Zipline Adventure in Saint Lucia
Zip Line Adventure above the Canopy at Morne Coubaril Estate
Take a Zip Line Adventure
Saint Lucia in the Lesser Antilles is a vacation destination with activities for all interests. On our last vacation there, we joined an excursion and spent the afternoon zip lining with Soufriere Hotwire Rides at Morne Coubaril Estate, about an hour's drive from our resort at l'Anse Chastanet. There were four of us in the group, who were all zip lining for the first time, and this zip line adventure was a perfect introduction.
Morne Coubaril is an old sugar plantation, which still functions as a farm. In addition to the Hotwire Rides, visitors can also tour the plantation and the great house, see the working sugar mill, and eat a St Lucian lunch in the restaurant if they wish. Since our schedule was constrained by our pick-up time, we only did the zip lining, but I would recommend other visitors take time to tour the estate, the plantation owners' house, the workers' village, and the sugar mill to really get the feel of what life might have been life for the slaves on the plantations in the tropical heat before emancipation in 1834. The breezy verandahs and stately grace of the huge white house still owned by the Monplaisir family impressed me across the shady green lawns, speaking with a dark edge of privilege, social and political influence, and wealth.
As I zipped across the jungle canopy having fun, I found myself asking to what extent these old colonial families with names of European origin still sway the political and cultural realities of contemporary Saint Lucia.
Morne Coubaril Estate Zip Line Shed with Petit Piton near Soufriere, St Lucia
Zip Lining Adventure at Morne Coubaril Estate, St Lucia
St Lucia Zip Line
Our first stop was the harness shed where our guides showed us how to step into the trapeze harnesses, choose gloves, and fasten safety helmets.
They reminded us to remove jewelry that might get lost or caught in equipment, and required us to to tuck our hair inside paper caps to make sure no stray strands of loose hair could get caught in the pulleys as we zoomed above the jungle at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.
Their business depends on the safety of the participants, and they explained the risks, precautions, and safety procedures clearly. We felt in good hands.
Hotwire Rides Zip Lining in Saint Lucia is a Safe Adventure
Zip Line Tours in Saint Lucia
Once everyone had donned gear, we moved to the demonstration line to see the correct grip and stance we should use. Then we climbed the stairs to the first platform, built in a 300-year-old banyen tree. There one guide demonstrated the take-off and landing, while the other guide briefed us on what to do and how to call the warning before taking off, in case the previous zip liner had lost momentum and got stuck in the low part of the arc on the trapeze and needed to crawl hand-over-hand to the platform. This never happened, but was part of the routine safety instruction, to prepare us for a potential tricky situation.
Zip Lining above the Canopy
The eight platforms connect zip lines of various length, and in the course of the afternoon we travel above lime, mango, papaya and banana trees, hearing bird calls and the rustle of small lizards and animals in the forest floor.
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Jungle Zip Line
One by one we zip from platform to platform, taking time at each stop to enjoy the views over the Soufriere Valley and to hear some history of the area from the guides. the afternoon is full of the fragrance of jungle flowers, and the squawks and songs of birds.
If you go
- Cost is $69 US for the Zip Lining Adventure and takes about 1 hour
- If you join a tour from your resort, expect to pay around $100 US, including the mini-bus fare.
- Estate tour takes about 30 minutes and costs $7 US
Morne Coubaril Estate is a Working Plantation
Today the estate still grows some sugar cane to run the demonstration mill, and harvests fruit from the mango, papaya, lemon, lime, grapefruit and other tropical fruit trees for the restaurant and for local consumption. Visitors can ride the horses, and ducks and geese wander around freely, honking and hissing and running away.
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