A zip-line (also known as a zip line, zip wire, aerial runway, aerial rope slide, death slide, flying fox, tyrolean traverse, or canopy tour) consists of a pulley /trolley suspended on a cable, usually made of steel, mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable by holding on to, or attaching to, the freely moving pulley. Zip-lines come in many forms, most often used as a means of entertainment. They may be short and low, intended for child’s play and found on some playgrounds. Longer and higher rides are often used as a means of accessing remote areas, such as a rain forest canopy. Zip line tours are becoming popular vacation activities, found at outdoor adventure camps or upscale resorts, where they may be an element on a larger challenge or ropes course. The jungles of Costa Rica, Hawaii, Florida, and Nicaragua are popular destinations for zip line enthusiasts.
Longest zip lines n the world
2545 meters/ 8,350 feet or 1.5 miles. Topping our list is the zip line at Parque de Aventura Barrancas del Cobre. Located in Mexico’s famed Copper Canyon, sprawling at over 8,350 feet long (more than a mile and a half!), and with a 17% grade that drops you almost 1,500 feet, it is possible to hit speeds of 84 mph or faster! Gotta love Mexico!
2313 meters/ 7,590 feet or 1.4 miles. Briefly dubbed the world’s longest zip line before being eclipsed by our new champion, El Monstruo will take guests for a ride they won’t soon forget. With over 7,590 feet to cover, and its launching point being an unfathomable 1,200 feet above the ground, I wouldn’t blame you if your heart skipped a beat before pushing off.
Every flight you take will also result in a donation to the Ricky Martin Foundation. They work to combat human trafficking, so swallow your fear and ride El Monstruo for a good cause.
2225 meters/ 7300 feet or 1.38 miles. Meaning ‘the Flight of the Angel’ in English, you will feel like a supernatural being after soaring through the sky at speeds approaching 70 miles per hour. The Volo dell’ Angelo zip line links two villages at opposite ends of a mountain valley in the Dolomites, with a line going each way.
2,130 meters/ 6,990 feet or 1.3 miles. The Eye of the Jaguar is the longest zip line in the world. Constructed with a single cable, zip line riders reach a speed of 110 kilometers per hour. The Eye of the Jaguar is located 45 minutes north of Cusco, Peru in the Sacred Valley.
2021 meters/ 6,631 feet, or 1.26 miles. Located in the resort city of Sudak on the Crimean peninsula, it will provide a thrilling alternative to lying on the beach or exploring Genoese fortresses.
2,000 meters/ 6,561 feet, or 1.25 miles. The Unreal Zip 2000 (formerly the Pronutro Zip 2000) is located in Sun City South Africa. It descends 918 feet at a speed of 100 mph.
1,625 meters/ 5,330 feet, a mile long. The zip line in Hoonah Icy Straight Point, Alaska takes 90 seconds to complete a 1,300 foot vertical drop at 24 degrees.
1,446 meters/4,745 feet. Located at Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park in Orocovis, Puerto Rico.
1,372 meters/4,500 feet. Private Backyard Zip Line in Central California.
1,320 meters/4,330 feet. The newest and longest zip line in Central America. Located just off the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica,
1,200 meters/ 3,937 feet Vallarta Adventures in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 103 meter drop with a top speed of 102 km/h
1,200 meters/ 3,937 feet. South America’s longest zip line near Cali, Colombia. Two zip lines cross the gorge twice.
1,036 meters/ 3,400 feet. Located in Costa Rica in the Central Valley near the Pacific coast in the Tu Ru Bari Tropical Park.
975 meters/ 3,200 feet. Flyin’ Hawaiian Zip line on Maui has a line that is 3,200ft
975 meters/ 3,200 feet. The SkyRider tour is the 2nd largest commercial zipline in North America, 600′ above the ground.
945 meters/ 3,100 feet Gravity zip lines in West Virginia.
793 meters/ 2,600 feet Piiholo Zip line on Maui, HI.
840 meters/ 2,756 feet. The Zip Zone is Asia’s longest zip line. It is located in Bukidnon, Philippines. Zip Zone’s Dual Carrying cables are each 840 meters long point to point with a drop in elevation of 100 meters and speeds between 60-100 KPH.
808 meters/ 2,650 feet. The Dragon’s Breath zip line runs over Labadee, Haiti and is the longest zip line over water. It runs to the beach below.
518 meters/ 1,700 feet. The River Valley Ranch zip line is in Maryland located at a summer camp.
More about zip lines
Professional versions of a zip-line are most typically used as an outdoor adventure activity. In contrast to “flying foxes,” professional courses are usually operated at higher speeds covering much longer distances and sometimes at considerable heights. The users are physically attached to the cable by wearing a harness which attaches to a removable trolley. A helmet is required on almost all courses of any size.
Cables can be very high, starting at a height of over 30 feet (9 m), and traveling well over 1500 feet (457 m). All zip-line cables have some degree of sag. The proper tensioning of a cable is important and allows the ability to tune the ride of a zip line.
Users of zip-lines must have means of stopping themselves. Typical mechanisms include:
- Thick purpose-built leather gloves
- A mat or netting at the lower end of the incline
- An arrester system composed of springs, pulleys, counter-weights, bungee cord or other devices, which slows then stops the trolley’s motion
- Gravity stop utilizing the inherent nature of the sag in the cable. The belly of the cable is always lower than the termination point. The amount of uphill on a zip line controls the speed at which the user arrives at the termination point.
Costa Rica is known for their Canopy Tours where a vacationer can zip through the rain forest. The zip-lines are scattered among several platforms, some as high as 130 feet.
Some smaller, indoor zip lines have also been used in commercial applications for children’s recreation centers such as Jungle Quest.
Zip-lines are a common way to return participants to the ground at the end of a ropes adventure course.
In past days in the Australian outback, flying foxes were occasionally used for delivering food, cigarettes or tools to people working on the other side of an obstacle such as a gully or river. Australian troops have used them to deliver food, mail and even ammunition to forward positions in several conflicts.
An example of a flat ground zip-line is located in Florida at the Zip Line Safari course.
Two Royal Caribbean International ships, the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, will both have ziplines going over the “Boardwalk” areas of the ships. Also owned by Royal Caribbean, Labadee, a private beach on the northern coast of Haiti has its own private zipline.
History – The zip-wire is not a recent invention. Referred to as “an inclined strong,”one appears in The Invisible Man by H.G Wells, published in 1897, as part of a Whit-Monday fair.