Canyoning Tour In Jaco, Costa Rica: Spice Up Your Travels
Are you traveling in Costa Rica and looking for activities to spice up your trip with an adventure? Canyoning in Jaco with Costa Rica Waterfall Tours might be the right action for you.
For a long time, jumping to the pools, canyoning, zip lining or rappelling down the waterfalls have sounded to me like a nightmare, and I had never understood why people voluntarily did it, and what more, they were even willing to pay for it! I am not much of adrenaline enthusiast and never lived my life in pursuit of doing things I was not comfortable with, especially when it should have involved water and slippery surface.
Martin, on the other hand, always wanted to try an activity similar to this one, so when we found a company in Jaco, Costa Rica with excellent reviews, combining everything mentioned above, we decided to give it a try and signed up for a canyoning tour.
It was a big step for me, and I am so glad I overcame my fears as this tour happened to be one of the best experiences I had in Costa Rica and it made me more confident with myself.
And this is what traveling is also about, and what we seek in it - it is not only about exploring new places, but it is also about pushing our limits, dealing with problems along the way, trying new things we are not entirely comfortable with and thanks to it we know we can solve obstacles in everyday life without stressing out.
COSTA RICA - A LAND OF ADVENTURES
When visiting Costa Rica, it can be quite challenging to narrow down your itinerary to make the travels perfect.
Despite the fact that Costa Rica is a small country you will be facing an unexpected difficulty: Costa Rica possesses over five percent of the world's total biodiversity, and you won't know where to jump first to see it all. We will make it easier for you and tell you a secret: you won't be able to see it all during one visit, but we will share with you an activity you shouldn't miss by no means, an experience you should immediately put on your list.
White sand beaches, volcanoes, cloud forests, jungles, waterfalls, and rain forests - that's in short what you can experience in Costa Rica. This type of environment calls for action, and it attracts adventurous travelers who since time immemorial arrive in the country seeking for an exciting experience. If you are traveling along Costa Rica's Pacific coast, stop in Jaco where you can enjoy not only a relaxation on the beach but also one of many adventures as we did.
CANYONING TOUR IN JACO, COSTA RICA
Early in the morning, we showed up in the office where we met our two guides for today's adventure from Costa Rica Waterfall Tours, Eduardo, and Joaquin. That day it was six of us, and it turned out to be a perfect group size as it was small enough to get to know each other plus everything went smoothly without waiting and standing around.
We jumped on a car which took us to the company's basecamp where we had delicious traditional breakfast served on banana leaves consisting of rice with beans, eggs, fried bananas, and beverages. You can decide whether you prefer to join the morning or the afternoon trip. When doing canyoning later, you can expect lunch instead! I was not sure if eating before the tour is a good idea, but I appreciated it later when I had enough strength and energy for the four hours long physical activity.
After breakfast, we switched cars and continued on 4x4 safari vehicle alias jungle limousine for another approximately 20 minutes. We drove up to the mountains as we needed to reach the ziplining platform more than 300 meters above sea level. Views along the way were stunning.
One of the significant advantages of taking this tour is that it takes place in Costa Rica Waterfall Tours private property, so you won't be sharing space with other groups.
When we arrived, our guides provided us with Black Diamond gear and helped us to put it on safely. From that moment, the real adventure had started. We were thoroughly instructed on the safe use of the equipment, and when everything was clear, we headed to the ziplining platform, five minutes walk from the parking lot.
Until this moment, we were probably one of the last people on the planet who had never done proper ziplining before. Although ziplining is not the main attraction of this tour, it was fun. We did two zips, both about 60 meters long over the river and surrounded by greenery. Before we knew it, we were on the other side of deep depression, and we could continue for another task.
DRY TRAINING RAPPEL
The last ziplining platform serves also as a training place to learn the basics of rappelling. It was another first time for us (as for the rest of the group), so our guides patiently explained us the technique and rules how to stay safe when we slip or do something unexpected.
Even when you don't have any experience with rappelling, do not despair, neither did we, and we managed to do this dry rappel as well as another four wet ones without any trouble. All you need to do is try to keep your legs wide and steady all the time in the angle of ninety-degrees if possible (it is more like sitting and leaning backward) and steadily loosen the grip of rope you are holding behind your back. When you move wrongly or loosen your grip too fast, there is always a guide backing you up, so it is almost impossible to get hurt.
When the training was over, we had to rappel down the rock one by one. It was an awesome feeling when my feet touched the ground, and from this moment I knew that I would be able to do it.
Right after we got safely through the dry rappel, we walked a short distance and got to a small waterfall falling into a deep natural pool. Here we had two options (when we don't count an alternative not to jump at all): jump from a platform four meters high or from almost ten meters one. I made it from the lower cliff, but knew that the higher one would be too much, so I did not even climb there. But Martin, a guy from our group and our guides made it bravely from the nine meters (30 ft) high platform!
Remember, that no one will ever press you to do anything you don't feel comfortable with, you should want to jump from your free will!
RAPPELLING THROUGH THE WATERFALLS
After jumping off the cliff, it was finally time for conquering four rappels through the waterfalls.
Prepare yourself to get wet here! We visited Jaco during summer which is the dry season, but there was still enough water running down as this cascade never dries out. The advantage of doing rappelling in this area, especially in the summer is that the water is not that cold, it is refreshing - and we do not mean sarcastically refreshing as we used to say on the Galapagos Islands.
The first section out of the four was quite challenging as we were still getting used to the movements and did not exactly know what we can expect, and how slippery the surface will be, but lower we descended, we felt more confident with every step.
First, two parts are a bit longer than the last two sections, but the shorter ones are on the other hand a bit steeper.
When we finished the last section, we all agreed that we wouldn't mind carry on for even longer, but unfortunately, our time was almost up. In case you already know this adventure is for you, but looking for something even more challenging, you don't need to book the classic Canyoning Tour, but perhaps another product called Extreme Canyoneering would be the right choice for you.
After the best and most sought-after activity, we had to hike back to the car. The hike was quite short - it took us approximately 15 minutes to get to the starting point, but it was considerably steep with many steps on the way. But as our guides said, this is also part of the adventure, and we couldn't agree more. After we got back to the vehicle, we drove back to the basecamp, where we switched cars, and our guides drove us back to Jaco.
Then we had to do only one thing - check off canyoning from our bucket list and feel overly satisfied with ourselves.
FAUNA & FLORA
During the canyoning tour with Costa Rica Waterfall Tours, you will not only enjoy the exciting physical activity but will also have a chance to observe Costa Rica's diverse and spectacular flora and fauna. Both our guides were incredibly knowledgeable, and it was clear that if they had decided to quit their jobs, they could undoubtedly have become naturalists guides in a heartbeat.
During our short time in the reserve, we could see a white hawk, beautifully colored toucans, a green dart poisonous frog or morpho butterflies - hope you will be as lucky as we were.
WHAT TO BRING
It is absolutely up to you what you want to wear during the tour - anything you feel comfortable in and what you do not mind to get wet.
I wore a t-shirt and shorts with a swimsuit underneath, and think it was a wise combination. It is possible to rappel the waterfalls in water shoes, regular sneakers or even barefoot.
If you plan on taking pictures, bring a waterproof bag for your camera or phone. In case you don't have it, there were several dry bags we could have borrowed at the basecamp.
We couldn't be happier we made a choice to go canyoning with Costa Rica Waterfall Tours as their guides were knowledgeable, easy-going, friendly, supportive and professional. They also spoke English well which was important when helping us and navigating us when rappelling down the waterfalls and when explaining to us how to use the equipment.
We couldn't be in better hands as they went above their duties to ensure our experience will be perfect, and thanks to them, we will always keep a fond memory on canyoning in Costa Rica.
A great experience comes hand in hand with safety. For the whole tour, we were well-taken of did not experience a single moment which could lead to an injury. We were in a harness and attached all the time to a rope, even when we were waiting for our turn.
In this case, safety is tightly connected with the gear quality as we had to trust completely. During our tour, we had an excellent one from the harness to a helmet, ropes, and gloves. The equipment looked new, so we knew we could rely on it entirely.
WHO IS THE TOUR SUITABLE FOR
People of all age can join the tour, so this activity is without exaggerating for the whole family! So far the youngest participant was a seven-year-old boy and the oldest 78 years young legend! You don't need to worry that you won't make it - no experience is necessary, and all you need is a little sense of adventure.
In case you have any doubts regarding your age or your health, contact the Costa Rica Waterfalls Tour directly and discuss your situation with them. Employees will be always ready to help, give you advice and find the most suitable tour for you!
WHERE TO STAY IN JACO
Jaco is a famous beach city in Costa Rican among travelers and locals where finding a room, especially when traveling on a budget, can be a daunting task, so plan ahead and make your reservation in advance.
Budget | Selina Jaco - An unusual hotel concept you must check out when in Jaco. It offers a co-working space, and you can watch the sunset right from the hotel as it stands on the beach!
Mid-range | Bamboo Boutique Hotel - An excellent modern hotel offering a swimming pool, terrace and free wifi throughout the property are the main features of this reasonably-priced accommodation.
Luxury | Best Western Jaco Beach All Inclusive Resort - Great location on the beach, helpful staff and the fact that you don't need to worry about anything as all meals are included make it from this hotel a real luxurious retreat in Jaco.
You can also search for all hostel options using HostelWorld.
This post was written in collaboration with Costa Rica Waterfall Tours. As always, all opinions are our own.
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