Two months after Hurricane Irma whipped through St. Martin, devastating an estimated 90 percent of buildings on the Dutch-owned side of the island, a new theme park opened with a “world’s best” attraction.
Rainforest Adventures at St. Martin's Rockland Estate opened to the public on Friday, November 24, featuring the world’s steepest zip line.
The park was scheduled to open over the summer, but hurricane damage delayed the opening. Now, as St. Martin starts to welcome back tourists (commercial cruise ships were welcomed back on November 5), the island is adding more reasons to visit.
The Flying Dutchman will be Rockland Estate’s main attraction when it opens. The park bills the zip line attraction as the steepest in the world, dropping 1,050 feet in elevation across the 2,800 feet of cable. Riders will zip down over greenery at 56 miles per hour.
The Souliga Sky Explorer, a four-person chairlift, will be another starring attraction at Rockland Estate. The chairlift will take riders up almost 3,000 feet of cable to the Crow’s Nest atop Sentry Hill, the highest point on St. Martin at 1,125 feet. The view at the top is a panorama of St. Martin and the surrounding islands.
Two other rides, the Sentry Hill zip line and the Schooner ride (a downhill inner tube attraction) are scheduled to open in early 2018.
The park is built on the Emilio Wilson Estate, a plantation whose buildings date back to the 1700s. Visitors will pass through the former plantation house — now turned into a museum — to learn about the island’s culture and history before entering the rides. Rockland Estate will also have onsite dining, Emilio’s Restaurant, in homage to the property’s former owner.
Packages for both the Flying Dutchman and the Souliga Sky Explorer start at $109.