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Atlantic Islands Specialist

What is Canyoning and Rappelling in the Azores?

Canyoning & Rappelling in the Azores

Looking for more excitement in your travels? Then try one of the most exhilarating opportunities the Azores has to offercanyoning and rappelling. Unique to the area, canyoning and rappelling is an adventure and exploration sport where people of all experience levels find themselves walking a river, valley, or canyon and descending the waterfalls they encounter. The inside of São Miguel contains waterfalls that are only accessible by traveling the river. Climbing and rappelling rocks 20-30 feet tall, jumping feet-first into crystal clear pools, and being surrounded by lava stone shaped by the flowing water make this an adventure worth taking.

For those new to this activity, let us take you on a journey through the exciting world of canyoning and answer some of your hard-hitting questions.

What exactly is canyoning and rappelling?

Canyoning and rappelling is an activity that combines hiking, swimming, and rappelling. Canyoning and rappelling make discovering hard-to-reach places possible with the use of ropes and a harness. While navigating the riverbed, canyoners will leap, jump, slide, and descend gorges using technical equipment to ensure safety. With guidance and expertise from our incredible tour guides, there is no need for previous experience to go canyoning in the Azores! 

What is a full day trip like?

One of the most classic canyoning and rappelling trips offered in the Azores starts at Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões. This area is one of the most popular waterways in the Nordeste region, with a plethora of vegetation, clear waters, and a gorgeous flowing river that will take your breath away.

You will meet your guides as equipment is being dispersed and then taken on a 20-minute walk to the entrance of a stream where the first safety briefing will take place. The beginning of the stream has some vertical challenges (up to 26 feet), small walking sections, and many play areas. The river will be flowing by the entire time with several jumping areas 15-20 feet high. The challenge continues following a quick snack break with waterfalls up to 35 feet tall! At the end of the trip, there will be transportation to bring you back to the park where you began your adventure. The experience can be done at a beginner level with a half-day or full-day offering. Canyoning can be a great workout if you want it to be! It can also be a leisurely experience if you want to soak in the nature around you. We host kids as young as 8-years old with their families and grandparents in their 70’s. This is an all-ages, all-experience adventure!

What equipment is used and provided for you?

• Wetsuit: A durable material suit that may feel a bit uncomfortable while walking, but you will love it when you get into the water using your harness. We recommend a light shirt and shorts underneath.

• Helmet: While descending through rivers and canyons, your helmet will be your best friend. Head protection is number one priority when it comes to safety!

• Canyoning Shoes: There will be some sharp rocks and slippery ground due to the watery nature of the canyons. Having durable water shoes allows excellent grip and comfort.

• Harness: A harness is a piece of safety gear that goes around your waist and attaches to other ropes and pulleys, helping you descend safely.

• Gloves: A sturdy pair of gloves will keep your hands comfortable and safe throughout the journey. Along with keeping your hands protected, gloves also assist with climbing.

When should I go canyoning?

There is never a bad time to go canyoning. What most people have experienced is that the summer has the best weather (June - August). There is nothing like jumping into a vibrant pool of water on a hot summer day, so why not take that jump into a canyon? In the fall and spring, the weather is still mild with typically less people on the river, which may provide a better experience (April & May, September & October).

Canyoning and rappelling is an incredible sport that can only be experienced in select destinations! São Miguel, Azores being one of them! Nothing beats climbing and diving through one of the most beautiful places in the world. The next time you find yourself in the Azores, give it a try!

Here, at Quest Travel Adventures, we want to ensure that your trip across the world is perfect in every way. We are Atlantic Island Specialists with the expertise, depth of experience, local knowledge, and connections to create a spectacular, memorable, and worry-free trip of a lifetime. Some of our most popular Azores trips include our 5-Day Taste of the Azores, the 6-Day Azores Adventure Seeker, and our 8-Day Best of Azores.

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