If you’ve ever ventured south from any point of Luzon to the island of Mindoro, chances are you went to one of the gorgeous beaches in Puerto Galera. But while Oriental Mindoro often gets the lion’s share of tourists, Occidental Mindoro doesn’t do too bad either and boasts its own unique attractions.
One such gem can be found in the municipality of Sablayan, which is just over 75km south from the capital of Occidental Mindoro, Mamburao. Sablayan itself is, on the face of it, a quiet town which relies predominantly on agriculture and fishing. But it’s got an exciting secret.
It is, in fact, home to the world’s longest island-to-island zipline. Welcome to Sablayan Zipline Adventure.
Situated on top of the hill at Presing Park (also known locally as the Parola Park), the main zipline tower stands at an imposing 21-meters tall. That may not sound that impressive, but when you consider that Presing Park itself is already very high, the cumulative total is enough to make even seasoned mountain climbers dizzy.
Upon arrival you’ll be greeted by the zipline team, who are dedicated to ensuring you have an enjoyable and safe experience. They’ll give you a briefing, which includes tips about safety, before weighing you to ensure that you’re not over the 150kg weight limit.
Then it’s time to get your gear on, which the zipline crew will assist you with so that everything’s perfect for your impending descent. With your helmet firmly seated on your head, it’s time to start climbing that tower.
But it’s not just your ordinary zipline tower. They’ve actually maximized its use by incorporating wall climbing and abseiling elements. People can climb up one side and then repel down the other. Okay, so it’s not quite as thrilling as riding the main zipline, but it’s a fantastic addition nonetheless and gives people an alternative activity to try.
Now remember I told you that the zipline in Sablayan is the world’s longest from island-to-island? It’s also the first and only motorized zipline of its kind in Asia. That means you can go all the way down it and then come back up again.
Here’s the sophisticated, battery-powered pulley system that takes you back and forth:
Should you just choose to go one way, however, there’s a Bangka boat waiting at the other end which will bring you back to the mainland for 30 pesos per head.
Once you’ve made it to the top of the zipline tower, the views are simply spectacular:
Now you could be forgiven for thinking that the zip line is vanishing into the sea, but it’s not (trust me). It connects to another small tower at the other end from which you can dismount. The total distance point-to-point is 1.4km, but the total length of the main cable is 1.7km, making the zipline in Sablayan the longest in the world, island-to-island. Don’t think, though, that the long cable makes for a lengthy ride. The approximate time from top to bottom is less than four minutes.
Having witnessed the breathtaking view from the top of the zipline, I had to find out more about its construction. As it was one of the Mayor of Sablayan’s projects, I thought who else better to ask than the man himself, the Rt. Hon. Eduardo Gadiano.
I managed to secure a brief meeting with the mayor at the municipal hall to discuss the zipline and the thinking behind it. He told me that the main reason for its construction was to boost the appeal of the Municipality of Sablayan. Adding to the already spectacular Apo Reef National Marine Park, which falls under the Mayor of Sablayan’s jurisdiction, the zipline gives tourists yet another great reason to visit this unassuming, unpretentious municipality.
Sablayan Zipline Adventure is open seven days a week from 8am-11am and 1pm-6pm. It costs 300 pesos (one way) if you live in Sablayan, and 500 pesos (one way) if you’re a tourist. Those prices are doubled if you choose to go down the zipline and come back. But as I mentioned earlier, there is a Bangka service to bring you back to the mainland for 30 pesos per head.
The climbing wall will set you back 50 pesos per ascent and another 50 pesos if you wish to repel down the other side, which I think is pretty reasonable, don’t you?
So if you want to experience the world’s longest island-to-island zipline, make sure you book some time in your schedule to check out Sablayan Zipline Adventure in Occidental Mindoro. You won’t be disappointed.
Sablayan Zipline Adventure