The Canyoning is part of the nature of sport, which the IPDJ is "one whose practice brings man closer to nature in a healthy way and is compliant in the management of protected areas and a sustainable development policy."
This activity is characterized by progress in the bed of a river / stream, transposing vertical obstacles presented through various techniques and best adapted equipment on the market to practice. The walk, the swimming, the jumps are all ways to move around in a place by itself hilly, the practitioner must constantly assess the risk. Another way to overcome the obstacles posed by the surrounding environment is resorting to the use of maneuvers with ropes and other ancillary security means to make technical maneuvers, being the most frequent abseiling. (Charletty, Gudefin, Hugon, & Beaudon, 2004)
The Ecole Francaise de Descente Canyon (Canyon, 1999) defines the Canyoning to be a sport of risk, which itself is linked to the remoteness of the location, difficult access and progression in vertical media. Adding to all this, the progression may be aggravating to accomplish in the aquatic environment, which is, most times, running water with all its inherent risks.
The Canyoning began to be seen by the general public in the 80's with the publication of Paul Montroue 1980 "les canyons of Sierra de guarra". Of course since the fishermen had ventured into canyons of the Alps, even Speleology practitioners practiced this mode, designating it as "caving open sky" (Charletty et al., 2004). The first major step was taken by Edouard Alfred Martel, known as the father of caving who performed the first crossing of Barmabieu grotto, compared to a Canyoning in 1888.
The Canyoning in the Alps continued to be sought by caving names, and in 1977 Pierre Minvielle writes and edits the first topographies of some Canyoning in the region. (Mao, 2003).
In Portugal, this modality has its beginnings in the late 80s, with the exploitation of the first rivers / streams in Geres. These first steps were carried out by people of climbing and mountaineering, which began to hear stories of the Alps on the sport of Canyoning, and started applying the techniques developed and assimilated in years of accumulated experience in mountaineering.
Being relatively new, with already large impact in countries like France, Spain, Australia, but with few practitioners in Portugal, according to Camping and Mountaineering Federation of Portugal (FCMP), is around 233 practitioners. However, it is clear, both from our experience as practitioners, either by the number of Adventure Sports of companies that offer this product in their programs, that since 2000, the number of practitioners in the rivers of Portugal is growing. Even though there are no official statistics on the number of practitioners in the rivers, the actions taken by some natural parks, to limit the number of athletes and groups daily, shows a clear evolution of the sport and concern with it.