Situated in a valley in the heart of the Talamanca mountain range, Providencia (or Provi) is a magical place bursting with opportunity for the adventure lover. Already well known for its great quantity and quality of bouldering, Provi also hosts amazing hiking, and mountain biking and even some serious tree climbing with 30+ meter high trees and grades estimated up to 5.12.
Although rock route climbing is still in the development stage, with much of the work being done by Eric Allen, some top rope and sport climbs are scattered around the valley. The map of the town provided is meant to be a rough outline to what is where. However it is highly recommended that you inquire about a guide in town if you wish to get a full experience.
All the climbs, bouldering and non-bouldering, are on private land, so please ask the landowner for permission to climb prior to doing so.
If visiting Provi for its superb bouldering, I would highly recommend picking up Sierra Allen's Costa Rica Bouldering guidebook. This comprehensive guidebook provides all the beta for the boulders in Provi, Cerro de la Muerte and beyond.
Many of the 'walls' you will be climbing are in fact boulders that are too high for unroped climbing.
In general you can expect weather worn rock that is slabby with loads of crimps.
Expect to find a find a good range of climbs from 5.7 to 5.13, however the exact current quantity of climbs is unknown.
There are a couple of restaurant/soda and small grocery store options in town. Most places that offer a bed also offer meals at a fixed price – just ask.
Things to Remember
Costa Rica, more often than not, is an adventure to climb. Between trekking through jungles, fending off insects, and crossing paths with tropical animals you are sure to have a great day out. Here are a few things to keep in mind when climbing in Costa Rica:
- Bring extra water. With hot and humid often in the forecast you will drink more water than you may expect.
- Pack a brush; steel is best. Many climbs can become dirty after the rainy season and if you are climbing something that is friction dependent, you may need to do some spring-cleaning.
- It gets dark early and fast. This is especially true if you are in a ravine. Pack a headlamp or plan to get out early so that you do not get stuck in the dark.
- Bring a Spanish-English dictionary, if necessary. You never know when a couple words of Spanish will get you out of a jam.