Selvatica Jungle zip-line & adventure/tour 19k west of Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Zip lines, also known as Tyrolean traverse lines, are an exciting new wrinkle to the jungle adventure/tour game. If you liked swinging back and forth on your swing-set as a kid, you'll LOVE zipping through the jungle as an adult. Selvatica is an outfit from Costa Rica who has wired 2 miles of zip lines through the jungle for that authentic monkey-cam view of the Riviera Maya's flora and fauna.
Safety is #1
Things get started with a demonstration of do's and don'ts and a thorough explanation of how the equipment works. The guides put the seat harnesses and attachments on each client, making sure everything is secure and comfortable. All questions are answered before anyone heads up the first tree to the first platform. There are 24 platforms in all and 12 zip lines, traversing 2 miles (3.2k) of jungle canopy.
Up a tree with a ladder couldn't be easier and takes all the work out of climbing for anyone in fair shape. Before you leave the ground the guide clips you to the safety cable for your safe ascent. One guide is in front and one behind. All the platforms are environmentally friendly, not nailed to the trees but belayed by wrapping steel cables around the trunks and thickest branches of the trees. Everything is stable and secure.
Clipping onto the cable is no time for monkeying around
First, the lead guide zips across to the next platform and readies himself to catch the clients one by one as they land. Once he's gone the rear guide steps up front. To ready you he first un-clips your safety carabinier from the safety cable, then re-clips it to the zip cable. Next, your stainless steel pulley is attached and, with a little hop up into the air, you are clipped to it. After a couple strategic hand placements you're ready to zip! Knees up a little, lean back and a friendly push off into green airspace. Wooo Hoooooo... It's a great rush and a lot of fun! This routine is repeated 12 times from tree to tree until the final run that arrives back at the lodge. Next is the biking and swimming.
Meals and drinks are available at the lodge to re-energize before the next phase of the tour; a leisurely bike ride to a nearby cenote freshwater pool. The bikes are Trek mountain bikes and are excellent to ride on unpaved roads and trails. We rode a few minutes to a local ranch where some young people were swimming in a beautiful emerald green cenote. The guides provide life jackets to anyone who wants to jump in for a dip and there is a "T" bar zip line at the cenote for those who want to zip out over the water and then let go.
Inside the lodge The lodge is made of native hardwood with a thatched zacate roof. A stairway leads to the second level which has a few tables, chairs and a nice elevated view of the lodge and surrounding jungle.
Selvatica's location is 19 kilometers west of Puerto Morelos on the road to Central Vallarta. Follow this road straight until you see the signs for Selvatica. Prices range from $40-60 usd depending on the tour package purchased. This tour is recommended for people in moderate to good physical condition with some adventure sport abilities: coordination, hiking, biking, swimming, no fear of heights.