NOTE: This is a 2012 article, currently being updated for 2017. Budget indicated therein is already outdated.
Juan’s Budget: Php 300 (One time) or Php 500 (Unlimited)
Juan’s Duration: 1 Hour
Believe it or not, zip lines were actually born out of necessity. These said lines were first used about a century ago at the Himalayas, to transport people and goods. It was only in the 70’s that thrill seekers found the thought of dangling one’s soul a few hundred feet up the air on a thin wire and moving with speeds up to more than a hundred kilometers per second as a very cool idea.
Although zip lines are still crucial and one of the bare necessities on remote locations around the world, such as mountainous regions and rain forest areas, a lot are now dedicated to a purely thrill adventure on outdoor camps or random commercialized areas. In Davao City, there are a few locations offering zip line adventures, but the one with the longest and fastest in the city is the Xcelerator at the Davao Outland Adventure.
You could basically finish the activity in less than an hour, if ever the queue would be short. The whole activity consists of a 10 minute briefing, a lake-crossing, a 10-20 minute hike (depending on your condition), and the zip line activity itself! For Php 300 (as of this date), you have one chance to conquer your fear and enjoy the refreshing wind on your face. If ever you want to do it over and over again at the same day, you could purchase the Unlimited ticket for Php 500. You’re also given the opportunity to have your zip line picture taken and printed immediately for a measly Php 100. There are no reservations; it’s a “First come, first served” policy.
My church friends and I only meet about two or three times a year, so we make it a point to always do something unique or crazy every year to maximize our time together. This time, we thought of trying out the Xcelerator, since it easily beat the other zip line destinations in Davao City in terms of length, height, and thrill.
There’s no requirement on what to wear, although it would be logical to wear shoes since you’d be dangling in mid-air. And since you’ll also be having a very short trek uphill, it would be quite difficult to merely use sandals.
The Xcelerator itself is just a part of Davao Outland Adventure, which is a 17-hectare camp that offers team-building programs with its challenge-based fun outdoor activities.
The Davao Outland Adventure is located at Brgy. Bugac, CP Garcia Highway (or more popularly known as Diversion Road). It is easily accessible by private transportation or by taxi, as it is just beside the highway.
When we arrived at about 2:30 PM, we were fortunate enough to come before 3 PM. We didn’t know that this was the cutoff time even if the park closes at 5 PM. This was so that the Xcelerator could accommodate all visitors.
After our initial registration, we were made to sign waivers, and were then given a very brief orientation about the history, background, and safety procedures of the Xcelerator. Their materials are all imported, and the zip line itself is built with a redundant system in case of an accidental snapping of the main wire. The employees are also trained and certified by an instructor from the USA.
With all the important stuff being said, we then began our short journey to the top. We first had to walk for a bit towards the small lake, where a raft was ready to bring us to the other side.
After crossing the small lake, we trekked for about 10 minutes (well, 15 minutes for my cigarette smoking friends). The path uphill is quite easy since a pseudo-stairs is built out of small logs.
The starting point of the zip line is located at the topmost location of the Outland Adventure facility, approximately 200 feet above sea level. At this height, you could catch a glimpse of a part of the downtown area of Davao City. But who would want to see the city when you could enjoy the green scenery right in front (and below) you, right?
It was not my first time to slide along a zip line, but it was my first time at this height. At the top, there was a waiting area since there would be queue for the zip line. You could have some photo opportunities at this time.
My friend, his first time on such activity, was at first hesitant due to the dizzying height. But the excitement won him over and he proceeded. Besides, there were no refunds so he really had to push through with it, snicker.
It should be noted that the Xcelerator is practically okay for people of all ages, unless you have some heart disease or any related risk. Also, there is a minimum height requirement of 4 feet.
You could have 3 options as to what position on the zip line: sitting, superman, and inverted. My friend and I chose the superman position, as it was better looking on pictures.
Our other friend, already a veteran due to his Red Cross trainings, chose the inverted position.
Due to a slightly steeper incline compared to the shorter zip lines I have encountered, the Xcelerator ride lasted for only a few seconds, even if the travel distance was nearly a kilometer long!
At the end point where the pulley will brake, you will be fetched by an employee. The ride is very exciting, with the view overwhelming that you wouldn’t have anytime for your fears to sink in, if you were a first-timer.
At the end of our thrill seeking activity, we really wanted to go back and purchase another one way ticket. Unfortunately, it was already closing time. Oh well, there will always be another day for repeat adventure.
At 720 meters long and a whopping 200 feet high, the Xcelerator zipline is no child’s play, as it used to be Asia’s longest and highest zipline (now it’s allegedly down to third longest).
The Outland Adventure site seems to be down, so I won’t post any link. Anyway, you can contact them at (082)-224-5855. They’re open everyday except Tuesday, from 8 AM to 5 PM, but on Sundays they’re only open from 1 PM to 5PM. Also, you have to be there at least before 3 PM, so that you could still be included in the last few batches for the day.