What a beast. The journey of “flying through the forest” with Antigua Canopy Tours begins with a ride in the unique UNIMOG, a vehicle made specifically for ascending mountains.
Aside from being quite fun to say, these military green monsters offer an enhanced riding experience because of their special design. UNIMOG Mercedes Benz off-road vehicles possess a notably high ground clearance – greater than that of a Humvee even – making the vehicles perfect for viewing the impressive landscapes of both Finca Filadelphia and the Panchoy Valley as canopy tour visitors wind their way up the mountain terrain. The UNIMOG’s flexible frame allows the vehicle to scale a rough mountain ascent with ease – these beasts roll over boulders up to one meter in height. During the ride, guides will accompany participants on the trip, explaining various aspects of the culture, history, plants and animals associated with the 750-acre farm.
UNIMOG is an acronym that represents “UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät,” Gerät being the German word for machine or device. The vehicle was first designed in Germany for use in agriculture in 1946, shortly after World War II. The permanent 4WD design with equally sized wheels allows the “tractor” to reach higher speeds than typical farm tractors on open roads. The big green beasts can be found in jungles, mountains and deserts and are used in military operations throughout the world. They are also popularly used as tourist transport for jungle ecotourism or safaris, such as the Antigua Canopy Tours operation. You can even find UNIMOG models competing in truck trials, including the Dakar Rally. Antigua Canopy Tours receives its UNIMOGS from the Danish Defense.
The UNIMOG is definitely eye-catching. When I was escorted back to my neighborhood in one of these bad boys after my canopy tour experience, several onlookers gave enthusiastic whistles and hoots and I couldn’t help but feeling a bit “righteously rugged.” Hehehe.
Check out this video of the UNIMOG from Antigua Canopy Tours:
text and photo by Laura McNamara
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