Sunday, October 3, 2010

Canyoneering Costa Rica

Canyoneering is an adventure that has become just as popluar in Costa Rica as the rafting and ziplining in the last couple of years. If you are not familiar with canyoneering it is a sport that is common in the state of Utah in the USA and many other states out west. Here in Costa Rica many often mistake this sport with rappeling. It turns out canyoneering does often involve some rappeling but in Costa Rica companies will often sell you a tour of canyoneering or rappeling and it is important to know the difference.

Canyoneering in the Tropics

The canyoneering involves more of what it says and that is a "canyon". You actually make your way down on your hands and feet sometimes even your knees and butt. There is always water involved in Costa Rica being in the tropics you are surrounded by rainforest and at the bottom of the canyon is where the water tends to be and that is where you start the adventure. Depending on which canyon you are in the hike can be very strenuous but there are a number of trips most in La Fortuna area near the Arenal Volcano that have become commercial canyons that companies have made it possible for family groups and young kids (10 years and up) to make the trip possible. You do want to be in good physical shape though for this adventure and you might want to leave grandma in the spa or the option for the birding trip.

The real fun comes as you make your way down the canyon and you come along where the hiking has to come to an end. That is where the gear which is your climbing harness, ropes, and carabiners is where you put the trust of the next 200ft in some cases. The next step is to rappel. Most companies will give you a lesson of how to rappel at the start of the adventure.

Where to Canyon?  

 There are a few different canyons in the area and the most commercially run ones are in La Fortuna area and they happen to be very proffesionally run, safe, and amazing fun for the family. There are also some places in Turrialba with the company Explornatura.  If you get the chance to visit Costa Rica on a family vacation and you are looking for a little adventure I suggest squeezing in this adventure I know you will not regret it.

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