River Canyoning in Meghalaya: The Guide for A Unique Adventure

 In Holidays, India, Meghalaya, Travel

River canyoning in Meghalaya is a well-kept secret for adventure enthusiasts visiting this mystic state. So, if you are a nature lover looking for some adrenaline-pumping activities in Meghalaya, our Meghalaya Holiday Packages are just for you. 

As we all know, Meghalaya is blessed with immense natural beauty with its marvelous living root bridges, cascading falls, lush tropical forests, mesmerizing valleys, and meandering rivers, which create a perfect playground for adventure sports enthusiasts.

Amongst all the adventure sports in Meghalaya, the thrill of river canyoning stands out as a unique and heart-pounding experience. 

But since river canyoning in Meghalaya is comparatively a new adventure sport, let me start by telling you, what is river canyoning?

About River Canyoning in Meghalaya


Imagine a gurgling river passing through a lush tropical forest and the mystical valleys in Meghalaya. Now all you have to do is stay in the river as you start from Point A to reach Point B, that’s it!

Now, you must be thinking what adventure is this? Well, it’s not as easy as it seems because to reach Point A to Point B, you have to stay on the river path, which can include big boulders, cascading waterfalls in Meghalaya, tricky streams, and a lot more. 

The adventure is finding your way to reach your destination by all means – swimming, rappelling, trekking, abseiling, sliding, or even jumping. The combination of all these adventure sports makes river canyoning in Meghalaya, one of the best adventure sports for adventure junkies.

So now if you’re thinking about going river canyoning in Meghalaya, there’s something you should know. Meghalaya gets a lot of heavy rain, especially during the monsoon season. This rain covers a big area and makes the rivers swell up and rush through the valleys. 

It’s so much water that you can even hear the river from the hilltops when it rains a lot. Sometimes, we get over 10 days of really heavy rain, more than 300 mm in just one day! On some days, it’s even more, like beyond 500 mm.

All this water makes the riverbeds change a lot. Upstream, there are big boulders, some as tall as a three-storey building. But as you go down towards the plains, these big rocks become small ones and even turn into sand.

During winter, from November to February, there’s much less rain, and the rivers calm down. This is when you can actually take up this river canyoning in Meghalaya. It’s quite a workout and adventure! Even though it’s tiring, it’s so thrilling. It’s like nature’s obstacle course that makes your body stronger and tougher. So, if you’re up for it, river canyoning packages in Meghalaya promise you an amazing adventure!

Reasons For River Canyoning in Meghalaya


1. A Thrill-Seeker’s Paradise

If you’re a thrill-seeker, river canyoning in Meghalaya should be at the top of your bucket list. Picture this: you’re navigating a narrow gorge carved by centuries of flowing water, surrounded by towering cliffs draped in emerald greenery. The adrenaline rush as you rappel down waterfalls and plunge into crystal-clear pools is unparalleled.

2. Nature’s Water Park

Meghalaya’s canyons serve as nature’s water park, offering an array of activities such as cliff jumping, swimming through narrow gorges, and sliding down natural rock chutes. It’s like a giant playground created by Mother Nature herself.

3. The Wettest Place on Earth

Meghalaya is famous for being the wettest place on Earth, receiving heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. This abundant rainfall feeds the rivers and creates the perfect conditions for canyoning adventures. The gushing waters and lush surroundings make every descent an awe-inspiring experience.

Also Read: Adventure Sports In Shillong: A Complete Guide For Adventurers

Best River Canyoning In Meghalaya

1. Laitkynsew Hill

  • Duration: 8 hours involving 7 hours walking, downhill 2800 feet and up. Time spent traversing by river bed 2 to 3 hours. 
  • Approximate total distance: 15 km. 

On this trek, you’ll start at Laitkyna Hill and make your way down to the river by following a good path used by the villagers, past the rundown houses of an old gorge village that’s been overrun by jungle growth, and then through some pretty rough jungle paths. At the end of the trek, you’ll take a steep plunge down the river’s banks to a stream that falls off like a waterfall. You’ll then have to scramble down some near-vertical rocks to get to the river’s bed. 

After a refreshing swim and some welcome food, you’ll have to make your way up the river’s banks; this means climbing up big rocks, walking on narrow ledges above deep pools, and jumping from one rapid to the next, squeezing through tight spaces between big rocks. You’ll have plenty of time to fish in deep pools full of flowing water, and there are plenty of natural swimming pools too, but it’s a swim-free route. 

On the way back, you’ll be hanging onto a steel rope over the river for over 45 feet. After that, it’s a hike of about 5 km to the top of Village Tyrna, and then it’s a climb of around 1800 feet to the Resort.

Also Read: Shopping In Shillong: Best Markets To Shop In Meghalaya.

2. Nongkroh village

  • Duration: 10 to 12 hours with a river run of 5 to 6 hours. Involves walking downhill 2800 feet approx and up 3000 feet. 
  • Approximate total distance: 20 km.

One of the best river canyoning in Meghalaya starts from Laitkynsew village located on a hilltop that goes down to an old village called Nongkroeh. After that, it gets wild and you have to make your way through the jungle. The canyoning of the river goes downstream, and there’s a bit of a ‘pinch’ in the canyon where you have to swim or climb up some steep banks to get back to the water. There are some great spots to fish and camp out on this route.

If you’re looking for a challenging hike, this is the one for you! There are rapids and places to cross the river, but you’ll have to jump from one rock to the next. It’s not too hard, but you’ll get wet. You’ll also have to swim in some places, and you’ll have to take a detour through a thick jungle with almost no footpath after going up a steep, almost vertical rock bank. You’ll need to be extra careful on this hike. 

When you get to the river Umiam that further meets the Umaim Lake, you’ll cross a steel rope bridge and then start the climb back to the top of the hill. The path is wild at the start, but you’ll eventually reach the stone stairs leading to the village of Nongwar. The hike is exhausting, so you’ll need to be ready for a long day. Make sure to start early so you can get back before it’s too late. And don’t forget your torchlight – you’ll need it for the return trip.

Also Read: 10 Best Trails For Trekking In Shillong | Ultimate Guide

3. Nongthymmai to Mynteng

  • Duration: 8-9 hours involving 8 hours walking, downhill 2000 feet and up. Time spent traversing by river bed 5 ½ to 6 ½ hours. 
  • Approximate total distance: 18 km. 

This river canyoning adventure is packed with excitement. It’s a downstream journey, so if you’re a strong swimmer, it’ll come in handy. You’ll encounter some thrilling challenges, like crossing bamboo bridges and swimming in fast-flowing water.

At the beginning, you’ll walk along a slippery ledge below a Living Root Bridge to cross a deep water pool. As you continue downstream, you’ll come to the “Pung Adong” or Forbidden Pool, a picturesque spot. To reach the pool, you’ll navigate between rocks that form a kind of cave.

Further down, just before two rivers meet, there’s an incredible sight. The river cascades over tall, perpendicular rocks into a deep pool. It’s a high-adventure spot, perfect for rappelling into the water and swimming across. If you prefer a less intense route, you can go up the steep riverbank, through dense jungle, and down to the other river. From there, climb onto large rocks on the right to witness the impressive drop as the two rivers merge.

Along the way, you’ll encounter clear, blue pools of running water where you can see the riverbed clearly. You’ll also need to cross a tricky bamboo bridge over a rapid. It requires balance and concentration, with the fast-flowing water beneath you.

As you go further downstream, there are steep drops into deep pools that require careful navigation, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer. Eventually, you’ll reach the Mynteng Steel Rope Bridge, where you can rest before starting a 1.5-hour climb to Tyrna village. From there, it’s another hour to the resort.

This adventure can be even more thrilling if you’re into rock climbing and rappelling. Teamwork is essential. Don’t forget your flashlight for the return journey, and make sure you have spare batteries and bulbs. It’s a journey filled with excitement and challenges, perfect for adventure seekers.

Also Read: 10 Outstanding Homestays To Go For On A Visit To Meghalaya

River Canyoning Tips For Meghalaya

  • Safety First: Always prioritize safety. Use proper canyoning gear, including helmets and ropes, and consider going with experienced guides.
  • Check the Weather: Meghalaya can be rainy. Plan your canyoning adventure during the dry season (October to February) for more stable water levels.
  • Know Your Abilities: Choose a canyoning route that matches your skill level. There are options for beginners and experienced canyoneers.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during your adventure, especially in Meghalaya’s humid climate.
  • Wear Suitable Clothing: Opt for quick-drying, comfortable clothing and secure footwear with good traction.
  • Pack Essentials: Carry essentials like a first-aid kit, dry bags for belongings, and insect repellent.
  • Listen to Guides: If you’re with a guide, follow their instructions closely. They know the terrain and conditions.
  • Start Early: Begin your canyoning trip early in the day to make the most of daylight hours.
  • Respect Nature: Leave no trace behind. Respect the environment, and don’t disturb local flora and fauna.
  • Stay Calm: If you face challenging sections, remain calm, and focus on your movements. Panicking can lead to accidents.
  • Enjoy the Scenery: Take time to appreciate Meghalaya’s stunning landscapes while canyoning. It’s not just about the thrill; it’s also about the beauty of nature.
  • Stay Fit: Canyoning can be physically demanding. Consider working on your stamina and strength before your trip.
  • Have Fun: Last, but not least! most important river canyoning tips for Meghalaya, have fun, and enjoy the adventure. River canyoning in Meghalaya offers an unforgettable experience amid breathtaking natural beauty.


Meghalaya’s river canyoning offers a unique blend of adrenaline-pumping action and unspoiled natural beauty. It’s a thrilling experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the heart of nature’s grandeur. So, gear up, head to Meghalaya, and let the canyons unveil their secrets as you embark on an unforgettable adventure.

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