Day three of our travel bloggers’ trip to Belize (courtesy of the Belize Tourism Board) brought a zipline tour at Jaguar Paw Jungle Resort about hour’s drive west of Belize City. This aerial canopy tour is a short one — just five traverses with the longest one topping out at 400 feet. But I think it’s a great introduction to ziplining at a reasonable price — $30 per person for an activity that lasts about 45 minutes.
Another plus to this particular adventure: kids as young as three (!) years old can do the tour when guides zip with them. And I was told five-year-olds have participated on their own — instead of using one hand to grip the line to brake, they just hold on to the safety lines and the (strong!) guides will stop them at the end of each traverse. The children I saw today — ages 10, 8 and 7 — were having a ball.
I’ve ziplined in Kauai, Puerto Vallarta and in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and found this route pretty tame in comparison. Still, as I said, it was a good time, the guides were patient and funny (“You better Belize it!”), not to mention strong: at the end of each traverse a guide had to heave each of us into the air with one hand to dislodge carabiners from the safety line. (Yes, they had some amazing biceps.) Plus, it’s hard to find much fault with any safely run zipline tour. After all, what’s not to like about yelling like Tarzan while sailing through lush foliage a few stories above the ground?
In addition to the aerial canopy tour, Jungle Paw offers other on-site adventures: a tubing trip through stalactite-, stalagmite- and bat-filled caves (the combo zipline and cave tubing plus a rice, beans and chicken lunch is a decent deal: $55 each), plus rock climbing, rapelling and a crazy new activity called the Jungle Tumble, where you’re seated and strapped into a giant plastic ball that’s 11 feet in diameter and then hurled down a hill. Good times!
Tip: If you have flexibility, visit Jaguar Paw Friday through Monday. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (as of this writing) cruise ships dock in Belize City, and the most popular shore excursion in Belize among all the major cruise lines is playing at Jaguar Paw. The friendly resort manager Jose told us that 800 to 1,000 cruise-ship passengers descend upon the jungle resort on those days. Indeed, we saw the hoards of these folks following us into the river for our tubing excursion mid-morning. Thankfully we got a jump start on them by arriving at Jungle Paw to start our morning of activities by 9:30 a.m.
In all, another great day exploring more of Belize’s many eco-adventure opportunities. Now, we’re happily settled at The Phoenix Resort on Ambergris Caye, our our third and final destination. On tomorrow’s agenda: snorkeling and parasailing. Can’t wait!