Of all the ways Ryan and I have spent Valentine's Day, last year will always be one of my favorites. Valentine's Day fell on our last full day in Sayulita after a amazing week of sunsets, cervezas and relaxation. And while I wasn't sure how I expected to spend the holiday in Mexico, I don't think I expected it to include strapping myself to a cable and flying above the jungle at 30mph...
Sayulita's Rancho Mi Chaparrita originated as a family-owned horse rental business 12 years ago and today has become one of the area's premier tour companies, offering additional activities such as quad bike tours, snorkeling, sport fishing, surfing, and day tours to secluded beaches. But its main attraction is its 13-line zip line tour atop the canopy of Nayarit's jungles.
Last February during our trip to Mexico, we did not plan a single thing in advance. Sayulita is just that kind of place and we wanted to go with its flow. Which totally worked in our favor when we found out that for Valentine's Day, Mi Chaparrita was offering a 2-for-1 special canopy tour special. The price per person converts to about $65-75 USD, so we didn't hesitate to take advantage of the Valentine's Day deal.
The morning of our tour, a shuttle from Mi Chaparrita picked us up at our hotel, Playa Escondido, and drove us to the ranch. There, we waited for the shuttle from town to drop off the remainder of our 15-person group, and in the meantime drank a couple of complimentary beers while getting suited up.
Soon enough we had our gear and were ready to go. We had a short safety demonstration and then hiked with our group to the first tower. The hike was pretty steep and I was glad I packed sneakers... the people with sandals on were definitely regretting it.
Finally though, we'd arrived and after a few more instructions, we were zipping through the jungle.
I will admit: I was super nervous for the first few lines. And initially, our hilarious tour guides weren't much help: they made sure to prank us at every turn, whether it was dramatically pretending they let us go too soon, or bouncing the lines so that we'd have a bumpy ride, or jumping up and down on the ridiculously sketchy footbridges that helped us get from line to line.
Meanwhile, Ryan was laughing so hard he cried when I freaked out trying to cross the bridge:
Of course, in the end, their pranks had us cracking up and confidently ziplining around like pros. Ryan even attempted a flip mid-zip:
But the highlight of the tour had to be when we got to the highest line and were able to see the ocean beyond the trees. The view was breathtaking and sensing a photo op, our guides had brought a bouquet of roses for us all to pose with. And just like that, they suckered me into buying the $25 CD of low res images at the end.
And you know what? It was worth it. After getting a refreshing spray of water during our last zip, and a few complimentary post-zip cervezas (plus road beers for the shuttle back to town!), our 2-hour tour was over. But thanks to these pictures, I'll never forget our Valentine's Day above the trees.