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Waterfall Rappelling in Lost Canyon

Waterfall Rappelling in Lost Canyon

Destination: Arenal


  • Rappel down four waterfalls
  • Lunch and transportation included
  • Hike through a pristine gorge


  • Location : Arenal
  • Hours : 7:30 a.m.; 10:00 a.m.; 1:00 p.m. daily
  • Time length : Half-day
  • Price : $99 per person, with lunch
  • Minimum age : 13 years old

You won't find Lost Canyon on any map. Hidden under the rainforest canopy, you can't see it from the air. In some places, the canyon walls squeeze so close together you can reach out and touch them with both hands. At others, the gorge opens wide exposing waterfalls plunging more than 200 feet to the river below.

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In fact, there's only one way to see Lost Canyon; rappelling down its waterfalls, wading through its streams and scrambling between its rocks and hiking between its walls.

Lost Canyon

Open for the last 8 years, Lost Canyon is about a half hour from the small town of La Fortuna. Tour guides drive in 4x4 trucks over dirt roads leading to the canyon's entrance. You'll stop by the tour company's restaurant (Lost Canyon Ops Center) to change and set down your things before starting your adventure.

Entering the gorge, you'll come across a small stream trickling through a valley leading to a 25-foot cascade. One at a time, guides teach you how to rappel. Leaning back and using the rock face as steps, you'll slowly release the brake and rappel down your first waterfall.

The Waterfalls

Between each rappel, you'll scramble over rocks, wade through streams and climb down small ledges. Sometimes, the water is shallow and crystal clear while at other times, you'll jump into deep pools finding themselves up to their necks in water.

The second waterfall drops 150 feet. Bracing yourself on a platform constructed over the top of the waterfall, you'll stand with both feet leaning over the edge listening to the roar of the falls below. On this fall, you'll get to try a movie-style jumping rappel; releasing the brake cable as you leap from the ledge bracing your legs with knees bent and feet forward to hit the canyon wall. Avoiding the tumultuous waters at the bottom, you'll let go of the rope and slide 50 feet on a small zip line to land safely in the sand on the far side of the falls.

After another hike through the stream, the gorge narrows.  You'll shimmy between the canyon's walls as the guides lay down in the pools above, making dams to block the water. At the bottom of the ledge, you'll sit together and holding onto the walls as the guides above stand up and release a torrent of rushing water; and for a moment you get to feel what it's like inside a waterfall.

Big Daddy

At 220 feet, the last of the waterfalls is worthy of its title. The gorge opens its great maw in a circular clearing surrounded by forest. Unlike the other falls, there's nowhere for you to put their feet for rappelling. Instead, canyoneers turn around and push off the platform free falling into the gorge.

As you plummet, the cable curves into a zip line. Flying over the falls, you'll land safely in a shallow sandy stream. With feet planted firmly on the ground and all four waterfalls conquered, you'll walk out of lost canyon and back to the restaurant where you'll have a chance to dry off and change your clothes before sitting down to an all-you-can-eat buffet casado-style lunch with a choice of meat, rice, beans and vegetables. While you eat, you'll have the opportunity to look at photos from your adventures through Lost Canyon. 

Departure & Return

  • Departure point : Tour departs from all major hotels in San Jose and La Fortuna
  • Departure time : Hotel pickup is between 20 and 50 minutes before tour start time depending on hotel location. In San Jose pick up is three hours before tour start time.
  • Return details : Tour returns to original departure point between three and four hours after tour start time. For San Jose, the return is expected to be at 9 p.m.

Waterfall Rappelling in Lost Canyon in Pictures

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