Coffee was not readily available at 6:00 a.m. Though the cobblestone streets of the Zona Romantica in Puerto Vallarta’s drowsy, but charming, Old Town were lively in the afternoon and evening hours, they were silent during the early morning. My favorite breakfast establishment, Fredy’s Tucan, was also closed until 8:00 a.m – the normal hour when the Latin American neighborhood surrounding our guesthouse rose to greet the day. For now, I had to suffice with coffee in a paper cup from the nearby kiosk that served as a gathering place for bleary-eyed taxi drivers ending night shifts and morning commuters stopping for pre-work fuel.
However, I wasn’t too concerned with a light breakfast as I figured anything more substantial may actually find its way out of my stomach as I was hurtling through the jungle canopy on a few thin strips of cable.
Just where was I headed, you ask?
Upon arrival at Camp Nogalito, our guides for the afternoon, Abraham and Jimmy, introduced themselves, outfitted our small group of six with the necessary gear, and explained how to essentially “ride” the cables. Of course, we had to first fill out the required liability release forms and secure helmets to our heads.
The Nogalito guides were extremely professional, safety conscious, and bi-lingual. Our harnesses were always attached to something, whether a safety line while standing on the platform, or double tethered to the zip-line itself with carabiners. I admit that although I am an adventurous soul, my pulse quickened a bit during that initial leap off the platform on my first zip-line across the canopy.
Cruising through the treetops wasn’t actually as speedy as I thought it would be. Instead of zooming forcefully across on the cables, our movements were more of a gentle swinging. While some zip-lining establishments don’t require participants to do their own braking, we had to stop ourselves…or at least attempt to do so. When all else failed, there was a solid stanchion on the opposite platform that stopped our velocity. Or, if we were too preoccupied with watching the jungle and nature surrounding our flight, Jimmy and Abraham caught us.
For the keen at heart, we were encouraged to try different methods of zip-lining including: the Superman, upside-down, or even traveling backwards. While upside-down was fun and offered a different perspective, I got a bit light-headed and nauseous. Of course, I was flipping upside-down hundreds of feet in the air so I presume my feelings were normal.
For a small fee, about $30 per person, we spent a total of five hours with the Canopy Nogalito team. This included transport back and forth to our hotel, a few hours of zip-lining, and a quick 30 minute taste-test of the local tequilas and rums. A CD with the photos was about $30 – $40 extra; however, this cost can be split between several people if you are sharing the group photos.
It was a perfect outdoor adventure during our week in Puerto Vallarta!