Cancun’s Hidden World
Cancun’s one-of-a-kind jungle thrill delivers adrenaline, bragging rights and a healthy dose of the Yucatan’s famous cenotes. Join Trans-America Journey travel bloggers Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl as they ride the world’s first roller coaster zip line.
When is a roller coaster not a roller coaster? When it’s a zip line. That’s the concept behind The Hurricane, the latest in-jungle thrill at Hidden Worlds Family Cenote Adventure Park located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The Hurricane was created by Hidden Worlds founder, co-owner and adventure inventor Gordon “Buddy” Quattlebaum.
A world class spelunker, Buddy fell in love with this cave-rich part of the Yucatan and eventually created the area’s most natural nature park. Nearby Xel-Ha, Xcaret and Xplor adventure parks seem like Disneyland in comparison to the ungroomed authenticity of Hidden Worlds.
Buddy claims The Hurricane (originally called The Avatar until Universal Studios claimed copyright) is the world’s first “roller coaster zip line.” When we visited Hidden Worlds, Buddy and a small team of engineers and fixers were putting the finishing touches on the system. When the call for “test riders” went up so did our hands.
Once harnessed in we were attached to the ride a standing position just as if we were about to take a traditional zip line ride. Unlike traditional zip lines, however The Hurricane runs on a rigid rail like the ones that roller coasters travel along. This rigidity gave Buddy and his team the ability to bend and curve the rail, ditching the straight-line trajectory of most zip lines and incorporating steep drops, swift climbs, vertebrae-jarring hairpins and other features normally associated with a roller coaster.
It’s a quick ride, but a dramatic one which culminates by dropping riders through a dark tunnel into a cenote (water-filled cave) where you descend at full speed through a winding, dark route before splashing down into the cool, clear water.
The Hurricane at Hidden Worlds is thrilling and unique—two words not often associated with this stretch of Mexico’s coastline.
Want more from the Trans-Americas Journey? Follow their continuously updated blog as their multi-year, 200,000 mile working road-trip through North, Central and South America heads slowly south all the way to Tierra del Fuego.
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