Ready to try a zip line? There are two within striking distance of Mazatlan; the original one, Huana Coa, is located on the road to La Noria. It is designed and built by Costa Ricans, the originators of zip lines. It is a fail-safe double cable design and the cables are anchored in concrete. There are 8 lines and it takes about 45 minutes to complete. Better yet, there is a tequila factory at the bottom. The personnel are very well-trained and their English is very good. The harness includes a double pulley that hooks onto the upper and lower cables and you sit in the sling while flying across the ravine. Braking is accomplished by putting hand pressure on the cable behind the running pulley (you have a large glove on). And if you screw up, there is a large guy at the end to catch you. It’s a lot of fun for $48 a head if you drive yourself and $70 to ride their shuttle from downtown. They also have horseback riding, ATVing and coming soon, paint-ball.
The Canopy Adventure at Veranos (also known as Veraneando) is up the road to El Recodo and so is a bit closer. It is brand new, also designed and built by Costa Ricans. It is a classic single cable design and the ends are double anchored to stout trees. There are 12 zips crisscrossing a large ravine; in one place, the lines are stacked three levels high. The personnel are still learning their English and while they understand your needs, they have some improvements to do as far as communicating with you; especially when it comes to the instruction phase. The braking system is different than Huana Coa. Instead of the double pulley that you carry around hooked to your harness belt, you have a pulley with two handles that you must carry in your hand; and it’s heavy, about 5 pounds. In order to brake, you are instructed to turn the handles of this pulley back and forth, like turning a tricycle. It takes about 3 zips to learn that not only do you turn the handles, you have to throw your whole body into it. But once you learn this technique, the rest is a real BLAST! The personnel are well-trained and they are very solicitous. Plus they are very good at catching you as you barrel into their arms. The best part is the last zip; it’s a side-by-side so you can have races. The price is $40 if you drive yourself and that includes lunch which is a delicious tacorito and a cheese molcajete lunch with chips and salsa. Even the beer is included. For $30 more, you can have the van pick you up at the EDM gate and take a tour of El Recodo that includes the Cruz Lizarraga Museum, a tannery, a saddle maker and a hurache maker.
So, take your choice. Both are really fun. Huana Coa (669) 990 1100. Veranodeando (669) 988 0425. I have to admit, that after riding 3 different zip lines in Costa Rica, and riding Huana Coa three times, Verandeando was more exciting.