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Canyoning in Costa Rica: An Adrenaline Pumping Experience

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. 

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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 in Costa Rica Destinations

Man rappelling down a waterfall 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

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours | ✅ Book it!

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.

Book 4 in 1 from La Roca Canyoning

Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling from Pure Trek

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

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. 

Book Your Canyoning and Waterfall Rappel Tour

Canyoning in the Lost Canyon

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours |  Book it!

This tour includes pick up from your La Fortuna area hotel.

You will kickstart your adventure by rappelling down a 10-foot waterfall cliff. It’s the perfect warm-up for what’s to come!

Next, you will challenge yourself with the 150-foot ‘Big Boy’ cliff. Rappel halfway and then brace yourself for an exhilarating drop into a refreshing natural pool.

And then conquer the crown jewel of the Lost Canyon. This is a staggering 200-foot cliff and waterfall.

You will also have the chance to trek through the lush canyon with your guide. Navigate boulders, slide down natural waterslides, and immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity. Spot native flora and possibly encounter the region’s diverse fauna.

After your thrilling adventure, you will savor a local Costa Rican lunch.

Desafio is an excellent company with experienced guides who will take great care of you.

Book Your Lost Canyon Tour


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. 

Canyoning in Jaco Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

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. 

Arrange Canyoning in Jaco

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. 

Zip Lining, Rappeling, Tarzan Swing, Waterfalls and More Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  6 hours| ✅ Book it!

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.

Half day Tour Zip Line, Rappel, Hiking in San Jose

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours | ✅ Book it!

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

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 rappels from as high as 130 feet.  

⤷Book your Half day Tour: Zip Line, Rappel, Hiking in San Jose

Important Canyoning Tips

boy upside down canyoning

What to Wear

For canyoning in Costa Rica, 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 for your canyoning in Costa Rica adventure. You might want to bring a change of clothes for after, a bottle of water, sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, and a towel.


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!

FAQ: Canyoning in Costa Rica

How much is canyoning in Costa Rica?

On average, you can expect to pay between $60 to $150 per person for a canyoning excursion in Costa Rica. This price usually includes professional guides, safety equipment, transportation to and from the activity site, and sometimes even a light meal or snacks.

What is canyoning?

Canyoning is an adventurous outdoor activity that involves descending through canyons or gorges using a combination of techniques. It often includes rappelling down waterfalls.

What to wear canyoning in Costa Rica?

When going canyoning in Costa Rica, it is best to wear; a swimsuit or quick-drying clothing, rash guard or long-sleeve shirt, quick-drying shorts or leggings, sturdy water shoes, helmet and harness.


In conclusion, canyoning in Costa Rica offers an exhilarating and unforgettable adventure for all of you seeking to explore the country’s stunning natural landscapes. So, gear up, embrace the rush of adrenaline, and get ready for a thrilling adventure!

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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Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

🚗 Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will also allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

🏄🏽 How can I book things to do?

We find that Viator tends to have the most comprehensive selection of activities with secure booking and good cancellation policies.

🍍 I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?

Of course! I suggest joining our Facebook group for specific questions and head to our Start Here Page to get started planning.

✈️ What is the best way to book a flight?

Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

🛏️ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

🗣️What is the main language in Costa Rica?

The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.

💰 What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

📞 What is the best way to stay connected?

An eSIM from Airalo is the easiest way to get 4G data while traveling in Costa Rica.

🌴 Is Costa Rica safe?

Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

🛂 Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.

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