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Canyoneering in La Fotruna

Fortuna, Costa Rica


Canyoneering: technical descents — those that require rappelling (abseils) and ropework, technical climbing or down-climbing, technical jumps, and/or technical swims (and in our case some free-fall zip-lining) down the face of waterfalls while trekking through a fairly fast flowing river/stream in a rainforest canyon.

Yeah it sounds technical and kinda of scary, but on a reputable organized tourist trip (Desafio) it really wasn’t that hard, just a lot of FUN!! I won’t lie Mom and I were a bit scared at first, but after the first rappel we were just energized for more and completely forgot about being super sore from the hike the day before.

The tour started at the Desafio main office in the center of La Fortuna, were we and 15 other people climbed into a large shuttle bus. Twenty minutes up the road we switched 4x4 trucks with canopy covered beds; the “Jungle Limos”.

Luckily, since we were a small group we got to go first and didn’t have to wait for the other people. So, the guides showed us to the first tester rappel which was only 30 meters high. This one was to get us used to the backward sitting and walking feeling. I had a hard time falling backwards and kept having to feed the rope through. I guess it’s since I don’t weight that much and the ropes were wet. Mom and Dad did great and Ryan is used to this all since he used to wear a harness and rappelling gear at work (doing construction).

After the 30 meter waterfall continued trekking on to a 20 meter waterfall and then to the 180 meter waterfall. The 180 meter one was the best because it was a real rappel plus an amazing sight.

Before the last downward 300 meter free-fall zip-line the guided directed us through some fun terrain. At one point there was this narrow pool between two rocks that we cannon-balled into. From atop it the hole didn’t look very deep but when we jumped in we were fully submerged under water. Totally cool!!

Next we came to another narrow down step waterfall gap where the guides said we were going to play a game “Hold on as long as you can”. They directed us and a couple other people to sit front to back legs locked around each other and hold on tight while two of the guides laid down at the top stopping up the water like human damns. Once we were all positioned tight the guides got up and a rushing flow of water came dashing over our head pushing us all forward. Ryan was in front and tried to hold on as long as possible but his butt got pushed off the rocks. I was up 30 seconds later, but mom held the group for a good minute or two.

All our guides were totally cool, funny and made the tour entertaining. Even though the waterfall rappels were the main attraction we really had a lot more fun trekking through the river and canyons. Another great day and new experience for all of us.


permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on December 28, 2010 from Fortuna, Costa Rica
from the travel blog: Us Discovering the Latin Americas
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ryan & debbrial ryan & debbrial
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We met through a mutual friend in college about 5 years ago. We were friends for about 4 years and dated for a year and half. We recently got married on Sunday, May 24, 2009.

Now for the fun part... We decided not to do the typical buy a house and settling down, instead it was sell...

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