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Here's how to 'join' the Jamaica Bobsled Team

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Bobsled Jamaica is a thrill-ride at Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain in Jamaica.

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Bobsled Jamaica is a thrill-ride at Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain in Jamaica.

Their bobsled team's return to the Olympic Games may have been brief, but that doesn't mean bobsledding is over in Jamaica.

In fact, anyone can enjoy a heart-pounding run at Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain, a 100-acre eco-park that is walking distance from two other star Ocho Rios attractions, Dunn's River Falls and Dolphin's Cove.

Bobsled Jamaica is a wild, 1,000-metre roller-coaster ride down a rainforest mountain in custom-made bobsleds on rails. Speed is self-controlled with hand-brakes, and couples or families can link sleds to take the run in tandem.

If you're still looking for excitement, the park offers a well-guided zipline run through the rainforest canopy between seven platforms, with a vertical descent and suspension bridge.

Both of these thrill-rides start at the Mystic Pavilion perched more than 200 metres above sea-level, which boasts a restaurant, shop, infinity pool, lookout tower, waterslide and educational hall.

How do you get up there (and down)? By relaxing on the Sky Explorer, a 25-minute canopy-skimming chairlift run from the stream-fed park entrance to the peak, offering magnificent views of Ocho Rios and the rainforest below.

To mark its fifth anniversary, the park opened a .8-kilometre (half-mile) nature trail in December that showcases the flora and fauna that Rainforest Adventures seeks to protect. There are also two gardens designed to attract and feed butterflies and hummingbirds in their natural environment.

Voted Jamaica's best attraction by the island's hotel and tourism association, Mystic Mountain can easily occupy most of a day, with a diversity of attractions that justify the rates.

General admission, which includes the Sky Explorer chairlift and access to all the park's amenities, costs $47 for adult and $23 for children 12 and under (US dollars). You can add the bobsled run for a total of $69 adults and $45 children, or ziplining for a total of $155 adults and $92 children.

If you want the whole enchilada, called the Tranopy -- chairlift, bobsled run and ziplining -- it's $137 for adults and $115 for kids.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 22, 2014 E1

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