When I touched down in Mexico, I was excited about mainly two things: its beautiful beaches and its Mayan ruins, particularly those at Chichen Itza. I had planned two weeks of sun and lazing interspersed with a bit of culture, so it was purely on whim that I booked a trip to Selvatica. Normally, I avoid booking excursions from hotel brochures but the tour reseller at our hotel reception was so affable, we couldn’t help but stop and talk to him and soon enough he had us parting with £50 each to book on the Selvatica zip line tour or ‘Extreme Canopy Tour’. Little did I know that it would turn out to be the most fun and memorable day of the entire trip.
We arrived by coach and were met by a group of effervescent, super-charismatic guides who geared us up in helmets and harnesses. Before long, we found ourselves at the first of 12 zip lines wired up across the Yucatan jungle. A few of the guides leapt off, howling and laughing as they sped off to the other side. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the guests promptly joined in. Luckily, we were in a group of adventure junkies so there were no nervous Nellies to calm down and wait around for. It was boom boom boom, one after another, leaping, zipping and shouting with excitement.
Unfortunately, I kept getting stuck about two thirds through the line at which point a guide would leap onto the line, wrap two feet around mine and zip me back. Apparently, I was ‘too light’ so wasn’t gathering enough momentum – though I’m not sure that’s true seeing as how it’s happened to Boris.
The zip line part of the tour went by in a heady mix of adrenaline and laughter. The guides even made us zip line upside down a few times which was quite an experience. After the tour, we stopped for lunch (included in the price) and then went deeper into the jungle to a secluded cenote (sinkhole). There, we changed into our bathing suits. There were no changing rooms so we had to improvise somewhat. We spent a couple of fantastic hours swimming and lazing about in the beautiful cenote.
The guides had rigged a rope for diving into the cenote but, as a relatively weak swimmer, I didn’t partake. When it came time to leave, we dried off, headed back to the guest reception and said goodbye to our amazing guides. On the way back, we got a bonus stop at another, bigger sinkhole which isn’t usually included on the tour. Here, we observed for a while instead of swimming as it was a lot busier than the one we had been to – but beautiful nonetheless. All in all, it was the best day of our trip and is completely unmissable for anyone visiting the area.
When to go: Mexico has two main climate seasons: rainy (May to mid-Oct) and dry (mid-Oct to Apr). It can get quite hot and humid in the rainy months so you might find the dry season more comfortable. Mid-December to early January as well as July, August and Easter are peak holiday months so avoid those if you can.
How: Book the Selvatica zip line tour at selvatica.com.mx/canopy-extreme-adventure.
Mexico is easily accessible by air with many international airports throughout the country (book via skyscanner.net).