Zip line tours in Lanquín
published aug 23rd, 2015
A zip line tour in Lanquín wasn’t on my personal agenda. In fact, a zip line tour anywhere is not my sort of thing. Or at least I don’t think it is. I’ve never actually tried zip lining, and yet certainly consider it a little hokey. Seems fair, right?
But when Max at El Muro Pub invited me along to photograph a zip line tour, I couldn’t refuse. I’m a sucker for taking pictures, and I didn’t have plans for the next couple of hours. I’m glad I went.
Just want the pictures? There's a slideshow at the bottom of this post.
A group of guys prepared for the zip line tour in Lanquín
Zip lines in Lanquín fall into two camps: the tour provided by El Muro and Zephyr Lodge among a couple of others, and the zip lines operated by El Retiro. Our trip was the former, of course, seeing as it was El Muro’s gig. The tour consists of five zips along three zip lines, each one consisting of thirty to forty-five seconds of air time.
The zip lines are setup near the Las Grutas caves, and afford views of stunning Lanquín landscape and the Lanquín river. The whole tour takes about two hours and costs Q150 ($20) with two beers included. There’s a very small amount of hiking involved. The gear all seems very reliable and all the guides are clearly familiar with the various safety precautions. There’s a minimum of four guests to reserve a tour. It’s a great deal, really.
Max ran all of us out to the zip lines in a 4x4 Kia pickup (standard in Lanquín), then checked all the gear and helped everybody get into their harnesses. It was an all male group, early and mid-twenties from the looks of it. Everyone was cheerful.
I took pictures as all the guys suited up, slipping pretty easily into that guy that nobody knows with a camera in your face role. There was a brief orientation discussion, then plenty of hooting and hollering as each victim went hurdling off towards certain doom at terminal velocity. Everyone had a blast, plenty of the guys repeated a hearty Damn, this was a good idea! after they slammed into the oversized pillow that serves as a rather immediate brake at the terminating end of the zip line. It appeared it was a lot more fun to watch people crash-land than to be the one crash-landing, but with twelve or so guys the ratio was favorable.
A zip line victim careens over the canopy in Lanquín
I left before all was said and done, after I thought I’d taken enough photos. Outside the fenced property I ran into an old, stooped farmer leaning with curved spine on his skinny, oversized machete. He was very thin with white short-cropped hair, squinty eyes, just a few teeth and a straw hat. Beside him on the dirt road sat his simple knapsack. He was watching through a patch in the trees with much amusement as young, foreign men careened across the blue sky accompanied by a metallic whinnying and plenty of yelling.
I stood next to him.
“Weird, right?” I said.
He chuckled with delight. “Weird,” he repeated.
I ran into one of the guys from the group around town a few hours later, and asked about the view of Lanquín from the zip line.
“I’m pretty sure it’s fantastic,” he replied, “but I spent most my energy just not freaking out.”
I still haven’t been on a zip line tour in Lanquín. But it looks pretty fun, if you’re that sort. If you’re in the area, check with El Muro to see if anyone’s organizing a trip. It’s a pretty regular thing.