By far one of the more exciting and physically engaging tours offered by Desafío, the Gravity Falls tour is an eclectic mix of waterfall rappelling, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, Tarzan swinging, and, of course, cliff jumping. Energetic guides lead the way through what feels like uncharted territory as they help tour-goers through the ins and outs, and ups and downs, of this raw Costa Rican adventure. I’m proud to say I scaled every rock face and jumped off of every ledge, and now I’m here to tell you all about my experience.
The first challenge of the tour is a 140ft descent down a vertical rock wall. My heart was racing as the guide connected my harness to the various cables and hooks that would sustain my weight as I rappelled backwards down the rock face. It was an unbelievable experience: I was in a jungle in Costa Rica, rappelling down a cliff right next to a rushing waterfall! I could feel the spray on my face and hear the roar of the water. Before I knew it, the guide’s voice broke through the noise, telling me to let go of the rope. I gave up control of my descent to him and spread my arms out wide as he pulled me away from the wall. I let loose an excited scream as he released me and I dropped the few remaining feet into the river below. The cool water enveloped me and I surfaced beaming.
The adrenaline that started pumping during that first rappel continued throughout the rest of the trip as I jumped from cliff after cliff, trusting that the river would catch me. At one point, I jumped into the churning base of a waterfall before I swam over to a rock wall and, foothold by foothold, climbed my way up to the next jump.
Winding down the tour, I got to release my inner jungle woman at the Tarzan swing. It was reminiscent of the rope swings of my childhood, but the rushing waterfalls and surrounding jungle made it feel new, wild, and exotic. From there, I jumped from the final cliff of the tour and hiked back to the van. I was filled with excitement, happiness, and an incredible sense of accomplishment. And man oh man, was I ready for lunch!
I can honestly say that Gravity Falls is one of the best tours I have tried to date. It’s the perfect way to get outside, see Costa Rica, burn some calories, conquer some fears, and make some incredible memories.
Recommendations for this tour:
Insect repellent and sunblock isn’t necessary.
Wear light-weight running sneakers or water shoes (no hiking boots, sandals, etc.).
Leave your personal camera at home and fully embrace the experience—Desafío provides a tour photographer and pictures can be purchased afterward at a reasonable price.
Bring a change of clothing and a second pair of shoes to put on after the tour.
Towels are provided at the mid-way point, but you may want to bring plastic bags for your wet clothes.
Since the very beginning, Desafio has been dedicated to giving back to local communities and over the years it has developed various projects and itineraries ideal for groups looking to do team building and community service trips in Costa Rica...
Advice on Going Solo in Costa Rica for Independent Travellers
by Christine Larson
I remember finding my father's Robert Frost book in his library and browsing the dog-eared pages to the heavily underlined part that read:
"Two roads diverg..
Styles: International and Typical Recommended for: Families with children, Romance, Large groups, Local cuisineMeals served: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night Opening hours: 10 am-11 pm La Fortuna, the major hub for restaurants and night life, has many diffe..
Tips on Canyoning in Costa Rica from a Professional
Canyoning in Costa Rica: The Perspective of a Canyoning Professional
by Eliomar Campos Vargas, Desafio Canyon Leader
The other day, Christine asked me to write a super-detailed description of our Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoning tou..