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Outdoors + Adventure

Are You Gutsy Enough to Ride the World’s Steepest Zip Line?

If so, it's waiting for you in St. Maarten.

A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.

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St. Maarten had a really tough go of it this September when Hurricane Irma came knocking with sustained 185mph winds. The Category 5 storm devastated the island—particularly the Dutch side—wiping out an estimated 90 percent of buildings (according to the United Nations). But now, two months removed from the natural disaster, the Caribbean territory is bouncing back with an attraction sure to bolster tourism: the Flying Dutchman—AKA the world’s steepest zip line.

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Located on St. Maarten’s Rockland Estate, an 18th-century plantation property just 20-minutes from the port of Philipsburg, the Flying Dutchman is part of the latest Rainforest Adventures park—an eco-friendly operator with locations in Costa Rica, St. Lucia, Jamaica, and Panama.

Daredevils ready to take the plunge are harnessed into a chair and launched down the mountain on a flight that drops 1050 feet in elevation of the course of a 2,800-foot run, reaching speeds up to 56mph. Aside from an adrenaline high, riders will enjoy 360-degree panoramas of St. Maarten as well as the neighboring islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barts, and Anguilla.

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If that sounds a bit too extreme, the park has other attractions that may be more your speed. While a few are awaiting completion and are set to open in 2018, you can currently check out the Sougalia Sky Explorer—a four-person chairlift that zips riders up Sentry Hill to the Crow’s Nest, the highest point on St. Maarten at 1,125 feet.

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