Travel & Outdoors | March 2007
|Safety First and Full of Fun|
Laura Gelezunas - PVNN
Flying through the trees like Tarzan is a reality on Vallarta Adventure's Canopy and Outdoor Adventure Tours. There are times when you are over 250 feet above the forest floor, but have no fears because your guides have completed an extensive training program and only the best equipment is used. (Good to know when you're rappelling down a waterfall or swinging from tree-to-tree in the jungles of the Sierra Madres!)
|Canopy Tours and Outdoor Adventures are some of the most popular tours in Vallarta. BanderasNews videographer, Laura Gelezunas, shows us how Vallarta Adventures designs these thrilling ecological experiences with your safety in mind. (Click HERE for more Canopy Adventures info).|
Safety is the number one priority for Vallarta Adventures Tour Company in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There is a double click of the safety clamps when hooking up on to a zip line. This gives visitors at Vallarta Adventure's Canopy Tour an extra measure of safety while flying through the tree tops. They are the only tour operator in the area that uses two separate lines on their canopy tours.
"I felt very safe," says Carolanne Oswald of Victoria, B.C., "You are always hooked on to a rope at all times and the guides are very professional and really know what they're doing."
All guests receive a safety demonstration and tour instructions before leaving the base camp. The ratio of tour guides to visitors is almost two to one. The guides take part in rigorous drills and education classes long before assisting visitors.
"We have three days of basic training at the office, where they explain every single element of the tour, not only the equipment but the ropes, how the platforms are set up, plus all the small details," says Jaime Ker, Vallarta Adventures Guide, "After the days in the office, we head out to the tour site and start climbing up ropes, doing special knots and things we may be using throughout the tour."
|Guests receive a "Safety First" demonstration and complete tour instructions before leaving base camp.|
|Guides receive continuous training in safety and tour operations, with basic rescue and first aid courses.|
Training is completed after 250 hours. This also includes first aid and emergency rescue.
"The safety of our visitors is the most important thing, so we set up a stretcher on the platform and practice a lot during the low season," says Omar Amezua, Vallarta Adventures Safety Expert, "We make teams and we lower the stretcher from the platforms and perform mock emergency situations."
Even while the tour is taking place, safety remains an important factor. The guide, bringing up the rear, always has the first-aid kit and the radio in case something happens. But most people are preoccupied with having a good time.
"The most exciting part of the tour is the canopy tour itself, getting on any of the cables and coming down those zip lines," says Russ Beerling of Port St. John, B.C., "The Big Mama was probably my favorite run because it was the quickest."
The techniques and equipment are similar to those used by cave explorers and mountain climbers. So, catch a thrill sailing through the trees and leave your fears and anxiety in the hands of your tour guides.
Your safety and enjoyment are top priorities at Vallarta Adventures. For more information about the experienced guides and professional climbing gear on their Puerto Vallarta Canopy Tours and Outdoor Adventures, or to make your reservations, visit Canopy-Adventures.com or call Vallarta Adventures toll free from the U.S. and Canada at 1-888-303-2653.