Vallarta Adventures…I read about it on the internet. I didn’t really believe the reviews. Outdoor Adventure was supposed to be the best tour ever – I read several reviews all agreeing how great it was. Since there was a zip line involved…I thought why not? I’m not dead yet.
Our trip started at 10am…well more like 10:30 am when the boat arrived for us. We were entertained by the iguana who seemed to want to sit on my lap the whole time. He was a big boy and I didn’t want him to jump on me. I heard that they bite and throw their tail about a lot. I wasn’t taking any chances…lol. I got up and left. (He did try to follow but them another tourist scared him off…he just wanted me. Apparently I’m an Iguana magnet!)
So after our walk to the Vallarta Adventures office about a mile or so away from our timeshare, we sat and waited for the boat to arrive. Once it did, we were all loaded along with our guide, Alvin (Alvero actually but he said we could call him Alvin..like the Chipmunk.) Lifejackets were worn and off we went for a 20 minute boat ride to a small community south of Puerto Vallarta where the real adventure was located. We were loaded into the back of a four wheel drive monster truck. It looked like it should be used for the army. We drove through the little community and turned onto a dirt road to get up to “Basecamp” for the tour. It was about 20 minutes of rough roading, bouncing, and getting thrown about a little until we arrived at the next step of our adventure.
4 Wheel driving!
We arrived at Basecamp for our adventure. We were geared up, told a little about the next step and then taken over to the next adventure. Photo opp…Gearing up and safety all explained!
Then….We boarded the mules. We had to ride the mules to the top to start our zipline adventure. This was not an experience for the faint of heart. While there were some of us with little experience, most of us had ridden a horse before. That being said, they didn’t ask if you ever stayed on a horse for more than 20 seconds…LOL. I think I have been thrown more than I ever “rode”. But one the mule I got. The guide hesitated before giving me the mule…I was a little scared.
The ride was relatively uneventful. Thankfully the mule knew where to go. The only scary part was when one of our guides came up and tried to get all of the mules to get a move on. They even galloped a little…scary!!!! I knew I would fly off. The saddles weren’t particularly adjusted for me…or I should say the stirrups…so no real riding skills were truly needed…but it still was a little nerve-wracking. Finally we arrived at the top. Many little ups and downs getting there, a little jockeying for position amongst the mules – all in all it kept me on my toes but never too scary.
From there we headed to the first zipline over a pretty large ravine. No warm up baby line…just go for it. I was glad I was experienced. It was a blast. For me the first line and the braking procedure is always the scariest part. After the first braking experience, the rest is a piece of cake.
I lost track of how many lines there were total – at least 8. We did a couple of lines, then eventually had to face the waterfall rappelling.
Waterfalls to conquer (Van wins)
That was a little scary since i had never done that…but not so much once you got going. We were totally safe and the photographer was right there…got the best pictures ever! Proved I was really there and did it! Great shots at the bottom of the falls. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I loved it. We then ziplined into a pond…literally landed in the water! It was cool and refreshing by this point in the tour. We had worked hard getting to the top and it was a warm day so the cool water was very refreshing. From there we did another short zipline…then crossed a couple of swinging bridges and hiked a bit. Then we came to the next rappelling station. My favorite event of the day! We got to freefall down…freefall rappell using our lower hand to control the speed – or just sliding down nonstop (guides also had control)…and at the end we were plunged into the water! What a blast that was! Again, the water felt great – but you definitely get soaked from head to toe on this one.
Once out of the water, there were a couple of additional lines to navigate. The guides ran from line to line to stay ahead of our group. There were about 15 in each of two groups with all the guides helping each other navigate through all the obstacles. While we were the seniors of the group, there was nothing that we could not navigate easily. The guides always made sure we were happy and safe. They were amazing!
Upside down if you dare!
This zipline was pairs and they guides encouraged an upside down experience. FUN! Van was brave and did it…I did not as I get dizzy and don’t like that – I have never been able to flip upside down…but the last line was a blast – I won by the way! From there were did the surfboard line…standing back to back for the last zipline like a surfboard. It was cool…and definitely unique.
After the surfboard, we shed our zipline gear and donned our crash gear. The final hurdle was the waterslide. They bragged that it was the fastest and steepest waterslide in Latin America. I happened to be at the front of the line. Yikes…no turning back now. So on the mat I got…can’t say I wasn’t a little scared…but I have done waterslides before…so….screaming down I went…down the steep straight through the water…around the tunnel turns (that was the first time I opened my eyes) – then after a couple of turns I had no idea what to expect….and then down another bit and plunged to a stop at the bottom straighaway…Whew! I made it safe and sound as did everyone else. It feels a little scary but it’s not so bad in the end.
From there we were treated to some fruit and beverages before we made our way back to basecamp. At basecamp we were able to change into our dry clothes and shoes, put our wet stuff into big plastic bags, then look at the pictures. We selected those that we were in and were given several options to purchase. And you are correct they aren’t super cheap…but then, this is kind of an experience of a lifetime for some of us. We may never pass this way again…or we may return every year…you never know. We bought the pictures on a thumb drive in the end and got three prints as well. They had tequila shots and beer and some homemade quesadillas for purchase at the bottom. We were starving since it was well past lunchtime by now and we enjoyed the food. When the whole party was done, we loaded up in the truck, returned to the community, hopped on the boat and made our way back to the office in Nuevo Vallarta. The water was much rougher on the way back, but the boats felt very safe and it was a fun ride.
There is no way that these words express the pure thrill of the experience and the ever unknown of the next experience all day long! The guides were great! Safety was most important and I never once had a thought that I couldn’t do whatever they were asking me to do…except maybe hang upside down. I highly recommend this venture as a great way to have some fun with the whole family on vacation…totally worth the price for a great adventure. Vallarta Adventures took great care of everyone and it was something we will not forget for a very long time. Hope to see you on an adventure soon! Will you join us?