Gliding Through the Treetops

Gliding Through the Treetops

Dangling like a spider on a web, he slightly rocks back and forth in his harness as he awaits the “okay” to go. At the cue, he lifts his legs, bends his knees… and takes off, plunging into a tunnel of thick, forest foliage. A whirring sound follows in close pursuit as he soars above the sloping forest floor, suspended meters – at times more than 100 meters – above the ground. To onlookers below, he looks like nothing more than a fragile doll that is somehow managing to cling to a nearly invisible cable as he races across the treetops.

Do you want to be next? Antigua Canopy Tours wants to know who is the next brave soul that will dare to glide suspended over the forest at Finca Filadelfia. The adventure company describes the experience as “more than 500 meters of pure adrenaline only ten minutes from La Antigua Guatemala.”

Thanks to Rudy and Antigua Canopy Tours Manager Pascu Robredo, I was next. 😉 I got to experience what was, for me, a sensational rush through the treetops and rolling landscapes above the Panchoy Valley. Yeow!

This marks the first of a series of posts about the Finca Filadelfia canopy adventure, where I’ll fill you in on the Antigua Canopy Tour experience, facts of the canopy tour industry and even the man who made it all happen for antigueños and La Antigua Guatemala visitors alike.

First, a brief summary of what Antigua Canopy Tours is all about:

The adventure company describes itself as a family-oriented eco-tourism initiative that offers the brave and the willing the thrill of launching from treetop platforms and soaring across forested ravines and canyons. The course is located 3,000 meters into the rolling mountainscape of Finca Filadelfia, located in La Antigua Guatemala between San Felipe de Jesús y Jocotenango.

Visitors have the chance “fly” above La Antigua three times daily, Monday through Sunday, at 9am, 11am and 2pm. Each tour lasts about 3 hours and Antigua Canopy Tours offers free transportation from La Antigua. You can find the tour’s military green Unimog Mercedes monster vehicles in front of the Cathedral every hour beginning at 8:30am until 1:30pm.

Antigua Canopy Tours has two canopy circuits the Forest Express and Canopy Express that offer up to 8 zipline “flights,” sending participants gliding anywhere from 50 to 520 meters through the forest. Visitors do not need to have any prior experience and the tour is open to all ages provided they have a sound medical history.

The company promises its adventure course is very secure, complying with all international standards recommended by the ACCT (Association of Challenge Course Technology). Antigua Canopy Tours is insured and says it uses only the best equipment available, including internationally recognized brands such as Petzl and PMI.

You can find a preview of the adventure at Antigua Canopy Tours Youtube channel or by playing the Youtube video embedded below:

A quick video of my own experience will be available in a following post. (Pictured is canopy tour guide Carlos Antonio aka “Tono”)

text and photo by Laura McNamara

© 2009 – 2016, Laura McNamara. All rights reserved.

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  • I want to be the next. I can be you photographer then you will be on the pictures with your harness. How much is for the tour, i want to do it too.

    • @Nelo And you should! I definitely recommend it… the prices of the various options will be listed in an upcoming post.

  • Laura, I’m excited about this Canopy tour series, or is it Zipline tours? I can’t wait to see what glides next in the series. Was it a fun experience? It looks like it was raining, can the tour be done in a rainy day?

    • @Rudy the experience rocked no doubt! Thanks again for setting it all up!! Unfortunately, it was super cloudy the day I went and the light was definitely not the best for taking photos. But, bad light never stops me from getting good shots. 😉 It wasn’t really raining while I was on the tour. It started drizzling just as we finished up…

  • Eh, I’m up for it too… And, in Petén, there are several cool ones, it is only that I’ve been just to one of them… Hey, let’s all be Laura’s photographers, ;O) ;O) ;O)… Congratulations!!!!!! Cool Article!!!!!!!!!!!!! Coooooool picture too!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hehehe… a posse of Laura McNamara photographers? Hey, that’s not a bad idea… hahaha.

  • Dear Laura,
    congratulations for your first article of this upcoming series. Your writing is very poetic and makes the reader want to go and try it right away!!. Regarding rainy days, some visitors have found it even more fun: feeling the rain in your face while gliding, getting through big thick clouds across the canyon… If there is a electric thunderstorm, the tour leader calls off the tour, just in case. People gets a certificate to enjoy the tour any other day.

    • Thanks Pascu! And I agree. There were a couple tracks that disappeared into foggy mist when I went… all the more exciting! Thanks again for hosting me!

  • Wow that looks amazing, got to remember to do that next time i’m in Guate.

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