Canyoning In Dalat – What It Is Really Like

Last updated on: 42 Comments

Everything you need to know about canyoning in Dalat.

Canyoning in Dalat.
Real-time views while canyoning in Dalat!

Update: Check out our video from the experience below!

Dalat in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is one of the major tourist destinations for locals in the entire country, and of the absolute best things to do in the town is go canyoning in Dalat.

Its cool, temperate climate, stunning location around a lake and vibrant, colourful European-style buildings attract honeymooners and vacationers from near and far. Great restaurants and cafes line the streets and the vibe is funky and relaxed.

Don’t miss our guide to help you Travel To Vietnam.

The reason we chose to visit this small city however was for the adventure activities! Rappelling down waterfalls, cliff jumping, natural water slides and hiking – right up our alley!

Canyoning in Dalat was high up on our list of things to do, so onwards we rode to give ourselves an adrenalin hit!

We were staying at the incredible Beepub Hostel (which by the way was one of the absolute best hostels we’ve stayed in Southeast Asia) and the friendly owner gave us some great direction on how to pick a company for canyoning in Dalat.

Dalat Canyoning Review
The first rappel.

After checking out a few different tour agencies in town who all offered essentially the same package for similar prices we had decided to trust Dalat Adventure Tours to take us for the activity.

While I was more enthused than a kid before Christmas, Lesh was apprehensive about the tour.

It had been over two years since we had done a similar activity in El Salvador and she was slightly hesitant. But never being one to say no to a good time, she ignored her trepidation and came along anyway.

In the morning we arrived at the office and the promises of a ‘small group package’ turned out to be true. There were only five of us taking part in the day’s pursuit.

The moment we met our friendly guides Tony and Dragon the fear started to subside. They were good-natured and confident in their skills and experience. They gave us a detailed breakdown on what we would encounter during the day as we took the short car ride up to our destination.

On the ride we spent some time chatting and quizzing them about their five years guiding in the area and all we needed to know about canyoning in Dalat.

Upon reaching the trailhead Tony and Dragon handed out our equipment so we could inspect it. Everything was new and from reputable brands.

We made our way to a small clearing with a mild incline and Tony taught us how to set up our own gear so we could be sure of how it worked.

Detailed instructions followed about how to abseil, the different techniques and methods used for arresting a fall and how to recover if we found ourselves off balance or upside down.

While we were learning, groups from other companies arrived and began practicing right next to us. With the popularity of canyoning in Dalat, some of the group sizes were around 15 people, and their guides were having a hard time trying to maintain all their attention.

They rushed their large groups through one training session round each and then headed straight for the falls. Tony and Dragon were in no such rush and allowed us to each practice four times and ensured that everyone was confident before we took off.

Learning how to use the equipment. Canyoning in Dalat.
Learning how to use the equipment before canyoning in Dalat.

Five minutes of walking and we had reached our first abseil. It was a simple 18m rappel down a dry vertical rock face with a fast flowing waterfall cascading next to it.

I was nominated to go first and having not done abseiling for a while it really got the heart pumping. When I arrived at the bottom I had to drop directly into the chilly river.

Dragon helped me out of the water and we watched and encouraged the rest of the group while they made their way down the wall.

Lesh enjoying the natural water slide. Canyoning in Dalat.
Lesh enjoying the natural water slide.

The first of two water slides was next and the slippery rocks ensured that a lot of speed was gained before you are launched into the bottom pool.

In keeping with the exciting atmosphere of the day we were all told we had to take on the slide head first lying on our backs.

Another exhilarating 16m dry rappel followed and Tony instructed us to jump as high as possible while descending to get the feeling of free fall.

I was pretty happy with my three-jump descent until Tony finished up with launching down the entire cliff without touching the rocks once. I felt a little sheepish after that and wished I could have another go to try and match him.

Dragon dubbed the next activity ‘crazy water sliding’ and he wasn’t too far off the mark! Longer and faster than our previous one it also had a sweeping curve to add to the thrill of plummeting head first down a rock face.

While nerve-racking for those who have never done natural water sliding, the activity is actually quite safe and as long as you follow the guide’s instructions you will avoid any hidden dangers.

We continued walking for about 20 minutes until we reached the most intimidating abseil when canyoning in Dalat – A 25m rappel through the middle of a flowing waterfall!

Shoes were traded for socks and we were reminded to always maintain contact with the rocks due to the slippery surface underfoot.

But the most fear-inducing moment was not the steep sloping rocks you navigate down but the 4m jump you must make at the end to land in the pool.

The hesitation built up for a few in our group but we all agreed to take on the challenge. At times down the wall we were blinded by the powerful falls as they bounced off the rocks and directly into our faces. The only option was to continue on.

Abseiling down the waterfall.
Abseiling down the waterfall.
Taking the leap! Canyoning in Dalat.
Taking the leap!
Abseiling down the waterfall.
Abseiling down the waterfall.

Leaping Off Falls While Canyoning In Dalat

Eventually we reached the jumping point and here we had to leap backwards from the wall letting go of our ropes and tumbling the four metres to the turbulent pool, landing squarely on our backs.

Staring down from where I have to jump from. Canyoning in Dalat.
Staring down from where I have to jump from.

It goes against everything I have learnt about cliff jumping but it is the only way to avoid the shallow rocks under the surface. However with the waterfall breaking the surface beneath you the landing is soft.

Despite moments of doubt at taking the leap we all completed the challenge safely.

To calm our nerves Tony and Dragon provided a delicious lunch of salad and baguettes complete with fresh mango, watermelon and pineapple.

There was so much extra food that there was no chance of leaving the place hungry. The real concern was that we might overeat and become too heavy for the safe working limits of the ropes!

With our appetites satisfied there was only one abseil to go. But before we reached this last activity we had to opportunity to take part in some cliff jumping. One of my favourite things to do!

The two options were a gentle 7m leap or a more demanding 11m jump that required a running start to ensure you clear the lower level jutting out below. After watching Dragon make the high jump without a moment of indecision I had to match him.

Knowing that hesitation leads to self-doubt I just had to run and launch myself off the cliff without pausing for thought. It was great to be jumping off of high platforms!

Jay, one of the other members of our group, and I made the leap three times. Lesh having a bit more sense and awareness of possible injuries wisely chose the 7m jump.

Jazza jumping from the 11m high platform. Canyoning in Dalat.
Jazza jumping from the 11m high platform.

Now it was time for the famed ‘Washing Machine’. We had heard tales of this final rappel and couldn’t wait to try it ourselves.

Only 10m high but requiring nerves of steel you lower yourself past the edge of the cliff until you are hanging freely above a strong waterfall.

Dropping into the falls you are then pushed and spun around violently (hence the name Washing Machine). Sliding yourself down the rock face you then let go of the rope and are pushed underwater for a few seconds before you are shot out of the whirlpool below and into the calm swimming hole it flows into.

Challenging, but a lot of fun!

In the Washing Machine. Canyoning in Dalat.
In the Washing Machine.

With the day of canyoning in Dalat drawing to a close all we had to do was hike for 20 minutes out of the valley and back to the waiting car to transport us back to town.

Our stoke levels were at an all-time high and could not wipe the smiles off of our faces. Before we knew it we were back in town and Tony, Dragon and the owner of Dalat Adventure Tours, Mr Win, all invited us back to their office that evening for drinks. The entertainment was to continue late into the night.

We were very happy we made the choice to go canyoning with Dalat Adventure Tours. Their professionalism and friendly personalities made our experience incredibly enjoyable and something we will remember for a long time to come.

The amazing guides and attention to detail was excellent. The small group sizes ensured we were all taken care of personally. Tony, Dragon and Mr Win did everything to ensure our adventure canyoning in Dalat was a top quality expedition.

Now we have to figure out when we can come back to go canyoning in Dalat again!

If you need to book your bus to Dalat from any major city in Vietnam, you can do so using the popular website, Bookaway.

Waterfall. Canyoning in Dalat.
Waterfall.
Abseiling. Canyoning in Dalat.
Abseiling.
Lesh is ecstatic with the canyoning in Dalat!
Lesh is ecstatic with the Canyoning in Dalat!
Lesh making her way to the bottom. Canyoning in Dalat.
Lesh making her way to the bottom.
The crew! Canyoning in Dalat.
The crew!

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Canyoning in Dalat, Vietnam. Things to do in Dalat

About the author

Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award winning writers and photographers behind this blog, and we have been travelling the world together since 2008. Adventure travel is our passion, and through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Kamy Johnson

    Is there a weight limit?

    sunrise taj mahal tour from delhi

    This looks like an amazing trip! I hadn’t really considered the Dalat before, but it looks beautiful place to explore and adventures. You click nice pics in your trip. Loved this! Thank you…

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Thank you so much. It is a fun trip and we highly recommend it. 🙂

    Laxmi

    Wow! its looks Great I would love to do that! Do you think it was worth the money? and if i want to visit there from India how much it cost to me.

    Lani Nguyen

    Hi, I’m Vietnamese and I really love your post. Dalat is absolutely a must-go destination in Vietnam. I also came to Dalat a couple of years ago but in my eyes, Dat Lat is a romantic and elegant city. Thanks for your post I can see the different side of Dalat that I haven’t known before – a adventurous Dalat. Good jod! Keep going!

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Thank you so much. We loved seeing all the couples there. It feels like the Paris of Vietnam. We loved the city and can not wait to return one day.

    Christine

    Love the post! I went canyoning in Dalat in 2014. I can relate to being hesitant. Thankfully (?) I actually had no idea what canyoning was until i got there! All i knew was everyone was doing it lol. I got nervous when i understood the concept, but by then i was there already. The only bit i found really nerve wracking was the big waterfall abseil. I was about 4th or 5th in line and everyone in front of me slipped and dangled and swing for a while so i was pretty terrified bu the time it was my turn. Good on wveryone who is nervous but gets it done anyway!

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Hi Christine, Sounds like you had a great time. It is definitely an experience. Glad you went through with it and gave the abseils a go. Definitely an amazing experience in Dalat. Thanks so much 🙂

    Payal Rastogi

    You are enjoying the life to the fullest. thanks for making us the part by sharing the pics with us. Thanks again 🙂

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

    Andrea

    Hey guys!
    Firstly, thanks for putting this amazing and very thorough post together. It’s not only inspiring but very helpful. I am planning on visiting Da Lat in March-18 and this experience is on my list, but can’t hide a little hesitation from jumping off the cliffs as I experienced some blocks in the past.
    I have couple of questions and would really appreciate your insights:
    1. What time does the experience starts/finish? I can’t find the times on DALAT ADVENTURE TOURS website. I will be coming from HCMC Airport arriving at the Lien Khuong Airport at 8:30am and it takes about 1,5hrs to get to the tour agency, so it might be a bit tight.
    2. Is there a option to hike down the cliffs if I would need to skip the cliff jumping? (planning to be brave and do it but having this option could help with my phobia:)
    Happy future travels!:)

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Hi Andrea, no worries at all. We are happy we can help. You will love Dalat. It is a beautiful area. Off the top of my head, I think we met at 8am and were back at 6pm. We were a small group. I think have the day to explore when you first arrive. The city is beautiful. There are gardens, a lake, the crazy house and nice modern cafes for a great coffee. Drop into Dalat Adventure Tours or who ever you choose and ask about the tour. The guides are very professional at Dalat Adventure Tours. If you can not do the jump / absail down they will guide you through the area safely. You will love it. Have a great trip. 🙂

    Ridhi Mehra

    I am very excited to visit this place.. thank you so much for sharing such an amazing post.

      Alesha And Jarryd

      We are so happy we could help. Dalat is a stunning place. You will love it. There is a lot to do there. Don’t miss the Crazy House. Have fun. Happy travels Ridhi

    linh nguyen

    Look at the pictures are want to go right there.
    If you return to Dalat. I will introduce better places and more exciting adventures in Dalat. Your blog is very interesting and useful. Thanks

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Thank you so much. It was an awesome experience. Definitely don’t miss it if you are in Dalat. 🙂

    Micah Bowen

    Thanks for the post! I loved canyoning here! My favorite part was repelling down the huge waterfall and letting go at the end! Nobody seamed to want to let go and jump! My favorite hostel in Da Lat was Mr. Peace Hostel, he made my time in Da Lat super cool. Thanks again for sharing. Cheers

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Hi Micah, we are stoked you had a blast. Repelling down the waterfall was crazy and then letting go. So much fun. Thanks for reading. Happy travels.

    Matthias Verstrynge

    Great and detailed post! Tomorrow we are leaving Mui Ne for Dalat. Really looking forward on canyoning (for the first time 😮 )! Do you guys think we need to book in advance?

      Alesha And Jarryd

      Hi Matthias, sorry our comment is late. Thought I would reply for others, if they are reading. We hope you had an awesome time. We recommend booking the tour the day before. Happy travels

    Jason Gallant

    LOVED canyoning in Dalat!! It was by far the highlight of my vietnam leg. I went with groovy gecko and they took us to a 65m waterfall where we were the only group all day. It was awesome 🙂

    Ali @marble floorings

    your life is amazing.

    Samantha

    wow… !! Amazing Place .. I definitely gonna visit Vietnam. Great photography too 🙂

    Raj Sharma

    Awesome!!!

    This is nice place next time i will go there..

    vietnam motorcycle tours

    It is also great fun to ride a motorcycle adventure for touring Vietnam. You may be interested in by Vietnammotorcycletours!

      Priya

      Thanks for sharing these fabulous images of your tour…….
      I will definitely visit this place

    Sania@Internet Marketing

    To a great degree pleasant good countries region, potentially the main spot in South Vietnam which you can have decent, cooling temperature (to note, Hoi An in May could get entirely warm). You could set aside time out to go canyoning, going to the waterfalls, or even unwind and take a day ride on a bike.

    Alan Chien

    Hi LESH & JAZZA! We are about to ride motorcycle from Saigon to Da Lat, Nha Trang for 5 days from Saigon. Your blog is very helpful. We hope to have a great time there too.

    Thank you

    Owen

    Hi! What types of shoes do you recommend for an activity like this? Are sports shoes enough?

      Alesha And Jarryd

      As for shoes, they gave us a pair so we didn’t have to get ours wet. 🙂

    Nick

    Thank LESH & JAZZA, i will try this in coming week in Dalat, i heard that they stop to organize this tour at present

    Natasha Amar

    Wow! I so have to do this when I go back to Vietnam and make it to Da Lat.
    Thanks for sharing!

      Lesh Jazza NOMADasaurus

      You’ll absolutely love it! Still one of the funnest days we’ve had in SE Asia.

    kanannie

    You two are hardcore! We might have to go back to Da Lat and give this a try ourselves.

      Lesh Jazza NOMADasaurus

      Haha, I don’t know if we’re that hardcore. Just love adventure 😉 Thanks for reading, Kanannie!

    Danny

    Awesome! I wish I’d done that last time I was in Da Lat. You’ve inspired me to make another trip.

      Lesh Jazza NOMADasaurus

      You’ll love it when you do, Danny. Only a few hours from HCMC as well. Could make a great article for your magazine!

    Heidi Wagoner

    Last time Alan and I did something like that, it was in the Lake district in the England, about 16 years ago. We plan to hit Dalat sometime in December or January, so we will have to check it out. It looks like loads of fun.

      Lesh Jazza NOMADasaurus

      Very cool. We definitely recommend it. December/January will be a beautiful time to visit the region too. Look forward to hearing how you go with it.

    Christine

    Wow! The repelling looks awesome! I would love to do that! Do you think it was worth the money? I could never do that 11 m jump though! The idea that you have to get a running start scares the crap out of me! Good job!

      NOMADasaurus

      Thanks Christine. It was such an awesome day out. For only $20, it was definitely worth the money! It was an all-day excursion. Would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. And the running start was made even more intimidating by the slippery rocks you had to tread across before the launching point. One false move could end pretty badly, but that just adds the fun! Thanks for reading.

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