Up, up, and away: 10 fastest, longest, and most beautiful zip lines in the world
If you’re secretly holding onto your 7-year-old-self’s belief that you might actually be a superhero, then keep reading. Not only are the following zip lines some of the world’s fastest and longest, they also take you up, up, and away in some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Pick your launch spot—then get out there and get up there!
1. Flight of the Gibbon, Cambodia
The Flight of the Gibbon combines amazing treetop views, an exhilarating ride, and a history lesson all in one. Located in Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, the course contains 10 zip lines through the Cambodian jungle and 21 platforms high in the trees, where you’ll see the famous Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom temples and the 154-mile UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll also cross four hanging bridges, learn about Cambodian wildlife, and spot some gibbons along the way.
2. Sabang X, Philippines
Up for extreme hiking along with your zip-lining adventure? The Sabang X in Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island, Philippines, has you covered. This half-mile zip line takes you over water with views of mangroves, the mountains, and the South China Sea. Half the fun of this ride, however, is getting there. To reach your starting point, you’ll first take a 15-minute hike up a jungle-covered mountain.
3. Mega Zips at Mega Cavern, Kentucky
Maybe you’ve explored a cave before, and you’ve probably at least ridden a small zip line on a playground—but have you done both all at once? Probably not. Visit the Mega Cavern in Louisville, Kentucky, to ride Mega Zips, the first and only underground zip line in the world. Originally dug in the 1930s, these man-made caverns operated as a limestone quarry for almost 42 years. The massive site contains 17 miles of underground corridors with ceilings more than 90 feet tall in some places. You’ll spend two and a half hours flying through the caverns on six zip lines, all while learning about geology and mining history.
4. Miss Sky Canopy Tour, Costa Rica
Costa Rica got hot on zip lines nearly 30 years before the U.S. did, and their courses prove their expertise. The Miss Sky Canopy Tour in the Pacific Coast province of Guanacaste has 21 runs weaving through 7 miles of tropical landscapes, past waterfalls, by mountain ridges, and over forested valleys. The view from above doesn’t get much better than this.
5. Dragon’s Breath Flightline, Haiti
Zoom over Buccaneer's Bay’s white sands and clear blue waters on Royal Caribbean’s Dragon’s Breath Flightline in Haiti. Start off with a mini test run on the Little Dragon, then take a safari ride to the real deal at Dragon’s Breath Rock. Not for the faint of heart, this 2,600-foot-long zip line starts at 500 feet high and reaches speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.
6. SkyRider Zip Line Tour, New York
If you’re sticking stateside but still searching for some zipping action, try SkyRider zip line Tour on Hunter Mountain, located two hours north of New York City. The longest canopy tour in America, this course extends for more than 4 miles. At the highest point, you’ll be 600 feet above the ground, soaking up gorgeous views of the Catskill Mountains.
7. Wild Great Wall, China
Can anything be cooler than seeing the Great Wall of China in real life? Well, yes. Try hiking up the Great Wall of China. Then try zip-lining down the Great Wall of China. Wild Great Wall’s adventure tours let you do all of the above. You’ll hike up, explore the Simatai section’s 35 watchtowers and 6th century architecture, and zip down over Mandarin Duck Lake, where you’ll take a boat ride back to land.
8. Lost World Canopy Tour, Belize
You’ll feel like you’re on another planet during a ride on the Lost World Canopy Tour in Belize. The tour begins with a short jungle trek where you’ll learn about Belizean culture. Then the real excitement starts. You’ll walk through a dark cave and when you emerge into the light, you’ll be on the top rim of an open-air crater, with views of the primeval rainforest in the valley below. From your perch on the 100-foot rock wall, you’ll start your zip-lining journey to platforms inside the crater, ending with a final rappel to the rainforest floor.
9. Amazonia Expeditions, Peru
Why see the Amazon from the ground when so much jungle life is way up high? In the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve, Amazonia Expeditions built the longest zip line canopy system in the Amazon. You’ll get hoisted 100 feet above the ground onto platforms on old-growth trees, where you’ll fly through the treetops feeling like Tarzan. The best part is, you control the speed, so you can slow down to spot woolly monkeys, bats, sloths, and macaws hanging out in the trees.
10. Mokai Gravity Canyon, New Zealand
Soaring along Mokai Gravity Canyon’s Flying Fox is as close to being Superman as you’ll get. They’ll strap you in stomach-down and let you loose in Rangitikei Canyon near Taihape, New Zealand. Fly up to 100 miles per hour nearly 600 feet above the river, pass under a bridge, head towards a cliff face, and then do it all again—the system goes both ways for twice the thrills.