Best places to do canyoning in Costa del Sol
This is an article about the 4 best canyoning on Costa del Sol (Andalusia). Here you will find the reasons why they are the top 4, and find some useful information to make decisions about which adventure canyoning would be the best choice for you.
The coastal area of Andalusia, that is including the 40km inland, has approximately 20 canyoning trips where this sport is practiced regularly. The 4 best canyoning chosen here have some peculiarities such as the beauty of its parcour, the technical possibilities (jumps, slides, rappels …), its water flow level, its accessibility or its flexibility for all types of participants or even its high technical level. That is why they are here.
In the following article we will share more about the top 4 canyons of the whole geography of Andalusia, including all the inland areas:
- Guadalmina Canyon, between Benahavis and Marbella
- Buitreras Canyon, in Colmenar de la Frontera
- Rio Verde Canyon, in Otivar
- Trevelez Canyon, in Granada
1. Guadalmina: Benahavis-Marbella, the most flexible canyoning experience in Costa del Sol
Difficulty level: 1
The canyon of Guadalmina is technically called ‘Cañón de Las Angosturas’ or ‘Narrowest canyon’ due to the narrowness of several of its sections. Guadalmina is the name of the river that cross the village of Benahavis and ends in the coast area of Marbella. The pitch of ‘Las Angosturas’ has an approximate length of 1 kilometer two hundred meters, starting in the ‘Charca de las Mozas’ and ending in the puddle of ‘El Canalón’ where the new wooden bridge of 28 meters that crosses the river is located.
What makes a complete and flexible canyoning trip?
This is a very flexible canyon, suitable for all, for the first experiencers, big Team Building events, family adventures or a fun friend experience. It is easily accessible starting in the town of Benahavis, either in the parking near the chapel of ‘Virgen del Rosario’ or from `Leonera park’ near the village, with a simple approach and return. It has jumps of up to 5 meters (3 jumps of 4 meters and 2 of 5 meters with the possibility of an additional jump of 3 and up to 7 meters), a rappel of 4 meters (avoidable with normal flow) and puddles of up to 100 meters where you can swim and relax in a beautiful landscape. In middle of the parcour we´ll find an especially beautiful narrow section (where both walls can be touched with the stretching of the arms) and where the sky disappears. This part is known as ‘La Cueva’ (The Cave). A very nice experience that you can do in two and a half hours of activity (adding 30 minutes preparation of the equipment), just enough to not get too tired if it is your first experience and know your possibilities to face a next level. We think it is the best option, with low flow, for those who have a normal physical level or if you are a dad or a mom who likes family adventures with small children and / or youth.
A suitable children activity? Children can start from 5 years, considering they have the measures and minimum weight to put on a professional wetsuit (115cm or 3´77” feet and approximately 19kg or 42 lbs), essential for that age range (5 to 13 years old). We recommend this canyoning activity for a 5 year old that is active and agile, and if your child is not that sporty, 6-7 years old would be the perfect age. As a note, remember that another important function of the neoprene, in addition to allowing you to float, is that in case of small falls it provides great protection. Another <suitable equipment for canyoning>, is the helmet due to the falling of stones in the narrows of Guadalmina which can fall from 30 meters. Although it is not the subject of this article it is never a bad idea to remember it.
Another reason for Guadalmina canyon to be on this list is because it has water flow throughout the year, and all year round you can practice canyoning in its waters. Beware! In the rainy season it can become impractical and dangerous. Although it can still be done during the rainy seasons, we recommend to always consult with a guide, because it can be quite dangerous.
2. Buitreras Canyon, Colmenar de la Frontera: ‘The Cathedral of Andalusia’
Difficulty level: 2.5
Our next top canyon Costa del Sol is the Buitreras Canyon or ‘The Cathedral’ as it’s named by guides and leaders.
‘Las Buitreras’ is a larger canyoning activity with larger canyon walls all around compared to the experience of Guadalmina. The hiking approach and the return back to the village are more physically demanding during the tour. Although it has a higher level, it is completely suitable for participants who it is their first experience and who have normal physical capacities or families with children from 12 years old who like adventure. In Buitreras you will feel that you have immersed yourself in a movie adventure that you will always remember.
Buitreras is a unique canyon in terms of the spectacular geological scenery. The nickname of ‘The Cathedral’ is well deserved. Located between two walls that reach more than 100 meters in some sections, it is undoubtedly the most beautiful canyon in Andalusia. It is a very aquatic canyon in its first and third part, the middle section is an impressive rock obstacle that offers us another spectacular landscape. In terms of jumping and rappeling options, Buitreras offers two mandatory rappels of 5 and 6 meters, a self-pulling rope plus a rappel (or jump) of 6 meters. There are other possibilities of jumping 3 meters and 9 meters in the first section and jumps in the last puddle of up to 9 meters. There is another jump of 12-14 meters, which has become popular, but we do not recommend it at all because if it is not executed perfectly it could be very harmful. It´s better to prevent and <practice canyoning safely>. For TUUR Canyoning that is our first objective.
Other information of interest. Buitreras is located in the Alcornocales Natural Park, one of the largest areas of Cork oaks in the world, and in the vicinity of the town of El Colmenar de la Frontera (about 40 km from the coast). The 15th of June is the first day that the ‘Junta de Andalucía’ (Andalusia administration) issues the permits to participate in this canyon. The permitted season ends each November 30th. Outside these dates it is completely prohibited, for environmental reasons but also for security reasons.
Canyoning Logistics. To get to the starting point of the canyon it is necessary to carpool because there will be a very harsh slope. The hike approach from ‘El Puerto del Oso’ (the simplest option) takes about 50 minutes until you arrive to the start of the canyon. The hiking back to the village from the end of the canyoning will take another 40 minutes (approximate). The canyoning activity takes about 4 hours to 4.50 hours including a short break. That means, if you add preparation, approach to the trail, canyoning experience, hike return (…) you have to plan and reserve a whole day. This investment of time deserves more than the show we are going to find.
Other curious facts. The name that ‘Buitreras’ receives is due to the fact that there are numerous vulture nests on its walls. We will see them flying over us all day long. And every year we could found vultures that have fallen into the canyon along our parcour. From TUUR Canyoning we have been in solidarity with them and we have specially qualified guides and equipment in our backpacks to rescue them and place them in the highest part of the mountain so that they dry up and can return to the flight.
There is much to talk about Buitreras canyon, many details to reveal, but nothing is comparable to experiencing it. So we encourage you to discover it this summer!
3. Río verde, Otivar: The perfect canyon for jumps
Difficulty level: 3
Our next top canyon in Costa del Sol is number 3, RIO VERDE in its lower section version or RIO VERDE x-pro that covers the entire length of this magnificent canyon.
Crystal clear waters, an intense turquoise pool, white foam under the waterfalls, natural water slides and many jumps are the words that immediately come to mind when we talk about this gorgeous canyon. Any of its two versions (the longest and the normal) deserves a score of 10/10, considering Rio Verde is one of the best canyons in all of Spain.
Difference between these two versions? Which of the two should I choose? From TUUR Canyoning we recommend the ‘normal’ version if you are a family with children from 9 to 14 years old or if you want to enjoy a large sports canyon but without the physical intensity of the x-pro version. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more intense activity with all the possibilities of Rio Verde, try the 16 meters natural water slide or rappel under the waterfall of the famous ‘Y’ we recommend the x-pro version, which can be the most incredible canyon that you will ever experience.
What about jumps in Río Verde? How high can I jump? Are they optional or do I have to jump mandatory? Rio Verde has many jumps along its parcour in both its versions. In this sense it is the canyoning trip with greater possibilities in all of Andalusia. No jumps are mandatory and every guide must install a rappel if you do not like jumping. In both variants you have jumps up to 9 meters that you can experience if your physical conditions and air balance are optimal. The guide will explain the correct technique to execute the jump properly and will advise if you have the skills to face a jump of 9 meters. Before facing that height, or even higher, you will do multiple jumps of 3-5-6 meters in which you will get used to and improve your dexterity and balance. It is not recommended to jump 9 meters without first having ‘warmed up’ and without the guide having taken enough data to advise you. And if you do not have enough balance, do not worry, 6-meter jumps are great jumps that will stimulate your adrenaline enough to make you sleep at night like a baby. Jumps are a skill that is learned progressively with several canyoning experiences. Here security prevails before exceeding our limits.
Canyoning Logistics | The hike approach. Rio Verde is located in the Natural Park of Almijara, an impressive natural scenery with large valleys and mountains near the Sierra Nevada National Park. We will hike and enjoy these magnificent landscapes during the approach to the start of the canyon.
For the x-pro version it is necessary to carry out a trekking of 1h30 while overcoming two hills. The normal version is an approach of 40 minutes and a single slope. The total timing of the Rio Verde x-pro version is 1h30 of hike approach, 20 min of equipment preparation, 20-minute break for the picnic, and a total of approximately 5 hours of descent. If we add up, it will take us around 7h00. The normal version 40 min of approach, 20 min of preparation and about 3h of descent, with a total of 4 hours or 4h30.
4. Trevelez: The technical canyon in Costa del Sol
Difficulty levels: 4
And the last top canyoning trip in the Costa del Sol is number 4, we have chosen a canyon of great technical level for those with good physical condition and with some previous experience.
Trevelez is one of the Meccas for canyoning enthusiasts who have already had several experiences of canyoning descents, have physical abilities and are familiar with rappelling. It is not a canyon for all audiences although it is one of the best canyons in Spain in terms of technical quality. For this reason it is a greatly desired canyon and it has to be in this top 4 of the best canyons in the coastal area of Andalusia.
A technical canyon. This canyoning has about 14 rappels and requires a certain rappel flow so the speed progress is reasonable. Some rappels cross through movements of water flows in which agility and certain experience are important elements. Trevelez is a quite narrow canyon in some areas, so a low flow rate the movements of water flows can become important and must be avoided or adequately managed with more advanced canyoning techniques. So knowing the pattern of this canyon with flow, knowing when to deal with it and when it is better to wait, having guides who know how to work as a team, be professional and well prepared, is essential.
Why September? To undertake this canyon, you have to know very well when it is possible to do it and when to wait. Not every year this canyon can be done in the same timeframe, it depends mainly on how much snow has fallen in the Sierra Nevada that year and when the thaw has started. Although it is not a norm, September is the month with the greatest probability to undertake the canyoning trip of Trevelez, and in some occasions September sometimes isn’t the best moment. Therefore contact us and we will tell you what is the best time.
More important Canyons in Andalusia
These are the 4 best canyons on the Costa del Sol, the most beautiful, the most complete, the most versatile and flexible. With this we do not want to underestimate all the other canyons that the coastal area offers us:
As well as many others. If you have the opportunity we recommend you also discover them.
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