Zip-lining Jamaica’s rainforest canopy and over rivers and gorges is the most exciting way for gaining yet another view of Jamaica. Zip-lines operate in multiple locations from Ocho Rios to south of Montego Bay. Most are 2-hour tours, have a minimum age of 6 and a maximum weight capacity of around 265. Check the specific requirements for your tour. Bring sun block and bug spray in a small backpack.
Once you are in harness and ready to fly, both hands must be free for gripping. Aerial photography is impossible without a video camera mounted on your head or strapped to your chest.
Chukka Ocho Rios: Nine traverses over the Cranbrook Rainforest Gardens and the Laughlands River gorge with lines from 105 to 660 feet long and a possible speed of more than 35 mph.
Cranbrook Rainforest Gardens, also known as the Cranbrook Flower Forest, is a top eco-tour attraction. This is one of the most scenic and best organized of the zip-line tours. Chukka also operates at other locations down the coast.
Flight of the White Witch, Rose Hall: Rose Hall is famous for a previous owner, Annie Palmer, known as the white witch. After murdering her husband and inheriting the plantation, she took great delight in torturing slaves who displeased her. Annie, eventually killed by her slaves, is said still to haunt the premises. This history is related on the zip-line tour, which starts with a drive into the mountains 1,200 feet above sea level. The tour features criss-crossing traverse lines of about 600 feet before you make a 100-foot rappel drop.
Lethe Estate is in a private farming community along the Great River about 30 minutes from Montego Bay. Claiming to have the Caribbean’s longest zip-line tour, it offers 5 zip-lines varying from 250 feet to the 1,600-foot long Big Timba. A walk across a 250-foot jungle bridge from one platform to the next is an added tour feature.
Inter-Parish Express at Montpelier Outpost is another Montego Bay area zip-line experience. The Express includes 6 traverses over land, through tree tunnels and across the White River and a 150-year-old dam. On the longest line of 1,250 feet, you can reach speeds of more than 35 mph.
Yet another zip-line facility is located farther to the south, at YS Falls near Santa Cruz, Jamaica. It zips over waterfalls, not the rainforest.