Here, the 250-meter-long zipline affords one to soar above a tiny forest at an approximate speed of 60km/hr using a customized body harness. Either you opt to zip through the course via a manageable sit-down position or a more daring face-down position with the whole body stretched out.
The zipline ride takes less than 30 seconds, depending on how fast you go (factor in the body weight). The unique experience is terrifying for some guests, especially for those who, throughout the zipline journey, look down to get a quick glimpse of the forest some 300 feet below. But it is super fun for others, who love the feeling of being suspended from a steel cable, zipping from one platform to another.
Overweight zipline riders need not worry if the harness can support them without encountering any glitches. It is said that a single zipline harness can carry up to two tons (or roughly equivalent to seven sumo wrestlers) in one go.
For the more cautious, there’s the cable car — actually, it looks more like a ‘cable cage’ — option. But the cable car ride is so slow that it can — and it will — bore the adventurous types. This is more for the geriatric lot or for the faint-hearted. For sure, taking the cable car feels a lot safer than being strapped by a mere safety harness.
The rates are quite reasonable but they do vary, depending on which day you pay the Tagaytay Ridge Zipline & Cable Car a visit. On weekdays, one can have a one-way ride for only PHP100 (you then have to walk back using the wooden foot bridge), or a two-way ride for PHP200. On weekends and on holidays, due to the huge volume of visitors on these days, rides cost PHP200/person for a one-way journey, and PHP300/person for round trips. If you and your family or friends want to take home a souvenir photo taken by one of the staff photographers, just add PHP100. The 5″x7″ photos come in wooden frames. Very nice.
The scenic view of the Taal Volcano as a backdrop adds magic to the whole zipline experience. That’s why the staff photographers make sure that each shot is picture-perfect: the Taal Volcano should be in the background as you smile for posterity. It would be more ideal, though, if some of the souvenir shots are not directed, and photos of the visitors doing the actual ride (read: action shots capturing the real zipline moment) are the ones taken and given out. But one staffer says it all depends on the angle of a riders’ faces when they reach the end of the zipline, where the snapshots are taken. They re-enact the ride in order to get that perfect angle, if they feel there’s a need to. Oh well. Perhaps they don’t operate like those automated cameras you see in Enchanted Kingdom or Disneyland, which aim to capture your terror-stricken face as is during that momentous roller coaster ride.
Safety, the management says, is not an issue and visitors are in good hands every step of the way. As its website states, “all equipment utilized in the zip course has been engineered and exceeds industry standards to ensure a fun, enjoyable experience. The ziplines and platforms have been inspected and registered with the Government Safety Authority.” Guides are also well-trained in all aspects of the zipline and cable car operation. In other words, there’s nothing to worry about. Let’s just hope it stays that way forever. We don’t want any casualty here.
Aside from the zipline and cable car attraction, Picnic Grove visitors can also do other activities in the area such as horse riding, walking in the woods (and watching people above you zip by), having a massage (there are on-site massage experts in the area), shopping for “pasalubongs” (take-home gifts) at the souvenir shops, eating at the Pinoy restaurant, or having a family picnic in one of the picnic sheds.
So if you live in Metro Manila and feel like driving up to Tagaytay one fine day, do drop by at the Picnic Grove and give this zipline adventure a try. If you think you can take the zipline ride using the ‘Superman position,’ do so. It’s cool to conquer your fear of heights this way. Just make sure that your safety harness works, and your guide has properly strapped you. 🙂