What Is the Difference Between Rappelling and Canyoning?

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast visiting Costa Rica, you might wonder what type of adventure is right for you: rappelling or canyoning? These outdoor activities involve descending vertical surfaces using ropes, but some key differences make them unique. 

Rappelling is descending a vertical surface using a rope and specialized equipment. Waterfall rappelling is often done in the midst of a beautiful waterfall. You can practice it at several locations across Costa Rica, including the Arenal Volcano region and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. 

During rappelling tours, you’ll learn how to control your descent using your body and the rope. This activity requires upper body strength, but it’s suitable for beginners and can be learned quickly for those who want to experience the thrill of descending a waterfall in a safe and controlled manner. 

On the other hand, the canyoning experience is a comprehensive activity that involves navigating through a canyon or gorge using various techniques, including rappelling, swimming, sliding, and jumping into pools of water. This activity is perfect for those who want to explore the natural beauty of Costa Rica in a unique and adventurous way. 

Canyoning tours require more skill and experience than rappelling because they involve descending from heights and traversing through water and slippery surfaces. You’ll have to use your whole body to navigate through the canyon, including swimming through pools of water, sliding down natural water slides, and jumping into deep pools.


Hanging bridges Costa Rica

What Do You Wear to Canyoning & Rappelling in Costa Rica?

When participating in canyoning and rappelling activities in Costa Rica, it is essential to wear the proper clothing and gear to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are some recommended clothing and gear items to consider:

  1. Quick-drying clothing: Choose clothes that dry quickly, such as lightweight and breathable synthetic materials or moisture-wicking fabrics. Avoid cotton, which retains moisture and can make you feel uncomfortable and cold.
  2. Water shoes or hiking boots: Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good traction, such as water shoes or hiking boots. They should fit snugly to avoid slipping or getting caught on rocks.
  3. Harness and helmet: A harness and helmet are essential safety gear for canyoning and rappelling activities. The tour operator will provide these items, but it’s necessary to ensure they fit correctly and are comfortable.
  4. Gloves: Wearing gloves can protect your hands from cuts and scrapes while rappelling and canyoning. Lightweight, waterproof gloves are a good option. Gloves are included in the safety kit provided.
  5. Swimwear: Depending on the activity, you may need to wear swimwear underneath your clothing. Check with the tour operator to see if this is necessary.
  6. Sun protection: Costa Rica can be sunny and hot, so it’s vital to protect your skin with sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  7. Waterproof bag: Consider bringing a small, waterproof bag to store your belongings, such as your phone or camera. This will protect them from getting wet during the activity. Remember that photos and snacks might be included in the tour.

Is it Safe?

Rappelling and canyoning can be safe activities if trained and experienced guides conduct them and participants follow safety protocols. Find My Costa Rica is a reputable tour operator that offers a variety of adventure tours for the whole family, including rafting and canyoning.

We work with experienced guides and prioritize safety in all of our activities. We also provide all necessary safety equipment, including helmets, harnesses, and ropes.

Here are some of our rappelling and canyoning tours:

It’s also essential to be honest about your physical abilities and any medical conditions you may have, as these can affect your ability to participate safely. You should listen carefully to your guide’s instructions and follow them closely; never attempt to go beyond their skill level or take unnecessary risks.

Costa Rica canyoning and rappelling is an adventure of a lifetime that promises to challenge and inspire you. From the stunning waterfalls to the lush rainforests and canyons, Costa Rica offers an array of breathtaking landscapes that make for an unforgettable experience.

At Find My Costa Rica, we offer a range of waterfall rappelling and canyoning tours suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced adventurers. Our team can answer any questions and help you plan the perfect canyoning adventure, offering personalized recommendations and advice to ensure a safe and memorable trip.

Contact Find My Costa Rica and get ready to experience the excitement of canyoning in Costa Rica. Book your adventure today!