Climbing and rappelling test the physical and mental endurance of those who are willing to master high altitudes.

Climbing, an adventure sport better known as rappelling, which means to move or descend, consists of slowly descending along a rope, maintaining your speed as you descend.

Sometimes it is necessary to choose between climbing down a surface or rappelling. The choice depends on several considerations such as safety, speed, convenience, the nature of the terrain, weather circumstances, time available, and the dynamics of the group.

These extreme activities, with tours lasting from one day to several days, can be found throughout the country.



Experts will teach you techniques on rope climbing, vertical rescue, down rock face rappelling, as well as the ziplining technique, which joins two points with a single rope in order to pass from one side to another.

Near Orotina.

One of the tallest stationary climbing rock faces in the world, at 246 ft., is located in the Tárcoles River canyon. It is suitable for both beginners and experts. Those 12 years and older can climb with a minimum of 96 lbs. and a maximum of 264 lbs.

The Blanco River canyon

Located in Guapiles, you can also experience a climbing and rappelling tour through the treetops. It involves crossing various platforms at different points throughout the forest and then descending along the canyon’s rock face.

Up along the rock face

The town of Cachí, in the province of Cartago, has several rock faces and climbing sites where you can take in the beautiful forest.

At the top

EscaladaScaling in Chirripó National Park is a real challenge. It is the second highest peak in Central America, measuring 12,500 ft. above sea level and is located in the Talamanca Mountain Range. It is the ultimate experience in hiking. In general, it is very wet between May and December and turns very dry and sunny from January to April. At the highest points, you will experience a range of weather effects including wind gusts, frost, constant drizzle, and abrupt temperature changes. The surrounding view is beyond compare. Climbers can observe many lakes and valleys such as the Moraine valley, Los Lagos valley, and Los Conejos valley.

Rappelling options

Toward Cartago. On the La Carpintera hill, on the way to the Cartago province, you can find rappelling in the Pre-montane rain forest and cloud forest in the higher altitudes. Along the Chirraca road in Turrialba, you may enjoy four waterfalls of varying heights and the Vigas Bridge canyon for extreme sports options.


Los Chorros Recreational Park, in Grecia, has two waterfalls: the Zamora Ravine and Prendas River. Close to the Colorado River, in Naranjo, you can also find areas for this sport. The La Fortuna waterfall in San Carlos is a great place for rappelling.

Around Heredia.

You should visit the Sarapiquí River canyon, a stunning beauty; it is close to small towns such as San Miguel, La Virgen, and Puerto Viejo.

En Puntarenas.

There is also climbing in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

Adrenaline and emotion come together with the most diverse scenery on routes going up, coming down, going horizontal, or even diagonal. Your hands and feet depend on edges, holes, or cracks.

  • Wear comfortable and durable shoes and clothes, a billed hat, sun block, repellent, and take a bottle of water. If the weather is cold, bring a light sweater or jacket and if you come into contact with water, wear appropriate shoes or sandals, and clothes that will dry quickly (surf material or synthetic) and a change of clothes.

  • Never climb alone. Stay within your limits and don’t improvise. Don’t pressure yourself, stay relaxed. Pay attention to what you’re doing and don’t get distracted.

  • If you are a beginner, a few-hour course will teach you the basic techniques for climbing, as well as how to tie knots and use common anchor techniques.

  • The entire process of rappelling, from anchoring to the core of your rope, from person to team, constitutes a chain. If one link fails, the whole chain fails.

  • Rappelling can be the quickest and safest way to descend certain stretches. However, sometimes it is not, even when you have all the resources available to you. It is a method used for when climbing down is impossible.

Photos courtesy of Andrés Madrigal

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