Canyoning in Costa Rica – Arrange Your Experience

Man rappelling down a waterfall in Costa Rica
about us

Hi! We’re Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).

We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and now live in sunny Costa Rica.

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If you are looking for a thrill-seeking experience in Costa Rica, look no further! Rappelling (also known as canyoning in Costa Rica) is a fun-filled adventure down waterfalls and cliff faces. 

This post details all the best places to try this experience, safety tips, what to wear, and more! 

What is Canyoning?

A man rappelling down a cliff side in Costa Rica

Canyoning is the name used in Costa Rica for rappelling down the side of cliff faces or waterfalls. This is a thrilling activity that can be enjoyed all around the country.

In Costa Rica, it is common to go rappelling as part of a day combo tour. This means that you will get the chance to try rappelling in combination with other activities such as zip lining, white water rafting, a hanging bridge walk, etc. 

Who This Activity Is For/ Not For?

Man rapelling down series of waterfalls

This activity is for anyone who loves adventure, is over the age limit (this is decided by each company, but most places allow children somewhere in the range of over 6 to 10 years old), and anyone in moderate physical health.

This activity is NOT for anyone with heart problems or other serious medical conditions, pregnant travelers, or people with back problems. 

Popular Canyoning Destinations

A man rappelling down a cliff side in Costa Rica

La Fortuna

La Fortuna is home to Arenal Volcano and the impressive La Fortuna waterfall which stands at 246 feet (76 meters) high. 

There are three tour options we suggest here:

Tour 4 in 1 from La Roca Canyoning– This tour includes four fun activities (Rappel, zipline, pool jumping & hiking) as well as a delicious lunch and transportation. This adventure takes place on the company’s private property and the lunch is served at their restaurant. The staff here are amazing and will ensure that your visit is super fun and safe.

Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling from Pure Trek– Get ready for a bit of rock climbing, five rappels, canyon ziplining, and four waterfall descents. After, enjoy a delicious lunch of organic Costa Rican cuisine. This tour can be done in the morning or afternoon and includes transportation from your La Fortuna hotel. 

Mambo Combo from Desafio Adventure Company– This tour includes pick up from your La Fortuna area hotel, lunch, a whitewater rafting experience on Balsa River, and rappelling down a 100 foot waterfall. Desafio is an excellent company with experienced guides who will take great care of you.

Jaco

Jaco is the closest beach town to the capital city of San Jose. From the international airport, it will only take about 1.5 hours to drive here. 

It’s not our favorite beach town but it is a great jumping-off point for a lot of fun adventures. 

This tour is provided by Costa Rica Waterfall Tours. It meets in front of Taco Bar in downtown Jaco (which is also a great lunch spot). From there you will be driven 15 minutes away to their 800-acre property where your adventure will begin.

Get ready for multiple zip lines and rappelling down four different waterfalls in this Costa Rica canyoning experience. 

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is home to Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica’s most popular national park. 

We suggest booking your rappelling tour with Amigos Del Rio. 

With this tour, you will be picked up at your area hotel before being transferred to their office. Here you will enjoy a delicious breakfast while being prepped for your day. 

Next, you will ride to the start of your adventure at base camp. Your fun-filled half day includes rappelling, zipline, and a waterfall course.

Lunch will be served at the end of the activity.  

This tour includes transportation, breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

From San Jose or Cartago

If you are staying near San Jose and would like to try rappelling we have one great day trip option for you.

This Costa Rican adventure tour provided by does not includes transportation, so you will need to drive yourself to the start of the adventure located in San Rafael betweewn San Jose and Cartago

BOOK YOUR COSTA RICA RENTAL CAR AND SAVE 10%

The Adobe Rent-A-Car discount includes…..

– A 10% DISCOUNT  

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It should take you about 20 minutes to get here from downtown San Jose if there isn’t any crazy traffic.

During your adventure you will enjoy zip lining from 19 platforms and two rappells from as high as 130 feet.  

Important Canyoning Tips

boy upside down canyoning

What to Wear

We suggest wearing your bathing suit under shorts and a t-shirt which can get wet. We like UV-protected items that are fast drying. Also, keep in mind that you will be wearing a harness so, anything which might bunch up a lot will not be the most comfortable.

You will need to wear closed-toed shoes with a decent grip. We like Keen’s for this activity because they can get wet, are breathable, and have a solid sole with good grip action.

If you plan on wearing glasses or sunglasses we suggest wearing a strap to keep them from falling.

You will also be wearing a helmet, so don’t do your hair up nicely. 

What to Bring

Most places will offer lockers or some place to store your belongings. You might want to bring a change of clothes for after, a bottle of water, sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, and a towel.

Safety

All of the companies we included have great safety records and are known to comply with safety standards of Costa Rica. Always listen to the safety instructions of the guides and follow them as closely as possible. If they tell you something, there is a reason for it.

Also, if you feel unsafe at any point, trust your instincts.  And don’t forget travel insurance!

World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.

If you have any questions about canyoning in Costa Rica, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out!

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BOOK YOUR COSTA RICA RENTAL CAR AND SAVE 10%

The Adobe Rent-A-Car discount includes…..

– A 10% DISCOUNT  

– FREE SECOND DRIVER 

– FREE ROOF RACKS TO USE 

– 0% DEDUCTIBLE ON LIABILITY PROTECTION

– DISCOUNTED SMARTPHONE USAGE WITH UNLIMITED DATA

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