8 Extreme Zip Lines

Zip over jungle, desert and ocean on some of the world's wildest high-wire rides.

    Ribeira de Pena, Portugal

    The mile-long Fantasticable zip line at Pena Aventura Park hits speeds of up to 80 mph, and stretches from one mountain to another, connecting the two villages of Lamelas and Bustelo. At nearly a mile in length, it's one of the world’s longest zip lines. Lodging can be found in the nearby historic hamlet of Vila Pouca de Aguiar, a 90-minute drive from Oporto, Portugal’s second-largest city.

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    Sun City, South Africa

    The famed zip line at the Sun City Resort is over a mile in length, with speeds of 100 mph, making it one of the longest, and fastest, lines in the world. The ride takes under three minutes, with a 300-yard drop that whips riders over rugged terrain near the resort complex that’s a two-hour drive from Johannesburg.

    Labadee, Haiti

    The half-mile-long zip line is one of the world’s longest over water, hitting speeds of 60 mph, and dropping riders 500 feet to glide mere feet above Buccaneers’ Bay. The zip line is owned by the cruise company Royal Caribbean, and is a popular stop for ships, as is the village of Labadee, and its nearby beaches.

    Mindo, Ecuador

    Two separate line systems run through the cloud forest, 4,200 feet above sea level in Ecuador. Short walking trails, and tree platforms, connect lines that traverse treetops, and a lush landscapes. A few of the area’s famed toucans are likely to fly by. The small village of Mindo, also a popular stop for bird watchers, is a two-hour drive from Ecuador’s capital city of Quito.

    Hoonah, Alaska

    Up to six riders can take off simultaneously for parallel, mile-long races to the bottom of Icy Strait Point’s zip line. Speeds hit 60 mph, with a sharp 1,300 foot vertical drop, over a 90-second ride. It’s one of the tallest, and longest, zip lines in the U.S. The port town of Hoonah, near Juneau, is a popular stop for cruise ships.

    Monteverde, Costa Rica

    Serious zip-lines can be found in Monteverde and Arenal, two of Costa Rica’s best zipping spots, separated by 60 rugged miles. Monteverde’s lines fly 200 feet above a rainforest floor, with night runs offering the possibility of volcanic eruptions. Arenal glides over jungle, Arenal Lake and past Arenal Volcano. They’re both roughly four-hour drives from the capital city of San Jose.

    Simatai, China

    Views of China’s Great Wall can be had while riding the Simatai Flying Fox, a zip line found at the end of a hike on the World Wonder. The Great Zip line whips riders over Mandarin Duck Lake, a river, desert plateaus and grasslands. The Smiatai section of the Great Wall lies 75 miles outside of Beijing.

    Taihape, New Zealand

    What Gravity Canyon’s Flying Fox lacks in length, it makes up for in speed. Riders go “Superman-style” parallel to the ground for a 3,600-foot run that reaches speeds of 100 mph. The line travels over a river bed, under a bridge, with a turn towards a cliff face. Mokai Gravity Canyon is also home to New Zealand's highest tandem bungy jump.