Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain
Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain is a new eco-friendly attraction located in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. Mystic Mountain features a unique Jamaican Bobsled ride through the lush tropical forest, a chairlift journey over the countryside, a zip-line canopy adventure through the treetops (zip-line tours are definitely not eco-friendly), an island culture and heritage center, as well as mountaintop dining and shopping venues (where you will be hounded by the locals to purchase hand crafts). The attraction was developed in coordination with Carnival Cruise Line, who will most certainly offer excursions to the park.
Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain covers an area of more than 100 acres beginning near Dunn’s River Falls and stretching more than 700 feet above sea level at the peak of Mystic Mountain. The site supports a diverse ecosystem of natural springs, tropical foliage, native trees and a variety of native bird species. According to the press release, Mystic Mountain’s tours and rides have been designed to have minimal environmental impact and physical footprint.
Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica: This ride features custom-designed bobsleds celebrating the Jamaican bobsled teams of Olympics past. Yes, like those guys in the movie. Guests will travel on winding, plunging stainless steel rails on a 3,280-foot gravity-driven ride through the forest. The bobsled track was laid around the natural landscape to minimize the environmental impact. Riders control their own speed, allowing for either a leisurely tour through the forest or something a little more interesting. At the end of the ride, the bobsled slides to a graceful stop and is slowly pulled back by cable to the top of the mountain, completing the entire circuit in approximately six minutes.
Rainforest Sky Explorer: The Sky Explorer, located near the park’s Coast Road entrance, is a chairlift that soars above the treetops through the canopy. The ascent on Sky Explorer skims the top of the trees, providing you with views of the coastline and close-up views of tropical treetops on the way to the peak of the 700 foot Mystic Mountain. The return ride on Sky Explorer carries riders just below treetop level, but high above the forest floor to provide a sense of immersion in tropical wilds.
Rainforest Zip-Line Tour: On this ride, you’ll zip your way from platform to platform in the treetops. This is a guided tour that covers virgin areas of the mountain, finishing at the mid-station of the Rainforest Sky Explorer chairlift, which returns zip-line riders to the park entrance.
Jamaican Railway Station & Mystic Pavilion: The Jamaican Railway Station & Mystic Pavilion is located at the summit of Mystic Mountain. It was designed by the acclaimed Jamaican architect Ann Hodges. The traditional three-story building is a replica of an early 20th-century Jamaican railway station. The site features a lookout tower with spectacular panoramic views of Ochos Rios and the harbor, a bar and restaurant, retail outlets, and a photo shop while serving as the boarding point for Bobsled Jamaica. Adjacent to the Rail Station, Mystic Pavilion offers displays and memorabilia celebrating Jamaica’s culture, great moments in the country’s sporting events and promotion of environmental awareness and conservation of natural resources.
Endeavoring to maintain the pristine beauty of the Jamaican landscape, Mystic Mountain developers paid close attention to minimizing the environmental impact of the various attractions during construction. The chairlift foundations were installed by helicopter to significantly reduce ground disturbance and eliminate the necessity of building a road to transport equipment. The latest design in chairlift towers — the F tower — also was specifically selected to reduce impact on the forest environment. More than 3,400 feet of bobsled track was hand-carried through the forest and laid hugging natural limestone cliffs through the sloping hilly interior.
I’m sure this park is much more ecologically friendly than, say, Disneyland, but I can’t get over thinking the only truly ecologically friendly use for the land would be as a conservation area. Just because it’s better for the environment, doesn’t make it good.