Canyoning In Bali: An Experience Of A Lifetime

by on 14/09/18 at 1:12 pm

It’s the natural beauty of Bali that has been attracting tourists from around the globe for years now. You’ll often hear people rave about its sunsets and sunrises, beaches, rice fields and hills, but its amid these stunning creations that you can find some real thrill to satiate your adventurous spirit.

Canyoning is a popular adventure water activity in Bali, involving rappelling down waterfalls, jumping off rocky cliffs, skidding down natural water slides and zip lining across gorges to descend into a canyon. These are activities you can experience once-in-a-lifetime, and are a must-try in Bali’s luscious landscape.

Canyoning is quite popular in the Gitgit waterfall in Singaraja in Northern Bali, but there are numerous other locations where you can try it. The canyons offer varying levels of difficulty, and are operable almost throughout the year. There are four levels of difficulty, each with its own activities and segments, and requiring a basic level of physical strength.

We opted for the mid-level canyoning adventure, which took us on a three-hour escapade of jumping, sliding, rappelling and swimming across 13 waterfalls, and culminated with a satisfying local lunch. The price per person amounted to US$ 170, or IDR 25,00,000, including the hotel pick-up, a Balinese breakfast and lunch.

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Duration: The activities can be anywhere between 2-4.5 hours, depending on the level of difficulty. Pick-ups are usually early in the morning, with returns in the afternoon or early evening. Most operators offer pick-up services at hotels, so confirm with them beforehand.

For every adventure, participants are put through a 30-minute training and instruction session, with some practice on a mini-setup. The operators provide full body floatsuits and special anti-skid shoes to every person, and all belongings and valuables to safely stowed away in the office.

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Quick tip: The operators click pictures during the adventure from their own DSLRs, which are available for purchase. You can also carry your own camera, waterproof or GoPros.

With our pulses racing, we were loaded into an open jeep for a drive down to the starting point. From there, a 20-minute trek took us to the Gitgit stream in the middle of a thick forest, and our excitement started to build.

Step by step, we moved further into the forest as the thrill began to increase. We skid down a 6-foot slide, rappelled down a 10-foot waterfall and then jumped 10 feet down into a pool from the top of waterfall. The raw, untouched beauty of the forest mingled with the intensity of the activities was a rare adrenaline rush.

The activities became more challenging as the forest got denser, until we were battling waterfall jumps at 23 feet, slides at 16 feet and rappelling at almost 70 feet! Every few minutes the view would open up to reveal the sky and a thunderous waterfall calling for us to cross it.

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Quick Tip: When rappelling down a waterfall, take a moment to stop halfway while hanging on to the rope. Take in the view of the water falling down on your from up above, with the sky as the backdrop and a green forest on the sidelines.

At the end of this first leg, we were given a 20-minute relaxation period to soak in a small, naturally heated spring right in the middle of the forest. It’s an incredible feeling of warmth after serious physical activity, while munching on some energy bars to boost our morale for the second leg.

The next few activities were similar to those in the first leg, and equally thrilling. All it takes is a basic level of fitness, enthusiasm and a willingness to push yourself, well, basically off a cliff! It’s the feeling of accomplishment at the end that makes the whole experience worth it, as does the stunning beauty and adrenaline rush.

The adventure came to an end the same way it had started, with a trek back to the jeep and a drive back to the office. After a quick shower and a Balinese lunch, we were escorted back to our hotels with a whole load of memories for company.

How To Do Canyoning In Bali

Canyoning is usually a pre-booked experience, as you need to reserve a date a few days in advance in case slots get full. This also includes pre-payment for the activity. However, you can take your chances by visiting the operator offices once you get there.

Canyoning is always done with an experienced guide, so don’t try the activity by yourself. Start with the beginner’s level if you’ve never tried it before.

The two main operators for canyoning are Adventure & Spirit in Ubud, with the beginner’s level starting at IDR 25,00,000 (US$ 170) and Adrenaline Rush Canyoning in Gitgit, with the beginner’s level starting at IDR 14,50,000 (US$ 100). For more information, download the Ithaka app, and have a travel influencer answer all your canyoning questions.

Things To Keep In Mind While Canyoning

  • Since canyoning can be quite a vigorous activity, a moderate level of fitness and good health is required. It’s preferable if you know how to swim, but operators provide full body floatsuits regardless.
  • You will be given a wet suit, but carry a swimsuit to wear underneath it. Also carry an extra pair of clothes, towels, and a light snack or energy bar.
  • Carry only GoPros or waterproof cameras if you intend to shoot your own pictures.
  • Listen to the guide and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Check the weather report before you go to make sure you don’t have to deal with a rainstorm. Operators will also generally warn you beforehand or postpone the tour.

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