Cañón Bonsai (Turrialba, Costa Rica)

Photos here :

After a lazy day on the Río Pejebaye (fish-bay in the indigenous language) with Desiree, we visited the car rental place in Turri and headed up the slopes of Volcán Turrialba to visit a short canyon called Bonsai, though it is commercially known as Avatar. We passed the sign for Aquarius Falls and eventually crossed the bridge over Río Guayabo where we would later exit the canyon. Driving up a steep road with two strips of concrete for the car’s wheels the road transformed into a bumpy cobbled rd. So bumpy that we elected to leave the car at a wider section and walk the rest of the way. Passing into the private finca, we carefully crossed through a couple of electric fences to arrive at a ‘quebrada seca’… This was the start of the canyon… Where was all the water? Located much higher on the flanks of the volcano than the other routes we had recently visited, I had assumed colder water… but there wasn’t really any water! The first pitch dropped a little under 30m into a deep canyon with spectacular green walls. There was a strange bolt placed on the lip of the drop, I couldn’t really see a use for it.

We followed the slippery canyon admiring the beauty around us (obvious escapes CL). The water increased a little as we continued down canyon soon arriving at a drop of around 50m. You could avoid the shallow pool at the bottom, but still got wet in the dribble of water also heading down the cañón. We kept dry by sliding down a log, but reaching the confluence with Cañón Jerry, the flow increased and soon we were forced to swim. The water was cold, but refreshing. The pozas quite small, so there was no need for the giant wetsuit I was lugging around.

Close to the exit, a guy was filling up bags with river gravel. Fernando headed up to grab the car, and we were soon back in Alto Cruz to pack, pfaff and finally came to the decision we needed to rent a car another car (the small Suzuki we had had to be returned) and head back to Bajos del Toro for the two Costa Rica classics. We left a later than I would have liked, but it all worked out in the end. We met up with Diego at his dentist practice to leave our equipment with him, returned the car, and then caught a bus into Heredia to meet back up with Diego and his friend?? for dinner. Both were very interesting to talk with. Diego had canyoned a little in Bajos del Toro, and happened to know a few of the people I’d been writing with! We crashed at Diego’s for the night.

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