Waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica

Waterfall rappelling was such a unique experience. This was one of the most blood pumping and fun adventures I’ve ever done.

Who to book with:

There are a couple of different companies you can book with so check them out before you go. We went with Pure Trek Canyoning. They picked us up at our hotel and dropped us off after we were finished. The whole experience with them was professional and I felt very safe the whole time. They also had small group sizes. There was 9 in our group but most had 10 in a group. They also serve a lunch before or after your tour depending on which tour you choose.

Planning for Waterfall Rappelling

  • Wear lightweight and quick-drying clothing as you will obviously get wet.
  • Water-resistant shoes like sandal or hiking boots. I wore Keen sandals so they had grip on them as well which you’ll want due to the slippery surfaces of the waterfalls.
  • Don’t bring a camera. Must companies have photographer to take your photo and it’s going to be a hassle when trying to rappel down with one.
  • Wear bug repellent.
  • Change of clothes and a towel.

The Day Of:

We got picked up at our hotel around 5:30am in a van which stopped at other hotels on the way to pick up other people that were going to rappel as well.

Once you get there they go over safety procedures, you put your harness on, and they check it to make sure it is on correctly, and then they split everyone up into smaller groups.

Then you get into an open air vehicle and travel down a bumpy dirt road.

Once we were near the first waterfall which is 165ft we all got out of the vehicles and started to walk thru the lush green forest. You can smell the freshness in the air and see the dew on the leaves as it’s still early in the morning. My heart pumped with excitement and fear as you get nearer and nearer to the first waterfall. As you wait in line to go down the waterfall you can feel the chill in the air and sound of the rushing water going down the waterfall.

When it was my turn I was hooked into the rope. Looking over the edge my hands were a bit shaky just standing there looking how far down the bottom was and all the rushing water. I hear them ask “ready” and all i could do was nod yes. They hold my harness as I step out and turn around to face the waterfall. I swear at this point I felt my legs were just squishy and my heart was pounding so hard in my chest. As I push-off I can feel the coldness in the air and the slipperiness of surface below my feet as I start my descent down. I can feel the water on my face with each push-off and land and I slip a couple of times.

As my feet hit the hard wet ground at the bottom they come over to unhook me from the line. There is such a rush of adrenal and pure happiness that overwhelms me. I can hear the group who have gone before me cheer. It was truly an unbelievable feeling. You rock climb up and out of this first small canyon.

Then comes the Monkey Drop where you rappel down from a cable that is 82ft in the air to the canyon floor.

Then we walk to the next one which is 150-foot. As you wait your turn you can hear the water rushing and it seems louder and louder with each one.

After this waterfall we go onto rappel at our final waterfall. After this waterfall we walk out of the forest and climbed into the open air vehicles which take us to our lunch. I was so exhausted that I barely ate. I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel and sleep after a very exciting day.

Photos are from the Pure Trek Company’s photographer.