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Zipline Adventure in Saint Lucia

Updated on June 19, 2012

Zip Line Adventure above the Canopy at Morne Coubaril Estate

Close to Soufriere in the southern part of St Lucia, Morne coubaril Estate has an 8-platform series of zip lines with views of the plantation, the farm, the Soufriere Valley, and the Pitons.
Close to Soufriere in the southern part of St Lucia, Morne coubaril Estate has an 8-platform series of zip lines with views of the plantation, the farm, the Soufriere Valley, and the Pitons. | Source

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

From the ground and from the zip lines, the volcanic peak of Petit Piton gives a backdrop to the Morne Coubaril Estate.
From the ground and from the zip lines, the volcanic peak of Petit Piton gives a backdrop to the Morne Coubaril Estate. | Source

Zip Lining Adventure at Morne Coubaril Estate, St Lucia

Zip line harnesses, gloves and helmets are required safety gear at Hotwire Rides Zip Line Adventures near Soufriere, St Lucia.
Zip line harnesses, gloves and helmets are required safety gear at Hotwire Rides Zip Line Adventures near Soufriere, St Lucia. | Source
Hotwire Rides guides check harnesses for safety before we zip line above the canopy at Morne Coubaril Estate..
Hotwire Rides guides check harnesses for safety before we zip line above the canopy at Morne Coubaril Estate.. | Source
Shorts and running shoes are recommended clothing for safety for a St Lucia zip line adventure..
Shorts and running shoes are recommended clothing for safety for a St Lucia zip line adventure.. | Source

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

Our Hotwire Rides  zip line guide checked our safety harnesses, and demonstrated the grips and stance before we got to the first platform to try it ourselves.
Our Hotwire Rides zip line guide checked our safety harnesses, and demonstrated the grips and stance before we got to the first platform to try it ourselves. | Source

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.



The giant banyen trees are called "walking trees" because of the way they grow roots down from the branches into the soil as the tree grow.  Some of the trees, like this one, are centuries old.
The giant banyen trees are called "walking trees" because of the way they grow roots down from the branches into the soil as the tree grow. Some of the trees, like this one, are centuries old. | Source
In the banyen tree, the guides demonstrate how to leave and arrive on the platforms, and what to do if adventurers get stuck part way.
In the banyen tree, the guides demonstrate how to leave and arrive on the platforms, and what to do if adventurers get stuck part way. | Source

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.

What do you think?

Hve you ever gone ziplining?

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Trapezes  are suspended between platforms above the canopy of cultured citrus, mango, papaya, and banana trees, and above wild verdant jungle at Hotwire Rides Zip lining on Morne Coubaril Estates near Soufriere, St Lucia.
Trapezes are suspended between platforms above the canopy of cultured citrus, mango, papaya, and banana trees, and above wild verdant jungle at Hotwire Rides Zip lining on Morne Coubaril Estates near Soufriere, St Lucia. | Source
show route and directions
A markerHotwire Rides Zip Lining at Morne Coubaril Estate, Soufriere -
Morne Coubaril Estate, St Lucia
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B markerthe Pitons, Soufriere, St Lucia -
Pitons Bay
get directions

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In the rainy season, the pond was full of water, and muddy from the morning's storm.
In the rainy season, the pond was full of water, and muddy from the morning's storm. | Source

What do you think?

Is zip lining a beneficial, low-impact form of ecotourism?

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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.

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From the zip line  platforms at  Morne Coubaril Estate, visitors see the distant coastal village of Soufriere backed by densly jungled hills.
From the zip line platforms at Morne Coubaril Estate, visitors see the distant coastal village of Soufriere backed by densly jungled hills. | Source

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.

Morne Coubaril Estate is a working farm.  As you zip on the lines above the jungle, you might also see ducks, and horses in the yards below.
Morne Coubaril Estate is a working farm. As you zip on the lines above the jungle, you might also see ducks, and horses in the yards below. | Source

Comments

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    • Kalmiya profile image

      Kalmiya 5 years ago from North America

      If we ever get back to St. Lucia, zip-lining is one more thing I would want to try. Thanks for your photos and info!

    • Janis Goad profile image
      Author

      Janis Goad 6 years ago

      Hola, Denisemai. I am sure there is a place closer to home than St Lucia where you can go. Your kids over 8 will love it.

    • denisemai profile image

      Denise Mai 6 years ago from Idaho

      Oh, Janis, I have always wanted to go zip-lining and your beautiful photos make me want to even more. What an adventure. I'm glad I found this.

    • Janis Goad profile image
      Author

      Janis Goad 6 years ago

      Hello, Susan! It's so nice to see you here. Thank you for visiting. Yes, it really is a lot of fun.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This looks like so much fun.

    • Janis Goad profile image
      Author

      Janis Goad 6 years ago

      Oh, for sure you have to try it!! They teach you how to do it safely, and once you have left the first platform, it isn't hard. don't chicken out without experiencing it at least once!!

    • ourforeverisnow profile image

      ourforeverisnow 6 years ago from Maine

      My father has been bugging me to go ziplining, im still too chicken. It looks beautiful! voted this one uP!

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