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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

Costa Rica Canyoning with Tropical Escapade

Where are my adventure lovers at? To know me is to know I love risk, adrenaline, and adventure in every area of life. As the years pass, my love of living life increases daily.

My adventures around the world include scuba diving, white water rafting (and near-death experience!), skydiving outdoors and indoors in Atlanta, oceanview zip lining, surfing in Costa Rica, and canyoning in Costa Rica to name a few adventures.

I am no stranger to adventure

When I saw Tropical Escapade offered canyoning in Costa Rica, I got excited! Earlier this summer, we connected on press trips and digital marketing in Costa Rica. As a digital nomad, I traveled the month to the Osa Peninsula.

National Geographic has named the Osa Peninsula, the most biologically intense place on earth.

If you didn't know, Costa Rica is home to over 500,000 species of animals making it one of the Top 20 most biodiverse countries in the world. During my time in Costa Rica in the Osa Peninsula, I experienced biodiversity with nature, wildlife and adventure. For days on end, I woke up to the endless sites and sounds of wildlife. Throughout the day, I would be in awe of Scarlet Macaws, Monkeys, and Toucans.

I experienced limitless time in nature in tropical rainforests, rivers, and beaches in the Osa Peninsula including adventures like snorkeling in Cano Island!

With my love of nature, wildlife and adventure, I couldn't resist Extreme Canyoning with Tropical Escapade!

Costa Rica Canyoning Adventures

Canyoning in Costa Rica

All About Canyoning

Canyoning is an adventure lover's dream. It involves traveling in canyons with non-stop adventure.

Undoubtedly, canyoning is a multi-sport adventure with hiking, jumping, rappelling, and swimming all in one. The experience of canyoning teaches you that you may handle more than you think.

It is one of, if not THE most, fun adventure sport EVER!

Seriously, I am super present, full of joy, and usually cannot stop laughing when I do it. At the same time, I am mindful to keep safety at the forefront with the guide, equipment, and each step.

This is not one of those times you go off alone to try out canyoning without a tour guide. It involves anchors, ropes, helmets, gloves, techniques, and insider knowledge of the canyons.

I am very adventurous, and at the same time, there is no way I would dare try canyoning alone. Having a guide increases your safety, as well as knowledge of the canyon and technique!

With any adventure sport, there are risks involved. Even with the best guide, equipment, and caution, injuries may happen.

During both times I went canyoning, I wore a halter top, shorts, a bathing suit, and water shoes with good grip. Wet suits and gloves are recommended to help with rope burns and environmental reactions.

Costa Rica Canyoning Golfito near Osa Peninsula

Tropical Escapade

Cindy Boulanger, a Canadian moved to Costa Rica in 2012 after falling in love with the country.

Since being in Costa Rica, she started a sustainable farm, acquired a tropical rainforest, and owns and operates three tourism brands.

In 2016, her business partner Carlos and Cindy invested in a property in the middle of a tropical rainforest in the Osa Peninsula and started a sustainable farm.

They are the owner and operator of three tourism brands as well in the south of Costa Rica.

Tourism Brands:

The three tourism companies booking tours in the areas of Golfito and the Osa Peninsula are

Tropical Escapade, Osa Green Travel, and Rancho Tropical specializing in nature, wildlife, and adventure tours for solo and group travel including tons of tours such as Corcovado National Park, Cano Island, and Waterfall Rappelling.

With more than 15 years of experience, over 25,000 adventures given, 100+ tours options, 25+ guides, and Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Awards, they are incredible at helping you have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Costa Rica you will NEVER forget!

Top Adventures include:

  • Extreme Canyoning

  • Cano Island Adventures

  • Corcovado National Park

  • River + Waterfall Adventures

The adventurer is exposed to extensive options from farming and night tours to snorkeling to canyoning/waterfall repelling and everything in between!

There is an adventure for everyone!

They definitely had me at hello!

My Experiences With Tropical Escapade

This is my second time experiencing an adventure in Costa Rica with Tropical Escapade and related tourism brands. I enjoyed snorkeling in Cano Island in August 2021!

Thanks to my experiences, connecting with Cindy, and guides like Fernando on my Extreme Canyoning Adventure, I already know it won't be my last.

In setting up the tour with Cindy, the execution is seamless. I received information on taking a boat to Golfito, and right when I got off the boat, Fernando was waiting.

Before my adventure, I reviewed information via the Tropical Escapade website.

It helped me get a glimpse of the non-stop adventure I would encounter.

At the same time, nothing could fully prepare me for the limitless adrenaline rush!

Extreme Canyoning in Costa Rica

Nothing I ever say will do the adventure justice. Funny, how many things are like that in life, right?

I am attempting to share my awe and wonder through the words, photos, and videos of the Extreme Canyoning in Costa Rica.

Close your eyes. Imagine it is you.

After meeting Fernando at the boat dock, we drove to a church parking lot across from the entrance to start our adventure. There is a storage unit to easily lock belongings. Since, I was going to San Jose after my adventure, I came to Golfito with my suitcase and backpack.

We then walked across to start our hike being immersed in nature. Fernando shared how the tropical rainforest and forest serve adults to help with shelter, food, medicine, and fun. In comparison, for children with food and fun! I definitely got my taste with learning and exploring. I learned about the Velcro and Tococo plants, and more on our hike!

At the end of our. hike, we came to a waterfall! Perfect way to end any hike!

Adventure Awaits!

I experienced incredible vibes, conversations and of course - adventure!

Waterfalls in Costa Rica

Safety Briefing

After jumping into the waterfall, swimming, and cooling off, we got into a safety briefing. Upfront, I let him know to pretend I have never gone canyoning. I keep in mind with all adventure sports to keep a humble and teachable spirit.

Safety First

Fernando shared a safety briefing including an equipment overview, demonstrations of hand positions and breaking, as well as keeping both a wide stance and a 90 degree position.

It may seem like a lot to take in. Listening to a safety briefing is one thing, applying it -entirely another. It does starts to become easier and easier once you put it into action.

Even if and when it doesn't the equipment and your guide is there to help you...

To start to crawl, walk and CANYON!

Keep this in mind with every step you take on the wild ride!

Canyoning Experiences

No canyoning experience, guide, and participant is ever the same. As a result, there are always moving parts. No matter how many times a guide has done a tour, there may be surprises. No matter how much you keep safety in mind, there are variables outside of your control

Fernando shared with me this adventure is considered an intermediate canyoning experience.

In comparison, the previous adventure I did with canyoning in Costa Rica is considered more beginner (although I rappelled down 200+ feet!).

The other thing to keep in mind is canyoning is typically a one way adventure.

When you are in canyoning, you are all the way in.

After swimming by the first waterfall, we began to rappel down the next one. Within steps of rappelling down the first waterfall, I could see and feel this experience being totally different than my first canyoning experience.

Some ways this experience differed including a being solo with the guide vs. previously a group, hardly being able to see down the waterfall behind me vs. seeing easily on the last one, and a lot more water with the waterfalls this time vs. the last time. Immediately, I could recognize the intermediate part!

As a result, there was no choice but to increase my faith, trust the guide, and the equipment.

My senses heightened recognizing the immersion in waterfalls. Then, we both saw a recent storm placed a tree directly in the path of rappelling down the waterfall.

I started to rappel down step by step. As I past the tree, I lost my balance falling sideways into the waterfall. Keep in mind, you are roped in with equipment and a guide for backup. At the same time, accidents happen.

Between my balance, position, experience (or lack there of) and being super wet, I fell into the waterfall. Thank God for Fernando adapting quick and the equipment. The tree changed things from the normal rappel to say the least.

My heart pounding with NOTHING BUT NOW.

Fernando helped me with water on my elbow and arm. We waited a bit. Quite literally, every brain cell in my mind, and every cell in my body screaming to quit.

Fernando guided me to go again. Deep breathe. Taking each and every step shakily in faith, and terrified all at the same time. Praying and pleading for peace, ease, and safety. Seemingly as if my silent thoughts transmitted to the top of the waterfall, Fernando saying breathe and have fun. I laughed more. I stopped to breathe peacefully.

And yet, as I neared the bottom of the waterfall, my left foot slipped through a spot in the slippery canyon. As I got caught off guard, my body careened to the left into the waterfall first, and then to the right before I put my hands out.

I gratefully rappelled down into the pool of water alert and alive fully. As I descended, I spotted a tree immersed in the pool of water that we would need to climb over. There was no way around it.

It appeared a recent storm had placed the tree in our path at the bottom too.

Imagine, this was the start to the adventure.

Even though, I really wanted to call it quits. I knew I couldn't. Not just figuratively, but literally.

I marveled at how quickly Fernando adapted.

He shared how before my experience and the tree, no one had fallen at both the spots on the climb and waterfall that I did. Well folks, there is always a first time for everything.

I shared with Fernando how I often get to be a guinea pig in life and adventures including a whitewater rafting near death experience, breaking my foot surfing in California, and falling headfirst horseback to name a few.

Fernando shared with me options on how to continue canyoning including as is on my own, as a buddy system, or with him essentially behind me to sometimes guide me further with the harness.

The thing is with adventure sports, canyoning, and in life, we get to take every step ourselves.

Sometimes, we are able to do it fully on our own like I did the last time canyoning. Other times, we want and need more help. I acknowledged this extreme canyoning tested everything in and outside of me. I welcomed every bit of help humbling myself further to learn much more than I imagined.

I opted for the cautious way to continue canyoning

After that, my trust continued to increase in the intermediate canyoning experience.

In the midst of the circumstances, I chose peace, joy, and faith over and over.

We went through the second tree without a hitch. We walked along streams. I carefully chose every step. I cannon balled and jumped into pools in childlike wonder. I listened to my guide, and asked for more help when I needed it.

On the next two waterfalls, Fernando increased his assistance in helping and guiding me down. When we got to the third waterfall and canyon to rappel down, yet another surprise awaited us.

A huge tree log lay in the middle of the canyon completely obliterating the usual way to go.

I laughed hysterically. I mean come on three waterfalls, three ways, three trees.

Cleary, the expected way of how the extreme canyoning adventure went down the waterfall.

Although, I had zero desires to take home extra "souvenirs" anywhere on my body or during my experience (as they joyfully called any potential mishaps we may run into), I took some home.

Normally, with this waterfall and canyon, the tour takes you inside the small cave. With my tour, the tree blocked that possibility. Fernando tested the way down rappelling along the tree in the middle of the canyon. We then rappelled down it together.

The rest of the experience involved jumps, pools, swimming and hiking our way out of the forest.

Keep in mind in between each waterfall rappelling adventure, more adventure awaits with hiking on rocks, sink holes, and canon balling to name a few!

Each and every step, I felt a mixture of adrenaline, fear, excitement all at the same time.

This is undoubtedly one of the most incredible and humbling adventures I have experienced.
It is easy to see why!

I cannot thank Cindy, Fernando and the Tropical Escapade team enough for this adventure!

Canyoning in Costa Rica with Tropical Escapade

Once we finished the canyoning adventure, another adventure began. We both realized the time. Before going canyoning, I got my bus ticket in Golfito for the 1:30 pm Tracopa bus to San Jose. We realized it was 1 pm. We safely and quickly got back to the church. I changed in less than 2 minutes.

We got the luggage into the car. It was 1:26 pm.

Another chance to adapt arose. Fernando decided we would head to Rio Clara at the next stop. Within 5 minutes of driving, we looked in our rear view mirror and saw the bus right behind us. We flagged it down for the next bus stop. The bus driver stopped yay!

Off I went for another adventure to stay in San Jose, Costa Rica for two days to get my Covid PCR Test for El Salvador, community, creator and creative items, and rest!

As always, 100% of opinions are my own!

All shots are my own on Canon EOSM100, and/or video

Canyoning in Costa Rica

What a way to finish my travel to Costa Rica in September 2021! I have lived more this year than years combined!

Canyoning in Costa Rica with Tropical Escapade has left limitless memories in my heart and mind!

Whether you decide to choose Extreme Canyoning or not, Tropical Escapade has limitless options for all adventurers! Both Tropical Escapade and the tourism brands of Osa Green Travel and Rancho Tropical offer 100s of tours in nature, wildlife and adventure for solo, adventure lover, and group travel!

Pura Vida will have you fall in love with adventure and Costa Rica!

Have you experienced an adventure in Costa Rica?

Is it on your bucket list?

What will you try next?

Are you curious about Costa Rica and the Pura Vida?


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