It seems crazy to surrender to gravity under a torrent of falling water, tethered to life by only a thin rope and safety harness and belaying down a sheer, slick rock cliff. Maybe it is, but several Hawaii companies have developed stringent safety protocols for adventurous visitors keen to take the heart-pounding slow-motion plunge from some of the Aloha State’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Waterfall rappelling is attracting adventurers to remote locations all over the globe. Columbia, Costa Rica, India, Spain, Canada, and New Hampshire are all desired destinations for “canyoneers”. Hawaii has joined the growing list of locales favored by intrepid vacationers.
Although pretty much anyone can sign up for a canyoneering adventure, it’s important to remember that it is dangerous, with many more risk factors than a simple waterfall hike. Fitness and stamina are important, as your heart rate will most certainly spike. You’ll need to keep your hips and feet level and have a strong grip. Canyoneering is also quite technical, with complex rigging and routing and specialized techniques. And shoes with good traction will help you keep firm contact with the rock face.
Recreational rappelling has seen fatalities over the years, although advocates are quick to point out that it is not considered an “extreme sport”. When proper safety measures and instruction are in place, waterfall rappelling is quite safe, and Hawaii’s rappelling tour companies have developed sophisticated systems to keep adventurous visitors free from harm. Instruction and training and state-of-the-art safety equipment are provided buy Hawaii’s reputable waterfall rappelling companies.
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Certainly, undertaking a waterfall rappelling experience in Hawaii is unforgettable. The roar of the falling river, the cool mountain water, and the pure adrenaline rush of the descent all take place under (mostly) sunny skies and year-round warm tropical weather in lush, remote valleys on the neighbor islands.
Swim trunks and quick-drying shirts for men and tankini tops for women are recommended by experts. On a waterfall rappelling tour, you are bound to get soaked so it’s a good idea to bring a dry change of clothes to put on after your adventure.
For fearless Hawaii vacationers with a taste for excitement and an appreciation of Hawaii’s stunning beauty, Hawaii Aloha Travel’s local experts can help connect you with Hawaii’s reputable waterfall rappelling tour companies with excellent safety records on Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island. Restrictions and requirements apply.
Adventure Maui offers a canyoneering adventure that provides the equipment and specialized footwear required to make a safe decent of an exotic waterfall deep in the Valley Isle’s interior, ocated along the Road to Hana in a private nature reserve. Participants make three separate waterfall descents. The tour meets in Kihei.
Da Life Outdoors in Lihue offers a training session on a dry wall, followed by descents down two waterfalls, including the 60-foot tall Papakolea Falls. The adventure includes a picnic lunch and safety equipment.
Hawaii Island (Big Island):
Umauma Falls Experience features a 250-foot descent into the beautiful Umauma River near Halakau along the remote and lush Haumakua Coast. The final 20 feet is a “free-descent”, suspended in mid-air.