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What Happens If…: A Guide for the Unsure

Many of our guests tell us that their waterfall rappels changed their lives. We hear things like, “I feel so accomplished. Invincible!” And then they often also tell us that, while they were doing this crazy thing, they were also feeling pretty scared.  Such is the curious paradox that is a Rappel Maui waterfalls adventure. Sometimes the fun is in the fear. Go figure.

Our guides, the ones keeping everyone safe while they voluntarily step off the edge of a 50-foot wall of water, also feel like they get something from the experience. Longtime Rappel Maui rock star Rich says that the time he invests in working with someone who’s “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” is even more rewarding than guiding those who are naturally good at taking charge of the rope.  So here are the answers to some of those “what if” questions we’re asked by those who are not sure that they have the right stuff.  To ask your own “what if” questions, call us at 808-270-1500 or chat live online with us by visiting the home page of our web site.

What happens if I change my mind?

If you find yourself at the top of a cliff and decide that you’d rather not rappel down one or all descents, you can still remain with your group. You can take hiking trails instead of rappelling, and enjoy the streams, pools and surroundings while the others in your party make their drops.

What happens if I let go of the rope?

If you happen to accidentally throw a starfish pose with “jazz hands” during one of your rappels, you will remain in place until you’re able to get your hands back on the rope, and your exaggerated facial expressions under control. Listen to your guides, and follow their instructions for continuing onward and downward. Pro tip: Wait until you’re on level ground to use your jazz hands. What you do with your facial expressions is totally up to you, but we recommend keeping it natural, happy and relaxed.

What happens if my 10-year-old is better at rappelling than I am?

This frequently happens to families with budding adventurists who are eager to make friends with gravity. If one of your children is a natural canyoneer, consider sending him or her to a canyoneering class during your next visit.

Safety is our top priority. Check out some of the ways a rappelling tour is safe, or call, email or chat for specifics. We’re ready to field your questions every day of the year from 7 AM to 7 PM Hawaii time.

What is Canyoneering and Rappelling?

Another Frequently Asked Question we get from a lot of first-timers who are interested in taking a tour, but are new to rappelling and canyoneering in general is, of course:  What exactly IS canyoneering, anyway?

We’re glad you asked!  The simplest description of canyoneering is: The exploration of canyons.  To go a little more in-depth, let’s take a page (literally) from Canyoneering: A Guide to Techniques for Wet and Dry Canyons, second edition, by David Black. (pp. xi, 1-2.) First off, a canyon is a deep, narrow valley or chasm with steep sides or cliff walls that have been carved and shaped by moving water. (For you trivia fans, a gorge is usually steeper and narrower than a canyon.) The exploration of a canyon (and descending/ascending it) may require any number of activities, such as hiking, scrambling, jumping, sliding, rappelling, and swimming.  In North America, there is a vague distinction between “canyoning” and “canyoneering,” but more often than not, the terms are used interchangeably, with “canyoning” being the favored term in English-speaking countries outside the United States.  Other names for canyoneering include “kloofing” (S. Africa) and the Welsh phrase “cerdded ceunant.” One thing that separates canyoneering from hiking is equipment, such as ropes and harnesses.  It can be summarized as a hybrid of rock climbing, hiking, river running, and wilderness skills. For those of you who are wondering, we keep our canyoneering day tours on the recreational side. There is some hiking and swimming during the tour, but no technical rock climbing,  navigating or camping.   

 Canyoneering in America is at least several hundred years old, but during the late 20th century, canyoneering became popular with aging climbers who had the skills and penchant for exploring some of the world’s loneliest places.  Word spread via guidebooks and the media, and by 2000, canyoneering was one of the fastest growing adventure sports.

You can sample a tasty morsel of canyoneering during  a Rappel Maui day tour. These are recreational experiences for the uninitiated and experienced alike, and last about 3 hours. The tour is great for those looking for a unique outdoor activity that weds incredible tropical scenery with excitement and fun.  It’s great for families, couples, groups, conferences and solo travelers.  Learn more online or call us at 808.270.1500 7 AM-7 PM any day of the week to ask your own questions.

For a deeper dive into the principles and practices of canyoneering, take a one-day or multi-day class in canyoneering.  Classes cover the full range of canyoneering subject matter, with lots of hands-on practice, from introductory to advanced, plus the availability of specialty classes.  Have something special in mind?  Call 808.270.1500 to learn more.

How Much Does a Rappelling Tour on Maui Cost?

From the Frequently Asked Questions series, here’s one we get all the time:  “How much does a Rappel Maui tour cost?” Here’s the quick info on what it will set you back to take a jungle waterfall rappelling adventure…


The price is $219 plus $9.12 tax per person. Rappel Maui tour cost includes round trip transportation from Central Maui meeting location, lunch, bottled water and all equipment (including a backpack with dry keg for your smaller water-sensitive items, special footwear and helmet.) We can provide South Maui resort pickup and return for a minimum of 2 people. The cost is an additional $25 per person, plus tax.  West Maui resort pickup is available for a minimum of 2 people, and is $35 per person plus tax. Call to ask about pickup and return times or see the list of resort transportation times and pickup locations.

If you would like to tip your guides at the end of the tour, bring cash with you, or call us to ask about sending your gratuity by check or credit card.  Call us to ask about kama ‘aina rates and other Rappel Maui deals and discounts when booking online or over the phone. Unless you’ve booked a private tour, we don’t automatically add a gratuity to your Rappel Maui tour cost.


If you want to actually “learn the ropes,” so to speak, take a look at these opportunities to take a canyoneering class with an instructor.  These instructional one-day or multi-day lessons provide first-time, beginning, intermediate or advanced explorers with a deeper dive into techniques, skills and principles that provide a solid foundation in the sport and practice of canyoneering.  Class curriculum was developed by Dave Black; rates are very reasonable, and class sizes are usually 6 or fewer people, unless you book a private class.

Introduction to Canyoneering Prices

Group class: $200 plus $8.33 tax.

Private class:
$700 plus $29.17 tax per day for up to 2 participants.
$800 plus 33.34 tax per day for up to 4 participants.  Add additional participants for $200 plus $8.33 tax per person.

3-Day Technical Canyoneering

Group class:  $500 plus $20.84 tax.

Private class:
$700 plus $29.17 tax per day for up to 2 participants.
$800 plus 33.34 tax per day for up to 4 participants. Add additional participants for $200 plus $8.33 tax per person.

3-Day Advanced Canyoneering

Group class: $500 plus $20.84 tax.

Private class: $700 plus $29.17 tax per day for up to 2 participants.
$800 plus 33.34 tax per day for up to 4 participants.  Add additional participants for $200 plus $8.33 tax per person.

Call 808-270-1500 to learn more. Phones are live 7 am to 7 pm 7 days a week.