'll arrive to the tallest of them all: an immense tower where you can even see the buildings on the nearby island of Cozumel! This tower is over 130 feet tall and is where the highest descent starts. Even though you are excited and feel that you have conquered ziplining, you haven't seen anything yet. When you fly off the platform, you'll probably have left your stomach behind as your life flashes before your eyes in what could be a modern form of finding atonement for your sins.
The ziplines end in a refreshing water landing, where you can stay and soak for a bit. The caverns and underground rivers of the park are formed by age-old stalactites and stalagmites, making the area totally accessible to fun for the whole family. In this underground world, Xplor has also organized a tranquil little route of about a quarter mile in rafts which you navigate, using swim paddles so that your arms become a pair of oars.
So once you've flown, driven over the rocky terrain of the jungles of the Riviera Maya and taken a dip or two, recover your spent energy in an abundant and delicious meal in the park. This adventure is an all inclusive so once you pay your ticket, you don't have to worry about paying for anything else in Xplor.
That day in Xplor wasn't only the best during my vacation in Cancun and the Riviera Maya: it was probably the one of the best adventure experiences I've ever had in my life. I found out what it was like to fly through the air, to control my fear of heights and have fun like nobody's business. When I got back from my vacation, this was the first thing I told all my friends and now everyone wants to go!
Ziplining in Xplor: An Electrifying Adventure in Cancun
- Fernando García Castro