Ziplining in Jamaica with Chukka at Cranbrook Flower Forest

Ziplining in Jamaica ... A fun family activity

Ziplining in Jamaica … A fun family activity

Ziplining was one activity that we hadn’t tried so we thought we would give it a go.

We paid for the tour ourselves and have not been compensated in any way for this review. If you want the main points, skip to the bottom. Otherwise, read on.

Ziplining in Jamaica: Why we chose Chukka at Cranbrook Flower Forest

We didn’t want an experience that would scare the daylights out of Darrian, our 11-year-old, or me for that matter, so we decided to wait til he was older to try the zipline at H’Evans Scent in Freehill. That one I will do during my “Release Your Fears Retreat”. Mystic Mountain’s zipline in Ocho Rios has only four stations and costs quite a bit. Chukka at Cranbrook Flower Forest has 9 zipline stations, is the closest one to Mais Oui Villa, is reasonably priced, and did not require a long time commitment, so they won.

The Chukka – Cranbrook Partnership

Chukka Caribbean partnered with Cranbrook Flower Forest a few years ago to create a signature adventure tour – ziplining through the Laughlands River Gorge.The head of the Laughlands River is on the property. Due to the unpredictability of the river, the river tour has been discontinued but there is a trail alongside the river where one can walk. About 25 acres of the 130-acre property has been developed into gardens. The rest is in its natural, undeveloped state.

Ziplining in Jamaica with Chukka at Cranbrook Flower Forest

We did a 2pm tour on a Monday in March 2017. The 3 of us were the only participants, which was just perfect as we had no crowds to deal with.

We started off at the home base, Chukka Cove, where we paid for our tickets and got fitted with safety gear. We drove about 20 minutes up into the hills to get to the starting point for the zipline.

Safety while Ziplining in Jamaica with Chukka

Like me, you are probably wondering about safety, especially when you are allowing your only child to go whizzing past treetops in the name of fun.

We were fitted with harnesses, helmets, and gloves before we even got to the zipline adventure site. We were given a safety briefing including how to brake. We didn’t need to brake for ourselves as they braked for us and caught us at the end of each station.

Of course, I had to ask how often they checked the lines. Turns out that is done daily before the first tour and a more detailed version is done on Fridays.

The guides were great. There were four with us including one who was a photographer. Typically, two went ahead to receive us and two were senders to make sure we were connected properly. We felt safe the entire time.

Ziplining in Jamaica - Safety first

Ziplining in Jamaica – Safety first

Fun for a first-timer ziplining in Jamaica

This was a great course for us as first time zipliners. There is quite a bit of foliage on the trees which disguises the actual height of the lines, which for me was particularly helpful. Also, the drops were not particularly dramatic so it was more fun than scary.

That said, my poor knees were like noodles by the time when I approached the first station. 

There were 9 stations. Number 9 was my favorite – not because the adventure was over but because it was actually the most fun.

After about an hour and a half, our tour ended in Cranbrook Flower Forest with a walk along the Laughland River. The gazebo with the palm lined entryway and the expansive lawn are still there; however, the garden is not like the days of old. It has seen better days when the patriarch, Mr. Linton, was at the helm.The focus appears to be on the adventure tours through Chukka Cove as opposed to maintaining the gardens.

Therapy for Acrophobia – Go ziplining in Jamaica

Have a touch of acrophobia, fear of heights? Ziplining could well be considered a fun and less expensive option for therapy (LOL). Go with a group of friends to cheer you on. If you are traveling solo, the guides will be your cheering squad.

(Clearly, if you have a diagnosis of acrophobia, you need to follow your therapist’s advice and not mine.)

None of the guides could remember anyone who got cold feet badly enough that they didn’t complete the tour. The words, “Your tour is non-refundable” are very powerful.

That said, I did question my sanity as I approached the first station. And yes, my legs were wobbly for quite a while; but with each station, I felt less and less afraid. So much so that I would actually do it again and even try a more challenging course!

Just so you know …

  • Minimum age allowed is 6.
  • Maximum weight for the tours is 265lbs.
  • You could get away with wearing long shorts; but, long pants are ideal.
  • Wear sturdy closed up shoes. Sneakers are perfect.
  • There is a lot of walking to get to the first zipline station and from the last station to the vehicle to take you back to home base for Chukka.
  • The tour is absolutely not wheelchair accessible.
  • The tour is not suitable for pregnant women.
  • You need to be able to handle stairs and be reasonably fit. If you are not steady on your feet, skip this tour. Through no fault of the guides, I did twist my ankle walking to the first station. There are a lot of steps to walk to the first station. The terrain is uneven and irregular and so are the steps.
  • Pay attention to the safety briefings. You sign a waiver of liability at the beginning of the tour. You will be whizzing high in the air above and among trees in a forest. The harness has you attached very securely; but, you must know how to brake, just in case you are coming in too fast.
  • Our tour lasted about 1.5-2 hours. If you have a large group, expect a longer duration due to a lot more waiting around. The amount of time spend on the actual zipline is very short – less than a minute per station.
  • Chukka Cove, the arrival location for the Cranbrook Rainforest Garden Zipline Tour is about 16 minutes east of Mais Oui Villa.
  • There is about a 20-minute bumpy ride from Chukka Cove to the start the zipline experience.
  • Like many tourist attractions, the prices for the photos were expensive and are sold on a pro-photo basis. The best package was for 10 photos for about $50.
  • Use the restroom before you start off. There are no restroom facilities until you get to the very end of the tour.
  • They could include a drink at the end of the tour. They do have a bar on-site where you can purchase something to drink.
  • Double check the pricing that you are given. We provided our own transportation and were charged the same price as those people for whom they provide transportation.

Website: http://www.chukka.com

Have you done ziplining with Chukka at Cranbrook Flower Forest in Jamaica? How was your experience? Let us know. Leave a comment below.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Til next time,

Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian

Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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