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arenal canyoning, fitness level

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New York City, New...
posts: 30
reviews: 4
arenal canyoning, fitness level

Hi all, my kids (20 yr olds) and my husband and I would like to try one of these tours but aren't sure if they are really meant for the 'younger - very fit' group. Is this something my husband and I (50yr olds) can participate in without difficulty? Also recommendations, thinking of Desafio to be able to combine the ziplining and rappeling all on the same day.

Thanks

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,063
reviews: 95
1. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

We did the La Roca tour, and it was fantastic. The area where they go is really beautiful, and the tour combines several waterfall rappels with a zipline and a hanging bridge. You don't have to be superfit to do it. In fact probably the only thing you need to be able to do is hike back up at the end. We did it through Sunset Tours. We've used Desafio for other tours, and they're also a good company.

Boston
posts: 935
reviews: 5
2. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

Volcanogirl, do you recall how long/arduous the hike back is? I was trying to talk my 71 yo mom into this; she is active and fit for her age, but this one has her hesitant (she did join us for a 3 day white water adventure in the Grand Canyon last summer, complete with hiking, camping, horsebackriding, etc).

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,063
reviews: 95
3. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

Hit, I think it took us about fifteen minutes or so to hike back up. Honestly we huffed and puffed a bit, but it wasn't difficult. Our guide took pity on us and would say, "Let's stop to look at this neat plant." "Oh, let's look at this butterfly!" It wasn't straight up or anything like that. If your mom can hike uphill then she can definitely do it. Our guide took photos of us the entire way, and you could buy the cd at the end if you wanted to. We were the only people on our tour when we did it, so we got a lot of individualized attention and had several guides all to ourselves which was nice.

La Fortuna de San...
Destination Expert
for La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 1,184
reviews: 7
4. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

Another vote for the La Roca tour. There are 3 canyoning operators in the area, but this is the best. The rappels are varied and and they also have a small Tarzan swing, zipline and hanging bridge. There is loads of wildlife around the Rio Arenal as well. As volcanogirl mentioned, the most physical part is getting out of the canyon. When you are rappelling a guide controls a safety rope at all times.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,063
reviews: 95
5. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

I think I asked explorin the same question before we went. I was concerned about this being a really strenuous activity, but honestly the only exercise I do is to walk on the treadmill, and we did it with no problems.

New York City, New...
posts: 30
reviews: 4
6. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

Thanks to all for your replies, I think we are going to try this, it sounds great!

New York City, New...
posts: 30
reviews: 4
7. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

Hi again, I want to comment now that we are back from our Costa Rican vacation. We did indeed do the canyoneering tour with Desafio, I personally loved it, as did my 20 yr old daughters. My husband - not so much! Desafio was really wonderful , the guides were extremely helpful, I would highly recommend them. The actual rappeling was not really strenous, as they really do most of the work for you, I found the difficulty really being the walking through the rocks in the stream, they were very slippery and for the most part you have nothing to hold on to, so I was walking very cautiously as to not fall, or I just sat down and slid when I felt it was too steep. I am truly glad I did this because it was right up my alley of a fun thing to do, but the answer to my question is that it really is suited for the younger, more fit person. The guides help you whenever you need it, but my daughters basically kept up the pace with them (running at the end, which is a long, hot 20 min. walk up 'steps', whereby my husband and I were definately at the end of the group of mostly 20-30 yr olds. So, if this is something on your 'bucket list' then by all means go ahead, I really am glad I did this, but if you really are afraid of heights or have physical limitations, then stick to an activity such as zip lining, which really is something almost anyone can do.

Princeton, New...
posts: 24
reviews: 6
8. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

Thanks for the feedback monica m.

It gives a different perspective and often, very helpful, when the original poster comes back with their experience.

Your feedback is helpful for us in making some decisions when we will be in Arenal in a month from now.

La Fortuna de San...
posts: 1,996
reviews: 103
9. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

I agree 100% that the canyoning itself is not strenuous but the walking in the water on the slippery rocks was more stressful than anything. Each company that does canyoning has different positives and negatives, mostly to do with the walking between or after the rappels. As for the fear of heights, I don't like heights at all but I actually liked Canyoning over Zip lines because you have 100% control over how fast or slow you go where zip lining it's just "go"! Glad you had a great time and thanks for writing about your experience! :-)

Charlotte, North...
posts: 51
reviews: 22
10. Re: arenal canyoning, fitness level

Definitely use Desafio! It was the only tour group I used in CR! And no, you don't have to be that fit to do it, just be able to hike on wet mud and rocks. My 9 year old girl did it! We paired the canyoning with whitewater rafting which was so much fun!