By Guy Britton
Zip lines come in many shapes and sizes, but this one is different. Very different.
The Flying Dutchman at Rainforest Adventures on St Maarten is the steepest zip line in the world.
It’s an essential St Maarten experience, plunging more than 1,000 feet down and traversing more than 2,800 feet.
As amazing as the Flying Dutchman experience is, at the already-legendary adventure park, the “zip” is only part of the experience.
And this is especially true at the Rainforest Adventures location on St Maarten, which first made its debut in April of last year.
It’s a major addition to the St Maarten vacation and cruise experience ,and a place well worth going even if you don’t ride the zip line.
There’s even a tube surfing ride that goes 657 feet down a field of sloped tubes that’s particularly great for kids.
And then there are the lifts, just like the ones you’d find at a high-end ski resort like Aspen or Vail.
The lift traverses over 2,997 feet and are worth the ride just for the experience and the views
And when you get to the top, you’ll discover one of the finest views you will find anywhere in the Caribbean.
When you’re up here, up here at 1,125 feet, St Maarten’s famous airport and the planes below look like tiny toys. But there’s only one way to get up here — and it’s worth it.
Up at the top, there’s a climbing trail and hiking course that offers challenges and views in equal measure.
There’s even a little cafe (to be precise, a cooler and a nice guy) at the top where you can get refreshments and take in the views while snapping photos and then enjoy the ride of your life back down.
It’s part of a wider destination that’s been built on the 436,000-square-meter Rockland Estate that was once the home of the legendary Emilio Wilson, who negotiated the purchase of the entire property in 1954. (It’s also home to the namesake Emilio’s, one of the best places to eat in St Maarten).
Along with the lifts and zip lines great effort has been taken to preserve the natural landscape and cultural heritage here.
There’s even a museum to to help educate the public about the legacy of Emilio Wilson and how he so enterprisingly acquired the vast lands, about his life during those times.
What it all adds up to is an authentic St Maarten adventure — and one that you won’t soon forget.
For more, visit Rainforest Adventures St Maarten.
See more in the latest CJ Video.