Canyoning in Arenal – Rappel Down Waterfalls of 200 Feet

Canyoning in Arenal – Rappel Down Waterfalls of 200 Feet

Canyoning in #CostaRica was one of the best #active experiences I've had. It was a huge #adrenaline rush to be right next to- or sometimes inside- a waterfall and it was a great way to appreciate the local #nature. This activity is fun for all the #family and definitely gets the blood pumping!

It seems that I am consistently discovering new activities to do in Costa Rica and canyoning in Arenal was one of them.

I heard about it from a friend I met in Panama who highly recommended it so when I planned my brother’s itinerary, I made sure to book it for their first few days in Costa Rica.

It ended up being one of the most exciting days of his trip! So if you love adrenaline, nature and adventure, read on to see why canyoning in Arenal would be the perfect activity for you!

Canyoning in Arenal

We went with Pure Trek Canyoning which has one of the best waterfall rappels in the Arenal/La Fortuna area so we were in good hands.

from  $101

Canyoning in Arenal

 Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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They drove us to the main office, located in the forest surrounding La Fortuna waterfall on one of those indestructible Toyota 4X4 to get all suited up.

For those who have visited Central America before, you know that it’s incredibly common to ride in the back of these trucks as transportation, especially in not so nice roads. But as it was my brother and friends’ first time here, this was kind of a surprise.

“We have to ride that?” my brother asked in dismay. “Hey, be grateful because in Nicaragua we didn’t have seats… or a cover… or bars to hold onto!” I replied.

Waiting to go down to the canyoning area
Waiting to go down to the canyoning area

I think we were all kind of nervous and excited to do the canyoning. We suited up and the guides gave us the shortest safety presentation I’ve ever heard.

Hold the line with your left hand above, right hand down by your waist. Don’t hold tight or else you won’t move. Space your legs evenly apart. 4 waterfalls, 1 one rock wall.

Even for ziplining they give you this long schpeel and that’s super easy! Well I guess we’ll see how it goes. And of course, who goes first of the whole group but us.

Our canyoning outfit. We jokingly all ourselves the Smurf team
Our canyoning outfit. We jokingly all ourselves the Smurf team

The first rappel was the longest, about 200 feet right next to a waterfall and they let us go 2 at a time. My brother and his fianceé went first and we could hear them yelling all the way down but I peered over the edge and saw them safely on the bottom. So why were my legs shaking so much?

The first rappel was the longest, about 200 feet

I knew that I just needed to do the first one and I’ll be fine once I experienced how fun it was. This one turned out to be my favorite because you’re right next to a huge waterfall and it was the longest.

They weren’t lying when they said don’t hold tight with your hands. Even if you slightly pinch the line, you don’t move at all. You have to let open your left hand and just lightly wrap the rope with your right. At first my legs kept flailing around as I got my balance but as soon as you get one good push off, you’re steady and can jump down easily.

I look way more excited than I felt. I was scared!
I look way more excited than I felt. I was scared!

You land in the canyon and then head on to the next waterfall. This one wasn’t as high but you definitely get wet because you’re right inside a waterfall. You have to jump and swing down about 40 feet because there is no rock to push off of and you get a nice spray of water in the face.

you’re right inside a waterfall

This activity is actually great for kids as well. It is recommended that you are in moderate physical condition but for the young ones, the guides can just lower them down. One boy was a little more scared so he rode down with one of the guides.

 One more rock wall rappel down, another mini waterfall and then onto the last one, a big wide waterfall. They told us that you can do this one in two ways. You can either do one big leap down or you can go normal and do several leaps. Everyone got super excited and wanted to try the one big jump so I decided to too, might as well join the herd!

Our guide encouraging us to jump it all at once
Our guide encouraging us to jump it all at once

It actually turned out that one big leap wasn’t that bad and it was pretty hard to do it in just one anyways. Most of us were stopped in the middle by the guides who seemed to enjoy dousing us under the waterfall to get us soaked.

At the end, I was wanting more. More waterfalls, more rock walls and the adrenaline rush was flowing through me. I can just describe it one word: awesome. Freaking awesome! I really don’t know why I was scared. They take you back to the station for you to collect your things and head to lunch.

I can just describe it one word: awesome

Honestly, the pictures don’t do the canyoning justice so you have to check out the video. Trust me, after you watch it you’ll be looking up airplane tickets to come and do canyoning in Arenal!

Check out our video! Experience canyoning through our eyes.

Tips for Canyoning in Arenal

Wear clothes that can get wet and dry quickly. You’ll wear the blue top over your shirt but your pants will get wet. I wore jeans which was a terrible idea!

Wear shoes that can get wet and go from water to land easily. Hiking sandals are the best since they’re the most comfortable compared to wearing sneakers and socks since your feet will get wet.

The best camera to use is a GoPro, some helmets have the mount but you need to bring the attaching mount piece. A point and shoot waterproof camera won’t work since you have to use both hands to go down

Don’t try to bring your phone to take pictures, you end up getting soaked so don’t take any risks. The company has a photographer which you can purchase pictures after.

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