Platform One is where the “flying” begins. After a thorough explanation and demonstration of the special techniques required to properly enjoy the Antigua Canopy Tour, visitors launch into their first “flight” from what has been fondly referred to as “El Sanctuario.”
Antigua Canopy Tours Manager Pascu Robredo explains that the nickname refers to the quick utterance of whispered prayers as nervous participants anticipate dangling suspended from a cable in mid-air… for the first time. “Their adrenaline really starts pumping,” Robredo said with a slightly mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Oh so brave daredevil that I am, I didn’t even blink, when my two personal guides asked if I was ready to lock and load. As an irregular rock climber and cliff jumper, I saw this opportunity more as a totally “chulo” photo op. Not to mention, this was my second canopy tour experience. I can assuredly vouch that the long tracks of the Canyon Express circuit beat even the best track that I experienced in Omoa, Honduras. Not to mention, in Omoa, I got no such ride in a UNIMOG hog.
I’m pictured here at El Sanctuario with a group of experienced guides and guide trainees just before we take off for the days tour. Four new guides were finishing up their 20 days of training when I visited. On any given day there will be 5 or 6 guides ready to lead visitors on the sky-high adventure, though up to 8 guides may be needed on busy weekends.
Top row left to right: Erick González (guide), Marisol Marroquín (guide), Ariel Marroquín (trainee), Byron Gil (trainee), Laura McNamara, Hugo Ruíz (trainee), Yeny Díaz (guide) Bottom row left to right: Andrés Pinto (trainee), Carlos Antonio (guide).
text and photos by Laura McNamara