Selvatica - Welcome to the Jungle!
Selvatica - An Experience Not To Be Missed In Your Life!
From Canopy to Canopy!
My family and I are big “Survivor” fans. When the show airs - we are waiting to watch it! Each of us, choose our favorite to win and we can’t wait to see what will happen next. While watching an episode last year, one of the rewards for winning the challenge was a day of zip lining and food. Who wouldn’t give their all for that?
When we saw the first person come zipping through the canopy of trees, I looked at my husband and said, “That we must do!” The kids agreed and I set out to find out how I, too, could experience what that must feel like. After a little research, I found the perfect place. Selvatica in Cancun.
I booked the trip and purchased my tickets to Selvatica online.
The day finally arrived and we waited anxiously in front of the hotel for the transportation to arrive. I had butterflies in my stomach, I was second guessing this choice and worried the children might be afraid of the heights or that it might not be so easy for Maddy. She is the youngest. Never the less, I put my worries aside and decided to get on that bus and see what happened. It was not long until the butterflies turned into big butterflies in my stomach.
It seemed like we had been driving for quite a while when the driver took a road off the main highway going to the left. I thought that we were arriving at our destination, I looked up, and there were armed military men and police guarding a building that boasted, “Crocodile Farm.” My eyebrows were now standing near the top of my hairline. I whispered to Dave, “Oh my goodness are we going to zip line over a crocodile farm?” I was getting ready to jump ship until I realized we were just picking up passengers from another hotel. Whew!
Just as I rested into that false sense of security mode, the driver started passing around a clipboard. Each passenger was to read and sign. I heard some murmurs from the other passengers as they read the information, a few giggles, a few, “oh my gush’s!” I finally got my turn to see the clipboard. It was a waiver. If you just happened to be bitten by a creature such as a scorpion or a snake, you could not sue. Conveniently, it was given to us while were on our way there. I took a deep breath and signed for myself and children, hoping I was not going to be sorry later.
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Finally, we arrived at Selvatica! It was breath taking. The drive down a long, dusty narrow road led you to a place deep in the Jungle with nothing but the sounds of the animals chirping in the trees. It was a hidden treasure buried deep beneath the canopy of the trees. The top of the tree line is the canopy - the air between the canopy and the floor wall is the under story and it is very still. Not much air or sound intrudes on this space - it amplifies the sound of all the animals that have made this their home.
The staff was phenomenal. I cannot say enough about them. They welcomed you and explained the entire routine in detail. They used their time wisely explaining how things worked as they hooked your gear on and fastened the helmet properly to your head. They also had a zip line set up and one of the people showed you exactly how it worked and how to use the gloves and zip line to go faster or brake. They made it seem like a cinch. Then I noticed a man taking a video of everyone, slowly passing over each one of us and ensuring that he got everyone on this video.
I got a little nervous again, “I bet they are just making sure that at the end everyone is still here! I bet they have to make sure no one drops off the zip line and is left lying on the floor of the jungle!”
“Chill out,” Dave teased, “you, of all people should fit right in here!” He is so funny. They told us to all line up; I ended up the very last person in line with my family members in front of me. If people started dropping off like flies, I could just grab my kids, run the other way, and wait for the dinner.
I knew the zip lines were at the top of the trees. I had never thought about how you get up there. Until now. They hooked a cable to the belt of your new strapping underwear. Then they led you up custom-built stairs anchored from the tops of the trees. As you climbed to the tip-top of the jungle, the cable, attached to another wire that was connected in a sort of continuous vine of cable.
We reached the first platform; my sense of excitement overwhelmed my fear. My children acted much as they do when they are about to get on a Ferris Wheel or a ride at Six Flags. They were glowing. The guides that took you through the lines would send the tourists one by one, from platform to platform, with one professional zipper waiting to catch you at the next circuit. They even offered to go along behind you if you were afraid.
I watched nervously, as Dave, then Chase, then Sydney, and then Maddy made their way across the first of 12 circuits. Only Maddy had an issue, since she does not weigh very much her momentum was slower. They had to “rescue” her. She did not appear to be afraid and one of the guys zipped out to her and pushed her rest of the way to the platform. Now, seeing everyone else made it to safety, it was my turn!
If you are afraid of heights, I might not recommend this. It seemed like a very long, long, way down to the jungle floor. I was constantly watching for scorpions or other friends I did not want to meet by accident.
The first zip circuit for me was the best. It felt like I was flying through the air and I could not help laughing aloud as I glided across the top of the jungle. The guides would wait for each person at the next platform to signal you to go slower, faster, to catch or rescue each person. It was so easy! Each time I reached the next platform, the guides, who were already calling me “Momma”, begged me to try to go upside down. “I’ll follow right behind you,” they urged. “I will hold on to your gear the entire time,” they promised. I could not help it - I had to try it just once. I sometimes do crazy things because I am afraid I will not get another chance. I finally relented, my family all in front of me, waiting, watching me.
It was a complete rush! I am so glad I did not miss the opportunity as I stretched my body toward the jungle floor and just let go! I was suspended in the air with my legs crossed. He put a twist on it and started spinning me around up there! I was laughing and trying to tell him to stop, but my laughter beat out the words and I don’t think the guide could hear me. As promised, I reached the next platform safely. My family were there waiting and hysterical that mom did it upside down!
My husband and my nephew followed suit. Each taking a turn to see what it felt like. I am glad I went first. They may not have gotten to feel that freedom if I had not. My husband and nephew told me that they had to do it once they saw me because they could not stand to come back home and tell everyone they were sissies! Good!
It seemed to end too soon but we were not done yet. Next we all boarded army trucks to visit a Cenote. Deeper into the jungle we went. The road was dirt and full of deep potholes. I sucked in every bit of what I was seeing so that I could make a permanent photo album and etch it into my brain.
A Cenote is a deep hole formed naturally due to the collapse of the surface, which exposes the water beneath. Ancient Mayans may have used these for sacrificial offerings. It was pure beauty. The natural flowers grew wild around the Cenote and I stretched way over the edge to examine the inside of this enormous hole.
A zip line was fashioned over the cenote and some of the more adventurous people would grab a T - Bar shaped rod and zip until they reached the middle and drop into the cold water. A man made, rope like latter was designed to pull you along to the stairs to get back to the top.
My family and fellow travelers were all getting hungry so while I did not want to leave this beautiful place, it was time to go. The passengers were loaded into Army trucks and taken back to the point of beginning. The outdoor patio type tables were set and food was already being served to each person. Finally, some authentic Mexican Food! They served chicken fajitas, Mexican rice and water or a soft drink. Suddenly, a film started - it was all of our crew shown zipping and laughing through the whole experience. Priceless!
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