Canyoning (also known as canyoneering) is an adventurous sport of descending narrow canyons and overcoming nature’s obstacles by using various techniques such as rope techniques and rappelling or abseiling (the highlight of canyoning), and swimming or jumping into water pools.
A canyon’s difficulty is determined by its length, the obstacles to overcome to get through, and the verticality.
Why is canyoning so popular in Da Lat?
Da Lat, Vietnam’s city of eternal spring, is a top-rated destination for canyoning because of the various obstacles you must overcome.
Canyoning in Da Lat involves rappelling down waterfalls, jumping into the water, sliding down waterfalls, and even ziplining, so that’s why it’s such an excellent location for this activity.
Also read: Canyoning in Epic Madeira Island.
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What’s the best company for Da Lat canyoning?
Book your Canyoning with Highland Adventure Travel on Viator.
They are one of the top three companies in Da Lat for canyoning tours, which means they have the correct equipment and knowledge for a safe and fun experience.
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Canyoning in Da Lat details
Canyoning in Da Lat is usually done in the valley where the 20-meter-high Datanla Waterfall is located.
A day before our canyoning in Da Lat, we were actually at the Datanla Waterfall, observing a few groups of people rappelling down the waterfall.
We sincerely thought that the rappel down Datanla waterfall was the highlight of their tour. But it wasn’t! That’s only the beginning!
Read on to learn all about our experience.
Canyoning in Da Lat itinerary
Here’s a simple summary of the canyoning tour in Da Lat:
- Book your tour
- Meet at the meeting point or get picked up (check this beforehand)
- Change into the canyoning gear
- Get briefed about rope techniques and safety protocols
- Descend into the canyon
- Have fun while swimming, jumping, rappelling, and walking through the canyon
- After a few hours of fun, exit the canyon and change
- Say goodbye 🙁
Our full canyoning experience
1. Gearing up at base camp
The Da Lat canyoning tour starts at the “base camp,” near the Datanla Waterfall and adventure park parking lot, where you put your helmet and suit on.
You can put all your valuables into the dry bag kept safe by the guides. So we all put our phones and wallets there.
And the guides also take care of the rest of the stuff, which you can put into a bigger bag. So, for example, we put our daypack with our motorbike key and dry clothes there.
2. Learning the basics of canyoning
You get to learn the basic rope skills not far from the base camp to rappel down waterfalls successfully.
This part is super fun, as you can quickly see that once the rope is holding you, all you need to do is slowly control the descent, and that’s it.
You are also encouraged to do a few jumps backward, which you can do later on while going down waterfalls (where it’s safe).
3. Datanla waterfall rappel
After finishing your lesson about rappelling down waterfalls, you walk downhill toward the Datanla Waterfall for about 10 minutes.
At the Datanla waterfall, you rappel for about 18 meters up to about 1-2 meters above the pool of water, where you need to let go of the rope so you fall safely in the water.
We were super worried because you must let go of the rope you know is keeping you safe. But don’t worry, the water below is deep enough to cushion your fall, and you will be just fine!
And after all, you should always listen to what the guides tell you! If they say jump – you need to jump! Don’t worry. You’re in good hands!
Once you’ve successfully rappelled down the Datanla Waterfall, you arrive at the viewpoint and park area, which is also the stop of the Datanla Alpine Coaster that zips through the forest.
You then walk through the tourist area and re-enter the area that’s off-bounds for regular tourists and only allowed for canyoning tours.
4. 7-meter abseil and zipline
The most exciting part of our Canyoning in Da Lat tour was definitely the combination of first abseiling down a cliff for a few meters and then ziplining down into the water.
And what made this even more “exciting” was that we had our GoPro HERO 10 and Osmo Action trying to film the whole process. And we didn’t really get good-looking clips out of it because with one hand, you have to hold your rope to abseil, and with the other hand, the other part of the rope, which you also need to hold while ziplining. We would need some additional accessories for this type of filming. 😀
But we’re happy we didn’t film too much, so we could enjoy ourselves more!
5. Lazy River
After the zipline, we walked to a part where you float down the river for about 100 meters, like a lazy river experience.
Make sure to float almost at the surface because there could be rocks in the water. But you are going very slow, so it shouldn’t be a problem even if you hit any.
It was nice to catch a little break like this. 😀
P.S. This is the part where Arijana accidentally filmed a timelapse of the whole experience, so, unfortunately, we don’t have photos of this. It’s hard to do canyoning and filming. 😀
6. Waterfall sliding
After Datanla Waterfall, you come to the beautiful waterfall perfectly shaped for safe sliding.
We absolutely loved sliding down the waterfall!
After a short trek through the forest, you come to the spot where the guides prepare a rich lunch, complete with a banh mi sandwich and fresh-cut fruit like mango, pineapple, and longan.
And the most surprising part of the breakfast was that they also had some delicious tofu with them so that we could make ourselves a proper vegetarian Banh Mi.
Vegan or Vegetarian?
Read our Vegan and Vegetarian Guide to Vietnam.
8. 25-meter waterfall
The most challenging task while canyoning in Da Lat is the slippery 25-meter waterfall, where you must remove your shoes and slowly slide your feet down in socks.
We were super confused when our guides told us to take our shoes off, but it made sense very soon.
This waterfall is extremely slippery, so socks are the best option for having the best grip. And you’re not supposed to walk down this waterfall as you usually would, but instead, you had to slide one foot after another without losing the connection.
And when you’re down to the last 4 meters of the waterfall, you have to bounce backward and jump on your back into the water. But, again, don’t worry about it too much, as the water is deep enough for you to land safely. It’s important to jump at this part as the rest of the cliff is too slippery. And not to mention that water is spraying directly into your face the whole time.
BTW: This was the HARDEST part of the canyoning in Da Lat. Not only for us but for others as well. And we were all very skeptical of bouncing off onto our backs. But looking back, it makes so much sense! And this excitement and challenging ourselves is why we love canyoning.
9. 7-meter free jump
Another great activity of the Da Lat canyoning was the free jump, where we could practice our jumping skills from a 7-meter-high ledge. You don’t have to jump in the distance much, which was great for us, as we’re not that skilled at jumping.
This was the biggest jump for Matej so far, and quite out of his comfort zone. 🙈 But it was super fun!
Depending on the group size, you may repeat the jump a few times. Unfortunately, we only managed to squeeze in 2 jumps, as everyone wanted to do it again. And, of course, if you’re not comfortable jumping, you can easily skip this part and walk down.
10. 14-meter abseil into the so-called Washing Machine
To finish off the eventful day, the canyoning in Da Lat serves you with the last activity, abseiling 14 meters down the cliff into a waterfall, where you get washed by the strong current of the waterfall. It can spin you around nicely, as you’re basically hanging on the rope at this point.
And then you end up in the water, which spits you out after a few seconds.
It was super confusing, as you have to lower yourself into the water that’s blasting into you. And everyone’s face when they popped out of the water was priceless. Everyone was super confused.
But it was great fun, and we all laughed at each other afterward.
Note: Oh, and the whole time you’re moving from one waterfall to another, you also pass through some breathtaking and lush Da Lat nature.
11. Climb of death out of the canyon
After finishing all the activities inside the canyon, it was time to complete the Da Lat canyoning experience by a 15-minute hike up a steep uphill path that we will give the justified name “The climb of death.”
We were all quite tired after canyoning for the last few hours, so hiking uphill that steep, almost vertical path for 15 minutes killed us. It’s likely because we’re not that fit, but it was pure torture nonetheless. 😁
12. Van pickup and end of the tour
And when you finish the climb of death, you get picked up by a van that takes you back to the camp. You get out of the suit, give back all the gear, and retrieve your belongings from the dry bags.
And that’s a wrap. That’s the Da Lat canyoning experience!
Is canyoning in Da Lat safe?
As long as you follow your guides’ instructions, canyoning in Da Lat is very safe, as they are well-trained and are there to keep you safe while having fun.
Moreover, always check for a company with insurance included in the price, just in case. Ours did have it.
And also, Da Lat is the adventure capital of Vietnam with many safe and adventurous activities you can do.
Who can go canyoning in Da Lat?
Canyoning is perfect for everyone aged 5 – 65 who is healthy and somewhat fit and has no big fear of heights. Canyoning in Da Lat is excellent for both kids and the older generations.
If you’re not sure about canyoning, you can always contact the company and see with them if you should give it a go or not.
It was not our first time canyoning, as we did our first canyoning in Madeira, Portugal. We did the beginner level there, and this one in Da Lat was quite a bit more challenging but still very much manageable for most people.
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Are there different levels of canyoning in Da Lat?
No, Da Lat in Vietnam doesn’t offer different canyoning levels for beginners, intermediate, and advanced like in other places.
We would rank the canyoning tour in Da Lat as intermediate, because of the variety of things you do, from rappelling and sliding down waterfalls to ziplining and jumping into the water.
Hopefully, through time they could find new valleys full of waterfalls we could rappel down! We would happily return to Da Lat for that!
Is jumping into water required while canyoning?
Jumping into the water while canyoning in Da Lat, Vietnam, is required.
Although you can avoid the 7-meter free jump, you can not avoid jumping into the water at the end of the two waterfalls, as that’s the safest way of going down.
Remember that you have a suit that protects you and a life vest that helps you stay afloat. So soon after hitting the water, you will be back up on the surface.
Matej had the least experience and confidence about jumping into the water from heights, and he was fine!
Be honest and upfront with the guides; they will help you.
What is the best time to go canyoning in Da Lat?
The best time to go canyoning in Da Lat is between September and April when there’s not much rain, the water is nice and clear, and there’s a lot of sunshine. But canyoning in Da Lat is a year-round activity, so anytime you go, you will have a great time. So there’s no “bad” time to visit.
We did our tour in mid-September, and even though it was raining quite often that week, we had fantastic weather that day!
What is the price of canyoning in Da Lat?
The price of going Canyoning in Da Lat, Vietnam, is between $65 and $85 per person.
The Canyoning in Da Lat price includes certified technical gear (neoprene suits, gloves, and helmet), specialized guides, permits, water, breakfast, photos/videos of you while canyoning, and transportation.
They took great photos and videos of all of us during the tour and shared them with us the next day on Google Drive.
You can also come to the meeting spot by yourself by taxi or on a motorbike like us, as our hotel was only a 10-minute drive away.
Note: Breakfast/lunch options might vary from company to company. Ours from Highland Adventure Travel was really rich.
Should I book Da Lat canyoning in advance?
Yes. If you want to do canyoning on a specific day and want to secure your spot, book it in advance before coming to Da Lat.
What to bring and wear for canyoning in Da Lat?
When going canyoning in Da Lat, you need to bring comfortable shoes (you’ll go in them into the water), your bathing suit, towel, extra dry clothes for later, and sunscreen. Of course, you’re provided with everything else.
Note: Trust us about bringing sunscreen because it was supposed to be cloudy on the day we went canyoning, but it turned out to be a nice sunny day, and we got a bit burned. Don’t be us. Make the right decision.
We highly recommend having quick-drying microfiber towels, and we travel with six different ones (two small, two medium, and two big). We bought ours in Decathlon, but you can also find similar quick-dry towels on Amazon.
Can I go canyoning in Da Lat with contact lenses?
Yes, you can go canyoning in Da Lat with contact lenses. Make sure to use daily ones, though. And bring extra lenses, which the guides can store in their waterproof bag for you.
We were lucky not to lose our contact lenses while canyoning in Da Lat. Unlike in Madeira, when Arijana lost one mid-tour.
Always close your eyes while jumping in the water, and you’ll be fine.
Canyoning is, hands down, one of the best outdoor activities in Da Lat you can do. It was our second time canyoning, and we had so much fun!
We’re absolutely addicted and want to repeat this activity more often. And now we have to find more spots to go canyoning in Vietnam!
Big thanks to our excellent guides, Tony and Ya! They were professional and super fun and made this a fantastic experience!
We hope we inspired you to go canyoning while in Da Lat or Vietnam, as it’s honestly such a fun experience.
Would you go canyoning in Da Lat, Vietnam? Or rather… WHEN are you going? 😉
Also, here are some other fun activities you can do in Da Lat: